Peter Joseph (Joey) SCOTT


SCOTT, Peter Joseph

Service Number: 2698
Enlisted: 9 October 1916, Kiama, New South Wales
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 38th Infantry Battalion
Born: Kangaroo Valley,New South Wales, Australia, 1898
Home Town: Kangaroo Valley, Shoalhaven Shire, New South Wales
Schooling: Barrengarry Public School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Saddler's Apprentice
Died: Killed in Action, Belgium, 13 October 1917
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Barrengarry Public School HR, Kangaroo Valley War Memorial, Menin Gate Memorial (Commonwealth Memorial to the Missing of the Ypres Salient)
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World War 1 Service

9 Oct 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Kiama, New South Wales
9 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2698, 38th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Nov 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2698, 38th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Benalla, Sydney
12 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2698, 38th Infantry Battalion, 1st Passchendaele

An Under-aged Soldier

Peter Joseph Scott enlisted under-aged to serve in the AIF. He was barely 17 years of age when he joined up on 9 October 1916, the youngest of three brothers to enlist. He had tried to enlist several times, on one occasion as Joseph Peter Scott.
His parents William and Mary eventually signed over their approval for him to enlist despite the age deception. The family called him "Joey".
He was working as a saddler's apprentice at the time.
Sent to the Barroul Training Camp at Kiama he was assigned to the 38th Battalion and sailed on 9 November on the HMAT Benalla after only a few weeks of training. The AIF would complete his training in England. He disembarked in England on 9 January 1917 and went into camp at Durrington.
He entered the field on 8 April 1917 at Bois Grenier France near Armentieres. The 38th then went in and out of the trenches at Ypres Belgium.
His next action was in the Battle of Messines 7 June 1917. Joey came through unscathed although the battalion suffered 50% losses. Passchendaele lay ahead, a campaign that was to become known as the "world's worst battlefield".
The 38th Battalion was assigned the third and last objective - a line beyond the village of Passchendaele. The battalion assembled at the jumping-off tapes at 3am on 12 October. The enemy shelled the position and losses were heavy.
Heavy and persistent rain had also turned the battlefield into a quagmire and though the battalion struggled forward the conditions and the losses soon made any further advance impossible. The attack failed everywhere and the Battalion Diary recorded ... "The condition of the ground was indescribable .."
No-one witnessed his passing when Peter disappeared on 13 October 1917. His body was never found. Sadly this was the fate of many.
The battle would become synonymous with senseless slaughter and incompetent military leadership. The AIF suffered 38,093 casualties in just 8 weeks. 35 men for every yard gained.
Peter Scott's older brother Thomas had been killed at Flers a year earlier.

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