Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Booth Scott, Royal Engineers

Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Booth Scott
Royal Engineers

Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Booth Scott

Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Booth Scott

Early Life:
Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Booth Scott was born in Keighley on the 28th February 1898 and was the son of Joseph Scott of Halifax and Clara Scott of Leeds.
In the 1901 census, the family is living at 49 Granville Street in the Highfield area of Keighley. The census reveals that at this time, Joseph’s occupation is a “Superior machine tool maker”, and employer aged 33. His wife Clara is aged 28 and has no occupation listed, their infant son Raymond Booth Scott aged 3. Raymond was baptised at the nearby Wesleyan Methodist Chapel at Devonshire Park, on April 26th 1898.
The 1911 census allows us an insight into Joseph’s successful career, as the family have now moved into a larger property at 53 Devonshire street and also have a young domestic servant living with them; Florence Marples aged 26. Joseph is now aged 43, his wife Clara is now 38 and the young Raymond is still an only child aged 13. Around this time, Joseph formed the “Scott Machine Tool Co” in Halifax, at the Green Lane Engineering Works at Pellon Lane.

School and Scouting Contribution:
During his younger years, Raymond studied engineering at Keighley Boys Grammar School and showed great accomplishment, which is unsurprising considering his father’s gift in that area. He was also an active member of the Keighley Boy Scout Movement, which is where he gained valuable scouting experience; interestingly listed as “military experience” on his Keighley Volunteer record. This suggests the itinerary for the scouting movement around the early 20th century must have strongly focussed on military training. He must have been deeply affected by the outbreak of the Great War, as he pedalled on his bicycle to register with the Keighley Volunteers just before his birthday on the 7th January 1915. It is interesting to read that he is recorded as “underage” for active service. However, this did not stop him being part of the war efforts, as his success at Keighley Grammar School earned him a place at Leeds University as a Cadet later that year. His high achievement in this field allowed him to be granted special commission as “Temporary 2nd Lieutenant” in the Machine Gun Corps in 1917.  Raymond first saw active service when he was sent to Flanders in May of 1917, transferring to the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and navigated the First World War in an honourable manner.

Raymond Booth Scott

Raymond Booth Scott

Scott continued his military career alongside his civilian life once the war had ended. He retained his Lieutenant rank in the Duke of Wellington Regiment as a Reserve Officer and made Captain in the T.A in 1936, and Major in 1938.

Raymond seemed to enjoy travel and it may have been his military and engineering background that gave him the opportunity to visit surprising destinations around the world. Passenger records from 1932 reveal that Raymond boarded The Blue Funnel Line Steamship’s “Patroclus” in Liverpool on the 18th June. This is the first time his wife appears in our records, a Margaret Elizabeth Booth aged 34. Their lodgings are in 1st class, suggesting Raymond’s success has continued to flourish. Their address on the records is registered as “Estate Office, Albion Works, Keighley’”, which supports the theory that on this occasion they may have been travelling for business purposes. Patroclus was destined for Hong Kong and Shanghai, stopping at several ports along the way. The Booths were to disembark at Port Said in Egypt. We know this was not a permanent move as their intended long term residence was listed as “England” on the documentation and can only wistfully imagine their exciting itinerary.

Raymond’s military career and civilian life appears to have run congruently; his success in Engineering saw him appointed “Associate Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers” in 1936. His interest in Military engineering is evident in his Aeroclub Membership Certificate Card from 1935. Raymond earned this certificate through his practice flights on a Moth Cirrus III, at the “Yorkshire Aeroplane Club”, located in Yeadon; now home of Leeds-Bradford Airport. His name on the card is recorded as “Captain Raymond Booth Scott”, this membership will have been an expensive hobby to achieve and retain, again this alludes to his successful business career.

Raymond again joined active service at the outbreak of the Second Word War. He served as a Senior Inspector for the Inspectorate of Supplementary Transport, swiftly moving on to become a Captain in the Royal Engineers. His abilities as an engineer were invaluable during the war, his detachment were tasked with extending the Marginot Line. His duties led him to Syria, where he was captured as a prisoner in 1941 (we are still attempting to uncover information around his time as a prisoner). His bravery, competence in leadership and engineering abilities were rewarded by his promotion to Major in 1942.

