Lance Corporal Arthur Heaton Scott MM

Lance Corporal Arthur Heaton Scott M.M. D Company, 1st/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. Service no. 2026.

Lance Corporal Arthur Heaton Scott MM.

Early life:

Arthur was born on March 3, 1896 in Keighley, to parents Walter and Minnie Scott. His father was a labourer in a tool shop. In 1901 he was five and they were living at 31, Market Street with his
parents and two sisters. All three children were baptised at Sun Street Wesleyan Chapel on March 11, 1906 and they were living at 52, Britannia Square. By 1911 they had moved a few doors down to number 46 and both Arthur and his father Walter were iron borers for a machine tool maker.

War service:

At the age of 17 years and 3 months in 1913, he attested for the 6th Territorial Battalion West Riding Regiment at Keighley and he was working for Ward, Haggas and Smith and he was living at 53, Bradford Street. He had just completed half his annual fortnight at training at Marske Camp when they came home early and were immediately embodied for the war on August 5, 1914. He signed for overseas service a month later and would have gone off to training camp.
On April 14, 1915 Arthur embarked with the whole 1/6th Battalion on S.S. Onward to Boulogne and his name appears in the nominal roll of men who embarked at that time. He was appointed Lance Corporal on September 20, 1916 and shortly afterwards he received the Military Medal for gallantry. Sadly, he was killed in action by a trench mortar explosion along with four other local men on November 20, right at the end of the battle of the Somme, the details of which are in the battalion war diary detailed below.

1/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment - war diary for 1916:

Trenches Aug. 18th. THIEPVAL AVENUE.
Nothing to report during the day, until 5.2 pm.
In conjunction with other operations to the South a smoke barrage was made along the battalion front which lasted half an hour. Our artillery also shelled enemy front and support lines during this time. Enemy activity was chiefly on our left company, who were heavily trench mortared. At about 6.45 pm the enemy shelling ceased, and the situation became normal.
2 Lt. Johnson, H. Buried and wounded in face by trench mortar.
2 Lt. C. McKeller, shrapnel wound in side.
4546. A/Sgt Atkinson, C. - D Coy. Killed by trench mortar
2374. Sgt Horner, A. - D Coy. Wounded in face.
2193. Pte. Jarman, H. - D Coy. Buried and wounded in face.
3130. Pte. Waddington, I. - D Coy. Buried and wounded in leg.
2022. Pte. Sanders, I. - D Coy. Shock from trench mortar.
4006. L/Cpl. Midgley, A. - D Coy. Shock from trench mortar.
1783. Sgt. Marks, H. F. - D Coy. Wounded in face by shell.
2043. Pte. Watson, H. - C Coy. Shrapnel wound in side.
4535. Pte. Eastwood, S. - C Coy. Shrapnel wound in left wrist.
1946. Pte. Lister, C. W. - C Coy. Bullet wound left hand.
2696. L/Cpl. Armstrong, W. R. - A Coy. Wounded in right hand by explosion of smoke bomb.

[This is the day when Arthur earned his Military Medal. The citation states that he dug out five men who had been buried by a trench mortar. if this diary entry is correct then it's very likely to have been the following men who were saved by his actions on that day:
2 Lt. Johnson, H. Buried and wounded in face by trench mortar.
2193. Pte. Jarman, H. - D Coy. Buried and wounded in face.
3130. Pte. Waddington, I. - D Coy. Buried and wounded in leg.
2022. Pte. Sanders, I. - D Coy. Shock from trench mortar.
4006. L/Cpl. Midgley, A. - D Coy. Shock from trench mortar.

War diary for 1/6th Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. WO95-2801:

