Frank John SCOTT MID

Poppy

SCOTT, Frank John

Service Numbers: 278, Commissioned Officer
Enlisted: 20 August 1914
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Port Broughton, South Australia, 2 December 1894
Home Town: Gawler, Gawler, South Australia
Schooling: Gawler Public School, Gawler, South Australia
Occupation: Railway Porter
Died: Killed in Action while leading the raid on Celtic Wood, Celtic Wood, Broodseinde, Belgium, 9 October 1917, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
No known grave
Memorials: Adelaide HB09 South Australian Railways - Adelaide Railway Station*, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Menin Gate Memorial (Commonwealth Memorial to the Missing of the Ypres Salient)*, National War Memorial (South Australia), Salvation Army Gawler Honour Board*
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World War 1 Service

20 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 278
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 278, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 278, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 278, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC Gallipoli
8 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Commissioned Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion, Raid on Celtic Wood

Raid on Celtic Wood

Lieutenant Frank John Scott was in the field as the Officer Commanding C Company and named as the raid commander in the CO’s order as well as his raid report. Scott although not quite 23 years of age when he was killed, was one of the most experienced officers in the battalion. He was an original member of the battalion and was among the first ashore when they landed at Gallipoli in April 1915. As a young sergeant at Pozières, he was with Lieutenant Blackburn when he carried out the actions for which he later received the Victoria Cross and Scott for the part he played, was commissioned; he was later mentioned in despatches.
When interviewed by a Red Cross representative at the end of July 1918 credible witness and unwounded raider, Private Pyper said, ‘... We went out at 5.30. a.m. daylight, at Celtic Wood near Polygon Wood in October 1917. I was in front of Mr. Scott when he was killed....’
Also in Scott’s Red Cross file is this extract a statement made by credible witness and unwounded raider, Private Simpson. ‘Lieut Scott was killed at Celtic Wood, Passchendaele, during a raid. I saw him shot but cannot say if it was by a bullet or a shell fragment, now. Nor do I know where he is buried. He was in charge of our party at the time.’
Commemorated on Menin Gate Memorial Ieper, Belgium.

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Raid on Celtic Wood

Lieutenant Frank John Scott was in the field as the Officer Commanding C Company and named as the raid commander in the CO’s order as well as his raid report. Scott although not quite 23 years of age when he was killed, was one of the most experienced officers in the battalion.

When interviewed by a Red Cross representative at the end of July 1918 credible witness and unwounded raider, Private Pyper said, ‘... We went out at 5.30. a.m. daylight, at Celtic Wood near Polygon Wood in October 1917. I was in front of Mr. Scott when he was killed....’

Also in Scott’s Red Cross file is this extract a statement made by credible witness and unwounded raider, Private Simpson. ‘Lieut Scott was killed at Celtic Wood, Passchendaele, during a raid. I saw him shot but cannot say if it was by a bullet or a shell fragment, now. Nor do I know where he is buried. He was in charge of our party at the time.’ [i]


[i] Witness statements can be read  on the Australian War Memorial website - Australian Red Cross Society Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau Files, - 1DRL / 0428 

Further reading 

Frank John Scott was an original member of the 10th Battalion and embarked with them on HMAT Ascanius on 20 October 1914.  He took part in the landing and subsequent fighting at Gallipoli serving right through the campaign.  He was promoted progressively attaining the rank of Sergeant.  

He spent a period in hospital in May 1916 before returning to the Battalion or service at Pozieres.  He was commissioned in the Field as a 2nd Lieutenant in August 1916 during the Mouquet Farm fighting. He was promoted to Lieutenant later in the year and in early 1917 served as the unit Adjutant for an extended period.

He had a number of assignments out of the Battalion to Staff schools for various periods but returned to the unit in time for the Third Ypres campagin and thus appears to have served at Menin Road and Polygon Wood 

Frank was the OIC of the 10th Battalion's raiding party that set out to attack German positions near Celtic Wood in front of the Keiberg Spur on 9 October 1917.  The raid failed and most of the participants were killed or wounded.  Frank Scott was observed as having sustained a head wound, and various elements of his effects were recovered from the field.  His remains were according to Red Cross records recoverd and buried behind Allied lines some days after the fighting at Celtic Wood.  His grave was subsequently lost and he is thus recorded on the Menin Gate.

He is commemorated with a brass plaque on one of the pews in St George's Church in Ieper (Ypres), in addition to memorials in Belgium Australia. 

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 Steve Larkins Sep 2016

 

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