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Harold Louis Scotney was born in Peterborough in 1894 and was the son of Robert William a coach builder and Elizabeth Scotney née Holmes. His father Robert was born in 1860 in Stanford, Leicestershire and his mother Elizabeth Holmes was born in 1863 in Eye, Northamptonshire. They were married at Eye Parish Church on 1st January 1884 and went on to have 5 children, 1 of whom was to die in infancy their surviving children were, William b1885 Stanford, George b1886 Stanford, Sydney Frederick b1888 Peterborough and Harold Louis b1894 Peterborough. In the 1911 census the family are living at 63 Princes Street, Mansfield and are shown as Robert William 51 yrs a coach builder, he is living with his wife Elizabeth 48 yrs and their sons Sydney Fred 23 yrs a motor body builder and Harold Louis 17 yrs a motor body builder. The later CWGC record also gives Harold's parents' address as 63 Princes Street, Mansfield. Harold married his wife Ida Ethel Kirkby, in 1914 at Mansfield and went on to have the following children, Horace, born 1916 and Joyce, born 1917 and lived at 21 Colsterworth Terrace, Glebe Street, Nottingham. His father Robert William died aged 63 yrs in 1923 in Mansfield.
Motor Body Builder.
29 Sep 1918
177765 - CWGC Website
16th Bn Tank Corps
Harold Louis Scotney enlisted at Mansfield and initially served with the service number 37724 in the Royal Flying Corps. He later transferred to the 16th Battalion Tank Corps. Harold was killed in a morning action on the Hindenburg Line on 29th September 1918; his officer and five others in the tank crew were also killed. Although it appears from a letter written to the family by an officer of the battalion that the casualties were initially buried close to where they had died Harold is now buried in Unicorn Cemetery, Vendhuile, Aisne, France (grave ref. IV. C. 27).
His commanding officer wrote to his widow with the news of his death, the letter was published in the Mansfield Reporter and Sutton Times on 22nd November 1918 “France, Oct. 29th, 1918. “My dear Mrs. Scotney, It is with a feeling of very deep regret that I write you concerning the death of your husband, H.L. Scotney, who was killed in action on September 29th, just a month ago. I am very sorry I have been so tardy in writing to you, but we have been so occupied and had moved about so much, I have hardly had a chance. Then, too, it was difficult to get definite news, and I felt I had better wait until I had the correct news before writing. He was killed about five minutes past eight on the morning of Sept. 29th, whilst attacking the outposts of the Hindenburg line. I regret to add that his officer and five others of his crew were killed as well. On October 22nd I went out personally with a party and erected a substantial cross over the resting place. The grave is beautifully situated in a quiet little valley, and I made a sketch of it, which I will send you a copy as soon as it is done. I have the exact map reference of the spot, and as soon as I can send you a map you shall have one. I am sorry I can’t send you any of his personal belongings as the Tank was burnt up, and all their kit destroyed. We lost some good men that day, but none better than your husband. I can assure you that we miss him very much. Personally I was very fond of him, and considered him one of the best drivers of my section. Apart from the map I spoke of, if there is anything I can do for you please let me know. Please accept my deep sympathy in your loss. “Very sincerely, “JOHN S. HALL, “Captain, 16th Battn., Tank Corps, “B.E.F.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great Wat Hucknall 1914-1918. Note: it appears that the writer of the letter, Captain Hall, survived the war.
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