No.1636A Sapper Ernest Herbert Scott
Ernest Scott was born at Truganina in 1892 to William Scott and Elizabeth Twyford. He was one of eleven children who were all born in the Werribee district:
- Bertha Rachel Scott - born 1881
- Josiah Twyford Scott - born 1883
- William Francis Scott -born 1884
- Margaret Palmer Scott - born 1886 (twin)
- Hannah Rudd Scott - born 1886 (twin)
- Elizabeth Olive Scott - born 1889
- George Lawrence Scott - born 1890
- Ernest Herbert Scott - born 1892
- Jessie May Scott - born 1894
- Florence Eugenia Scott - born 1897
- Percival Arthur Scott - born 1899
Independent (Footscray), 4 August 1906 p.2.
He also attended the Victoria-street Methodist Young Men’s class.
After leaving school he lived in the West Footscray area and became a carpenter’s apprentice with H.V. McKay at their factory in Sunshine, Victoria. His first military experience was with the Garrison Artillery at North Melbourne. He was with them for 1 year and 7 months.
It took at least two attempts for him to enlist in the A.I.F. On the first occasion he was rejected because he suffered from varicose veins. He was accepted on the 2 August 1915 at Melbourne and sent to the Broadmeadows Camp. He completed his training there on 18 October 1915, and was appointed as a Private to 11th Reinforcements, 8th Light Horse.
On 13 November 1915, Private Ernest H. Scott (No 1636) embarked from Melbourne with the 8th Light Horse Regiment - 11 to 14 Reinforcements. They travelled on HMAT Clan MacCorquodale A6 and disembarked at Egypt. He reported for duty at Heliopolis near Cairo on 26 December 1915 and began training.
On 6 March 1916, Ernest briefly joined the 3rd Reserve Light Horse Regiment until 22 March 1916. He was then transferred to the Engineers and was reclassified as a Sapper with the 13th Field Company Australian Engineers, 4th Australian Division, A.I.F. at Tel-el-Kor Camp. Because of a conflict in Service Numbers, he was allotted the letter "A" after his regimental Number, which became 1636A.
The 13th Field Coy Engineers moved to Serapeum on 31 March 1916, where he continued training for a further three months. His unit embarked from Alexandria on H.T. Oriana on 6 June 1916. They disembarked at Marseilles on 13 June 1916, and the 5 Officers with 162 Other Ranks proceeded to Strazeele.
On 19 June 1916, his unit moved to Bac St Maur where they undertook bomb training, and performed many duties on the firing line. These included; repairing parapets, building dugouts, mining, building machine gun positions, thickening and repairing traverses, constructing wire entanglements, laying duckboards, cutting firing steps, and general repair work.
During July 1916, the company worked and trained at Sailly, Strezeele, Pernois, Canaples, Bazincourt and Albert.
In August 1916, the Company was attached to the 6th Infantry Brigade at Pozieres. Their task was to clear the Kay Trench, which was one of two main communication trenches leading to the front line. It was over 1,100 feet in length and was under constant enemy shelling. The War Diary records that it was "filled with numerous dead" and that the Company suffered many casualties while performing their work. During the fighting at Poziers, the Company was mainly involved with salvage and repair work, in support of the Infantry. They were withdrawn from the front for rest on 15 August 1916, and spent the remainder of the month at Halloy les Pernois.
The Company was ordered to Becourt Wood on 30 August 1916, and here they worked in the rain to repair the Becourt Road, and to construct new defence lines. Existing trenches with very bad mud were repaired, and all of this work was done under bad shellfire.
In the middle of September the Company was relocated to Ouderdom, where they were engaged in Divisional Works. From there they went to Famechon, to Mametz, and then to Longueval. They spent several months there performing extensive renovations to the camp, and to the front line trenches.
January 1917 was spent in the Fricourt area, with works being done in the Sydney Camp, the Adelaide Camp, as well as various front line trenches.
February 1917 was spent back at Longueval, and March 1917 saw them move to Baizieux. They moved on to Bapaume on 24 March 1917, and the War Diary described the town "as a complete wreck, hardly a house left standing".
On 13 March, the Company was relieved by 5th Australian Field Coy of Front Line work, and they moved from their billets at Vaulx to Favseuil.
There is an eleven month gap in Ernest’s service record after he arrived at Marsailes in France. The next entry is of him reporting to the 13th Field Coy Australian Engineers at Dolieu in France on 20 May 1917.
[It is thought that he would have been with his Company in France for most of the time that they were at the front, and that had been absent through illness or training at a Support Camp for a short period in May 1917.]
On the day he was wounded (11 June 1917), the Number 3 Section were clearing a supply track between Boyles Farm and Middle Farm, and the Number 2 and 4 Sections were digging the Black Line Trench. All parties came under very heavy enemy artillery fire, and casualties were severe. One officer was wounded, two other ranks were killed, and six other ranks were wounded
Ernest Scott was one of those who were wounded. He received a gunshot wound to his right thigh and left arm. He was treated by the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station, but died on the following day -12 June 1917.
He was buried in the Bailleul Communal Cemetery extension. His name is entered in the Register of Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Part III. P-Z. France, 285.
An obituary and photograph of Ernest Scott was published in two local newspapers.
The Independent (Footscray), 7 July 1917, p.2
The Advertiser (Footscray), 7 July 1917, p.3
Medals & Entitlements:
- 1914/15 Star - Issued
- Victory Medal – Issued
- Memorial Plaque – Issued
- Memorial Scroll – Issued
Name on the Werribee Cenotaph is "SCOTT, E.N." [possible wrong initial]
Name on the R.S.L. Roll of Honor is "Scott, E. H."
The Roll of Honor which was maintained by the Werribee Shire Banner throughout the War recorded him, as being from West Footscray (then a part of Werribee).
CD – Pioneer Index Victoria 1839 – 1888
CD – Federation Index Victoria 1889 - 1901