The Men from Hyde – Cyril Scott

Cyril Scott was born in 1893 in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. His parents, Burton George Scott and Emma Astling, were married there in 1887 when Emma was 18.

In the 1891 census Burton and Emma are living in Dunstable with 2 children. Burton is a hay and straw binder aged 28; Emma is 23.

In the 1901 census, Burton and Emma are still living in Dunstable and have 6 more children including Cyril aged 7.

In the 1911 census the Scott family is now living at “St Ives” in Arthur Road, Winchester. Burton is now aged 50 and still working as a hay and straw binder. Emma states that she has been married for 27 years and has had 11 children, all still alive. Cyril is 17 and, like his father, working as a hay and straw binder for a “forage merchant”. The family had moved to Winchester within the previous two years, but it is not clear why they came to Winchester. Burton and Emma did not take all their children with them; their elder son Frederick, now 24 and manager at a forage merchant’s, remained in Dunstable and can be found in the 1911 census married with a one year old child, and also looking after his sisters Daisy Rose (11) and Ivy May (8).

There are no service records for Cyril, but various websites state that he enlisted in Winchester in the Duke of Edinburgh’s (Wiltshire Regiment). The Winchester War Service Register states that Cyril enlisted in January 1916 with the 6th Battalion as a private, with the service number 23014. His address is 32 Nuns Road.

The 6th (Service) Battalion was formed in September 1914. In July 1915 it was mobilised for war and landed in France, engaging in action on the Western Front. Cyril may well have been present at the following battles in which the Wiltshire Regiment took part:

1916  The Battle of Albert, The attacks on High Wood, The Battle of Pozieres Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre Heights, The Battle of the Ancre.

Cyril was wounded, probably in the Battle of Messines which took place between 7th – 14th June 1917. The Battle of Messines was a brilliantly planned and executed attack that resulted in the capture of the Wytschaete-Messines ridge south of Ypres, a feature that had given the British problems since 1914 and which was important to hold for future offensive operations in Flanders. It began with one of the heaviest artillery bombardments of the war and the explosion of 19 enormous and long-prepared underground mines.

Cyril died of his wounds on 14th June 1917, the last day of the battle. He was 24 years old. Cyril is commemorated at the Locre Hospice Cemetery in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, an area between Bruges and Ypres. Locre (now Loker) was in Allied hands during the greater part of the war, and field ambulances were stationed at the Hospice of St Antoine. The Hospice Cemetery began to be used in June 1917 by field ambulances and fighting units. The cemetery now contains 244 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War.

Cyril’s older brother Ernest William Scott enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery as a Wheeler (equivalent to Private) on 4th August 1914, becoming a Bombardier (equivalent to Corporal). He was wounded once and gassed three times, but survived the war.

Cyril’s parents can be found in the 1939 Register, living in Woking with their married daughter Ivy May.

Cyril’s father, Burton, lived to the age of 83, dying in Winchester in 1944.

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