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  • Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. (www.cwgc.gov)
Person Details
29 Apr 1888
Chard Somerset
John Francis (also Frank and known as Frank) was the son of John Scott and his first wife Sarah (née White). Both his parents were born in Chard, Somerset. They were married in Chard in 1884 and had three sons who were born there: Charles William b. March 1884 bap. Hollowell in Cricket St Thomas 1883; Thomas b. 1886 bap. Chard 1886 and John Francis b. 29 April 1888 bap Chard 26 May 1888. Sarah Scott died in 1890 aged about 28. The following year at the time of the 1891 Census, her widowed husband, a lace maker, was a boarder in Chard in the home of another lace maker, William Parris and his family. John's three sons were living with their maternal grandparents at Church Street Passage, Church Street, Winsham, Chard. John married Kate Hurford in 1891 and they had six children. In 1901 John and Kate were living in Chard with their children and John's sons by his first marriage: Charles (17) and Thomas (15) both lace hands and Frank (12). Frank, had, like his brothers, left home by 1911 and he was lodging with George Bennet and his wife and son in Southchard, Chard. All three men worked in the lace industry. John Francis (25) of Holyrood Street, Chard, married Rosalind (or Rosaline) Beasley (24), also of Chard, in 1913 (reg. A/M/J). Rosalind was born in Chard in 1889, the daughter of William Beasley, a painter, and his wife Harriet. In 1911 Rosalind, who was employed in the lace trade, was living with her widowed mother in Chard. It is not yet known when John and his wife moved to Beeston/Nottingham but it was probably an economic move which was made by many who had been employed in Chard's lace trade. However, as both were living in Somerset in 1911 it is unlikely that they moved to this area until after their marriage in 1913. The widowed Rosalind married Herbert O Blackwell in 1919 (reg. Basford) and they lived at Hawthorn Grove, Beeston. They and their children were still at the same address in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled. Rosalind died in 1959.
1911 - lace hand machine. 1913 - labourer
07 Jun 1917
916048 - CWGC Website
71804
Private
11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
11th Bn Sherwood Foresters formed part of 2nd Army's attack on Messines Ridge, the highly successful operation to clear enemy forces off high ground to the south of Ypres as a prelude to the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) launched on 31st July. In early June the unit moved from St Lawrence camp to Halfway House, then Ritz Street support trenches before assembling ready to attack. A series of huge mines were detonated at 20 second intervals causing panic and many casualties amongst Germans defending the area. According to 11th Sherwood Foresters' War Diary (TNA WO95/2187/3), they formed 'the left hand bn of the whole attack. Zero hour was at 3.10am at which hour the mines were exploded. The battalion occupied their objective with four casualties.' However 66 men, including Bingley, lost their lives on June 7th (CWGC Debt of Honour Register). 'The majority,' the War Diary reports,' took place from sniping and shell fire after the position was carried.' Battalion orders had insisted 'All ranks are to be warned that there is no such word as "RETIRE" and that anyone using such a word is in all probability a German.' The unit's response was impressive; Major CE Hudson MC was awarded the DSO for his part in the action. Three officers won the MC and 40 men from the ranks were decorated - 4 with DCMs and 36 with MMs. John Cotterill reflects: ‘It (7/6/1917) was really a day of mixed fortunes for the battalion. As their main responsibility was forming a flank they did not have to advance as far as everyone else but they hit the only really uncut wire. The very left of their objective was the only part of the British objective not to fall although you would not know that from the battalion history or war diary. Despite that, they did pretty well and advanced about 1,000 yards. The confusion and delay when their left hand company hit the uncut wire, unseen in a small hollow, was only sorted out by the energetic intervention of Edward Hudson, a remarkable man with an MC on the Somme, a DSO at Messines , a bar to his DSO at Passchendaele and a VC on the Asiago plateau (Italy). I think the four casualties recorded in the war diary just reflect an initial report. The battalion history records 41 x KIA, 169 x WIA and 15 x MIA on 7 June. If one adds KIA to MIA one is only a few short of final CWGC figure of 62. 70 Bde , of which 11th Foresters comprised one quarter , suffered 183 x KIA , 768 x WIA and over 400 x MIA . As few British became PW on 7 Jun one must assume most of the MIA were actually KIA. This gives the brigade nearly 600 dead so 11th Foresters casualties were proportionally the lowest in the brigade, presumably reflecting their flank holding role. The level of gallantry awards reflects more or less what one expects from a successful battalion attack. The DSO which would normally go to the CO, if he did a good job, obviously went to Hudson as second in command. The CO, Watson, had only come out of hospital on the day of the attack so it seems that Hudson was effectively in command. 3 x MCs is slightly less than the average of one per company, which would have given 4. Only 3 of the DCMs were actually for 7 Jun 1917, as the 4th (Sgt Legate) was for a raid on Hill 60 on 9 Apr 1917. Sgt Ellis was right up there with Hudson in terms of bravery with an MM in Sanctuary Wood in Oct 16, a DCM at Messines in Jun 17, a bar to his MM at 3rd Ypres in Sept 17 and a bar to his DCM on the Asiago plateau in Jun 1918. Although the battalion attacked in the first wave at 0310 hrs, it is clear that they did not start taking heavy casualties until German counter attacks began at 10.30 hrs and that , after that , they took a lot of punishment from both counter attacks and heavy and sustained German artillery fire . It seems remarkable that, with a total of 225 casualties, which is over 1 in 3 of the attacking infantry men , the 11th Foresters still had the lowest butcher’s bill in their brigade.’ Military Research by David Nunn and John Cotterill John Francis was killed on 7 June 1916 in the action described above. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 39 & 41).
John Francis (Frank) lived in Chard, Somerset, until at least 1913 when he married Rosalind Beasley. It has not yet been established when, or whether, he and his wife both lived in Nottinghamshire before he enlisted. CWGC: 'Son of John Scott; husband of Rosalind Blackwell (formerly Scott), of 25, Hawthorn Grove, Beeston, Nottingham.' WW1 Pension Ledgers: widow Rosalie (sic) Scott, residence Beeston
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. (www.cwgc.gov)
    John Francis Scott - Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. (www.cwgc.gov)