William John SCOTT

SCOTT, William John

Service Number: 2863
Enlisted: 16 February 1915, Original enlistment at the age of 19 years and 3 months
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, 3 October 1895
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Moulder
Died: SW amputated leg at thigh, 1st Anzac Dressing Station, Becordel-Becourt, France, 17 December 1916, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt
Plot I, Row F, Grave No. 21
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

16 Feb 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Original enlistment at the age of 19 years and 3 months
27 Mar 1915: Discharged AIF WW1, Records indicate that he was discharged on 27/4/15 being 'unlikely to become an efficent soldier'.
28 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
27 Oct 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2863, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Benalla, Adelaide
27 Oct 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2863, 27th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Benalla embarkation_ship_number: A24 public_note: ''
17 Dec 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2863, 1st Pioneer Battalion, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 2863 awm_unit: 1st Australian Pioneer Battalion awm_rank: Private awm_died_date: 1916-12-17
17 Dec 1916: Wounded 2863, 10th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Pivate number 2863 William John Scott

The Somme, lands of Remembrance, here flowed the blood of a whole generation of men whose lives were taken too early, they were young and came from very far to fight alongside their brothers in arms and for the French people with who they forged sincere friendships and gave their today for France, a country they did not know much but for which they gave absolutely everything they had at the cost of their lives which were mown in the fields of blooming poppies.Gone but not forgotten, We will remember them, we will remember who they were and what they did for us so that through time and in our hearts, they never cease to live and today, it is with deep gratitude that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men,I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 2863 William John Scott who fought in the 1st Battalion of the Australian Pioneers and who died of his wounds 104 years ago, on December 17, 1916 at the age of 21 on the Somme front.

William john Scott was born on October 3, 1895 in Adelaide, South Australia, and was the son of John James Scott and Mary Emma Scott.Before the outbreak of the war, William lived with his parents at 5 Cannon Street, Adelaide, Where he worked as a moulder.

Enlisted on July 28, 1915 in Adelaide, in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion, 6th Reinforcement, he embarked with his unit from Adelaide, on Board HMAT A24 Benalla on October 27, 1915 and sailed for Zeitoun, Egypt, where he arrived on February 27, 1916 and was transferred the following month, on March 18, to the 1st Battalion of the Australian Pioneers at Serapeum. on March 26, William joined the British Expeditionary Force in Alexandria where he embarked with his battalion and sailed for France and was disembarked on April 2, 1916 in Marseilles then he was sent to the front of the Somme.

On June 6, 1916, after two months on the front line, William was punished for using indecent language towards his superior officer and for threatening him and was sent to prison for seven days. After returning to his unit, he fought with great courage but his health declined and on September 19, 1916, he was evacuated to the 2nd Field Ambulance suffering from influenza,then after a rapid recovery, he was sent back to the front line with his comrades in Flers, Somme.

Unfortunately, it is in Flers, that three months later, William met his fate.On December 17, 1916, while working on a mine shaft, a shell fell near him and he was severely wounded in the thig and his left leg was broken in three places. Immediately after being hit, he fell into the mine shaft he was digging with his comrades who evacuated him from the front line.William was then evacuated to the 1st Anzac Dressing Station in Becordel-Becourt where he was amputated but unfortunately he died a few hours later from the shock of his operation, he was 21 years old.
Today, William John Scott rests in peace with his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, Somme.

William John Scott had a brother who fought in the first world war, Private number 2718 Clarence Hibbard Scott who served in the 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion, he survived the war and returned to Australia where he died on March 15, 1970 at the age of 77. he rests in peace at the West Terrace cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia.

William, you who rest in peace here in France, on these sacred grounds of the Somme which saw the courage and the determination of a whole generation of men and who also saw, unfortunately, so many men who fell through the fields poppies on which too much blood flowed, I would like, with the greatest respect, to say thank you through these few words that I am writing, thinking of you and all your comrades who fought here with exceptional bravery, that of a generation of men, of heroes who risked their lives every day and every night in the narrow and muddy trenches in which, united and determined, they did their duty with the strength of their youth which they lost through the horrors of the battlefield, they faced so much and overcome rains of bullets which fell upon them and mowed down their ranks, they crossed storms of shells which pulverized the strongest hearts, the hopes and the bodies of men who were forever disfigured and bore the traces of a war which they bore like incurable scars just as barbed wire disfigured landscapes which were once peaceful and which were transformed in apocalypse landscapes under explosions and lightning from cannons, in flames and clouds of poisonous gas in which death crawled.united through a very strong bond of camaraderie, they remained strong and brave, united under the banner of your country, Australia which lost so many of its sons, they moved forward driven by their convictions and the love of their families, of their loved ones for whom they gave their today and moved forward under downpours of lead, under the murderous fire of machine guns, they charged with unfailing courage, through shell holes, through real bloodbaths , they paid the price for every step forward, of every trenches conquered by thousands of lives lost in these fields of mud, they lost their friends, their brothers, their fathers, their comrades and sacrificed their everything but they never backed down and gave us, after so much pain, suffering, death, the peace of a world for which all hoped to survive this hell.Today, still united, they stand in front of us, beside their graves that poppies and roses bloom under the sun of the Somme which lights up their names, too short lives that the war shattered but these men have never disappeared, they are always present and live in our hearts, in our thoughts, each one having a story to tell and to transmit like the flame of Remembrance that we carry in our hands and that one day, we will pass on to future generations so that these men who rest in peace in the cemeteries and the fields of the Somme will never be forgotten.Time will not condemn them, we will always remember them, I will always be present for each of them and for their families, them who gave their lives, I will always dedicate mine to them by taking care of them with the greatest care, they will always be honored and respected with devotion and a deep love, an admiration that I have in my heart for these men and for their history, I would be forever grateful to them and will be, forever, with the most deep affection, my boys of the Somme, thank you so much William, for all that you and your comrades have done for us, we will never forget you.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.




Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Scott have been notified that their son. Private W. J. Scott, died of wounds in France on December 17. He left Australia on October 27, 1915, had a short stay in Egypt, and later went on active service in France. He was highly esteemed. A brother is in France in the firing line." - from the Adelaide Chronicle 27 Jan 1917 (nla.gov.au)