Early in the morning one of our patrols was bombed & 3 men wounded. LINCOLN LANE was T.M. about 8 am.
A much better day, the sun been shining at times.
The 5th West Riding Regiment raided the enemy's trenches on our right, zero hour 8 P.M. A number of Germans were killed, only 2 of the raiding party (5 Off & 95 O.R.) were killed. 3 men went out from our left Coy & sent up German SOS rockets from a German advanced sap & this drew most of the retaliation onto our Bn., the centre coy in ##### being heavily
bombarded by minnies(sic)
One of our patrols rear LA BRAVELLE (sic) Rd were bombed & 3 men hit.
# 1461 Sgt Hudson W. A coy killed by shell Buried by Capt Jones in Fonquevillers(sic) Cem.
5291 Pte Calvert B. A coy Wounded by shell
5631 Pte Armitage W. R. A Coy " " "
5709 Pte Haigh W. A Coy " " "
5630 Pte Vantry(sic) H. A Coy " " "
1855 Cpl Swindon H. B Coy Wounded by bomb
#3057 Pt Smith F B Coy " " "
3997 Pte Glenton G. B Coy " " "
Casualties Contd.
2595 Cpl Allsopp T. D Coy Killed by T.M. (trench mortar) Buried by Capt Jones in FONQUEVILLERS CEMETRY(sic)
#2026 L Cpl Scott A. H. D Coy " " "
#2139 L Cpl Lowndes C. D Coy " " "
#1907 L Cpl Tatton J W. D Coy " " "
1953 Pte Gee F. D Coy Wounded in jaw by sniper.
#1759 Pte Shackleton C. D Coy wounded in forearm by shrapnel.

[All the men named above with a # against their name are Keighley and district men]

Keighley News 2nd December 1916, page 3: MILITARY MEDAL WINNER KILLED.

Lance-Corporal Arthur Heaton Scott, West Riding Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs Scott, of 65, Bradford Street, Keighley, who some weeks ago was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry, has now been killed in action by a trench mortar. The news was received in a letter from Lieutenant Godfrey B. Buxton of the same regiment, who said, “It is a very great grief to me to have to inform you that your son was killed in action last night by a trench mortar. It is a very great loss to the company, for he was always the first to volunteer for dangerous work, and any work he did was always thorough. The Military Medal was more than earned, and no doubt he would quickly have received promotion.”

Keighley News, Saturday 16th June, 1917, page 7:

The Military Medal awarded to one of Keighley's heroes - the late Lance-Corporal A. H. Scott, of the first 6th West Yorkshire Regiment(sic) was on Monday formally presented by the Lord Mayor of Bradford (Alderman Abram Peel) to Mr. Scott (his father).
The presentation, which took place before the Bradford Town Hall, was graced by military ceremonial.
Detachments of troops from the Army Service Corps at Bradford Moor Barracks, the Royal Flying Corps, and the Bradford City Volunteers formed up on three sides of the Town Hall square, and as a the Lord Mayor, who was accompanied by the Deputy Lord Mayor (Mr. T. Sowden), and the Mayor of Keighley (Mr. F. W. L. Butterfield) descended the Town Hall Steps the officer cdommanding the troops (Major Stapylton) advanced, and handed the medal to the Lord mayor.
The Lord Mayor, addressing Mr. Scott, said: We are all sorry that your son is not able to receive this medal. We are proud of men so brave and self-sacrificing as he was; and to them we owe the security of our homes. You, too, have every reason to be proud of such a son. I present this medal to you in the name of the King, and I sincerely hope that it may be some comfort to you in your hours of loneliness. Perhaps the future generations will appreciate as we cannot the great deed which has won this recognition.
The City Police Band having played the National Anthem the troops then marched away.
It was a truly great deed which won the Military Medal for Lance-Corporal Scott.
In the fight at Thiepval on August 18, 1916, five men of his unit were buried by the explosion of a trench mortar. Under heavy fire, and in full view of the enemy, he went to their assistance and helped to dig them out.
He was a soldier with a fine reputation among his superior officers. "He was absolutely fearless" testifies his adjutant, "and one of the most respected and popular non commissioned officers in the regiment;" while his company commander says:
"He was always a volunteer for dangerous work, and one of the pluckiest men in his company."


His mother Minnie received the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service and his back pay and war gratuity, along with his Great War memorial plaque and the King's certificate.
Arthur is named in 'Keighley's Gallant Sons,' a list of local men who volunteered early for war service.
He is buried in grave 13, row H, plot I of Foncquevillers Cemetery. The family epitaph on his gravestone reads: "He Answered Duty's Call."
He is remembered in Keighley's Great War roll of honour book in Keighley Library.

Keighley's Great War Roll of Honour book held in a glass case in Keighley Library.

He is also named on the Sun Street Methodist Church War Memorial in the care of Cliffe Castle Museum.

Sun Street Methodist Church - Great War memorial panels

Sun Street Methodist Church - Great War memorial panels

Source information:

Birth, marriage and death records.
1901 and 1911 census.
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920.
Army service records.
Keighley News archives, Keighley Library.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
National Archives - war diary for 1/6th Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. WO95-2801
Cliffe Castle Museum.
Keighley Library.

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