After the end of World War 2, Raymond continued his military service with the Royal Engineers on Short Service Commission and saw service in Kenya, Ethiopia and Greece. During his time in Kenya, he served with the Colonial Special Constabulary and in 1963 he was awarded the Long Service Medal.  We can see that the family lived there for some time as their intended residency is listed as “Kenya” on the passenger records for their journey to the UK in 1956. Raymond and his wife boarded the M.V Warwick Castle in Mombasa, as first class passengers. Their address is listed as Ashgrove, High Utley, however their stay was only listed as 8 months and then were returning back to Kenya. It is likely they had their house in High Utley whilst staying in military accommodation in Kenya, as Keighley phone book records throughout the 1960s show Raymond still living at Ashgrove.

Raymond Scott Booth survived both WW1 and WW2, and throughout his military career he was awarded a glittering array of medals. The medals unfortunately went to auction upon the death of his wife, however we have managed to locate the records which have broadened our insight into his military history. Furthermore, his success in engineering no doubt impacted on the local community, employing many people from the Halifax and Keighley area for many years. Raymond passed away on the 19th September, 1968 aged 70. He was survived by his wife and two children, Tom and Joan.

Raymond with his daughter Joan at Ashgrove, High Utley

Raymond with his daughter Joan at Ashgrove, High Utley

Raymond with his children Joan and Tom

Raymond with his children Joan and Tom

Raymond Booth Scott’s Medal Record information:

Raymond Booth Scott's Medals

Raymond Booth Scott's medals

“Lieutenant-Colonel Raymond Booth Scott, Royal Engineers, late Machine Gun Corps, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and Royal Army Service Corps British War and Victory Medals (2 Lieut.); 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Defence, Commendation laurel leaves; War Medal 1939-45, these unnamed; Africa General Service 1902-56, 1 clasp, Kenya (I.P., E.R.D.); Army Emergency Reserve Decoration, E.II.R., with Second and Third Award Clasps, unnamed, reverse of decoration officially dated, ‘1953’; Colonial Special Constabulary Faithful Service Medal, E.II.R. (C.I.P. (R) Major, Kenya), mounted court style for wear; together with Legion of Frontiersmen, Meritorious Service Medal (20458 Major R. B. Scott, E.R.D.), silver, hallmarks for Birmingham 1967; Legion of Frontiersmen, Medal for Long Service and Efficiency, bronze-gilt, unnamed, very fine (11) £600-700

Raymond Scott Booth was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, on 28th February 1898. He was educated at Keighley Boys Grammar School and was a student of Engineering. He served as a Cadet in Leeds University O.T.C., 1915-16. As a Cadet he was granted a commission as a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant in the Machine Gun Corps on 25 February 1917.He entered the France/Flanders theatre of war on 19 May 1917. In 1919 he was advanced to Temporary Lieutenant and after being placed on the General List was transferred to the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. After the war he transferred to the Regular Army Reserve of Officers and was appointed Lieutenant, Duke of Wellingon’s Regiment, R.A.R.O., September 1921. In civilian life, he returned to Engineering after the war and was elected an Associate Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1936. In the Army between the wars, he served in the Supplementary Reserve of Officers and Regular Army Reserve of Officers, in the D.W.R. and R.A.S.C., becoming a Captain in 1933. In 1936 he was transferred to be Captain in the R.A.S.C. (T.A.) and was advanced to Major in May 1938. Scott served in the Second World War. He was a Senior Inspector, Inspectorate of Supplementary Transport in August 1939. He transferred to the Royal Engineers as a Captain in August 1939 and at various times was a Temporary or Acting Lieutenant-Colonel. He was appointed a War Substantive Major on 13 June 1942. Of his service, his obituary states, ‘His unit was attached to the Royal Engineers working in connection with the extension of the Maginot Line in France. He was taken prisoner in Syria in 1941’. For his war service he was awarded four medals - the Commendation is not confirmed. After the war he transferred from the R.A.R.O. to a Short Service Commission in the Royal Engineers as a Major and served variously in Kenya, Ethiopia and Greece. For his long service in the Reserve he was awarded the Army Emergency Reserve Decoration with two clasps, this notified in the London Gazette of 3 November 1953. Whilst in Kenya he joined the Colonial Special Constabulary, and in 1963 was awarded the Long Service Medal (Kenya Gazette 29th January 1963). Scott was a long standing member of the Legion of Frontiersmen and was awarded two medals by that organisation. Latterly living in Keighley, he died on 19 September 1968”

England and Wales birth records
1891 Census
1901 Census
1911 Census
British Army Service Records
British Army Medal Index Card and Medal Rolls
Yorkshire Aeroplane Club  Records, 1935
The Blue Funnel Line Passenger list, 1932
Union-Castle Mail S.S / Co. Ltd. Passenger List, 1956
Keighley Telephone book, 1964 - 1967
England and Wales Death Records
DNW Medals
West Yorkshire Electoral Rolls

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