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Vincent Scott

Private Vincent Scott, 260309, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 1st Battalion

Vincent Scott was born in Dewsbury in Summer 1888, the son of carpet weaver, Walter Scott and his wife, Ann Eliza (nee Vincent), who married at Dewsbury All Saints Church on the 28th August 1886. Both were aged 24 years and they subsequently had two surviving children: James Edward and Vincent from their short marriage. Sadly, Ann Eliza Scott died in Spring 1890, aged 28, and the death of an infant, Walter Scott at the same time suggests that she died in childbirth. It seems likely that Walter Scott, senior died shortly afterwards, aged 28, in Spring 1891 whilst in Derbyshire.

In 1891, Vincent Scott, aged 2 years, was living with his grandparents John George Vincent, a brush maker, aged 60 years, and his wife Martha who were living in Dewsbury. They had eight of their own ten children plus two grandchildren, three year old James Edward Scott and Vincent Scott living with them. John George Vincent was born in London, Middlesex.

John George Vincent died in 1893, and by 1901, widow Martha Vincent had moved to Quarry Street, Hanging Heaton, Batley where she was living with four of her sons who were all working as miners, plus her 12 year-old grandson, Vincent Scott. Martha Vincent died in 1905 and in 1911 Vincent Scott, aged 22 was working as a shop assistant and living with his grand aunt, spinster Ann Rose (Martha Vincent's sister), and his uncle Charles Vincent at Brooks Building, Chickenley Heath.

At some stage later, Vincent Scott took himself off to London, the birthplace of his grandfather, enlisted in the army at Camberwell and joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry with the service number 260309. The record shows that he was born in Dewsbury and that he had formerly served in the 21st Battalion, County of London Regiment with the service number 3474. Private Vincent Scott embarked for France on the 11th November 1915 and after almost three years on the Western Front and in Italy, he was killed in action on the 23rd August 1918.

His army service record has not survived, but he was posthumously awarded the British and Victory medals and also the 1914/15 Star for his service prior to 31st December 1915.

The Regular 1st Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry was based in Ireland (at the Curragh) in August 1914 at the start of WW1. The Battalion was part of the 14th Brigade in 5th Division. They landed at Le Havre on the 15th August 1914 as part of the original BEF and on the 12th January 1916 transferred to 95th Brigade in same Division. In November 1917 the formation moved with the Division to Italy, but returned to France in April 1918.

Vincent Scott was killed in action on the 23rd August during the Battle of Albert between the 21st and 23rd August 1918, including the capture of Chuignes.

"At 4.55am on the densely foggy morning of Wednesday 21st August 1918, infantry of five divisions, advanced on a seven mile front in the wake of a precise creeping barrage, completely surprising the enemy. VI Corps gained its first objective (the Moyenneville-Ablainzeville spur) by 5.40am; on the right, IV Corps, facing stiffer resistance, took its first objective twenty minutes later. Varying success met the renewed attacks towards the railway. With less ground to cross in the north, Guards units and 3rd Division infantry gained their objectives by 11.30am; but to the south, as the mist cleared, 63rd and 5th Divisions became involved in much exhausting fighting (many supporting tanks were lost) and failed to make headway, though on the extreme right V Corps captured Beaucourt and advanced beyond Baillescourt Farm.

Byng decided to pause the attack on Thursday 22 August to allow his forces to regroup; a series of German counter-attacks were beaten off during that intensely hot summer's day, and to the right, Fourth Army advances, resulted in the occupation of Albert. On 23 August Third and Fourth British Armies participated in a huge general Allied attack which, with French assaults on the right, extended over a battlefront of 33 miles. The day’s fighting saw Third Army edge significantly nearer Bapaume, which would remain its principal objective in the days immediately following." 1

Albert Railway Station in ruins 1918

Above: The ruins of the railway station at Albert, Somme, France after the Battle of Albert 21st - 23rd August 1918.

Private Vincent Scott, aged 30 years, died on the 23rd August 1918. He is buried at grave reference IV. A. 16 at the Queen's Cemetery, Bucquoy, 2 Pas de Calais, France. Bucquoy is situated on the D919, Arras-Amiens road, 15 km south of Arras.

Bucquoy was taken by the 7th Division in March, 1917. It was partly lost in April 1918, after a prolonged and gallant defence by the 62nd (West Riding), 37th and 42nd (East Lancashire) Divisions; and it was cleared on the following 21st August.

The cemetery was begun in March 1917, when 23 men of the 2nd Queen's were buried in what is now Plot II, Row A. Thirteen graves of April-August 1918 were added (Plot II, Row B) in September 1918 by the 5th Division Burial Officer. The remainder of the cemetery was made after the Armistice, by the concentration of British and French graves and one American from the battlefields of the Ancre and from small cemeteries in the neighbourhood, including:-

Baillescourt Farm Cemetery, Beaucourt-sur-Ancre, was made by V Corps as Cemetery No.16 in 1917 whilst clearing the battlefields. It was in marshy ground between the Farm and the Ancre, and it contained the graves of 64 sailors and soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in the winter of 1916-17, and in August and September 1918. The Farm was taken by the H.A.C. in February 1917.

Miraumont Churchyard, in which nine men of the R.F.A. and an Infantry officer were buried in February and March 1917.

Miraumont German Cemetery, in which six soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried in 1915-16.

River Trench Cemetery, Puisieux, was made by V Corps in 1917 in clearing the battlefields. It contained the graves of 117 officers and men, almost all of the R.N.D., who fell in February 1917. It was in the open country between Grandcourt and Puisieux.

Swan Trench Cemetery, Puisieux, was created by V Corps as Cemetery No.14, and contained the graves of 27 officers and men of the R.N.D. who fell in February 1917. It was near the Grandcourt-Puisieux road.

Triangle Cemetery, Miraumont, was 800 metres North-East of Petit-Miraumont village on the road to Pys. This was a German cemetery containing the graves of 181 German soldiers and eight soldiers from the United Kingdom.

There are now over 700, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 200 are unidentified and special memorials record the names of six soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in Miraumont German Cemetery, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery covers an area of 2,619 square metres.

References:

1. The Battle of Albert, 21 - 23 August 1918

2. Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site