Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private Henry St George Layard Scott


Moore 1


Henry St George Layard Scott was born in 1886 or 1887 at Carndonagh, Inishowen, County Donegal, the last of three children of millowner and farmer John Scott and his wife Catherine (nee Northey). Henry's mother died when he was quite young and some time later his father remarried. By 1911 Henry was living with his father and step-mother and working on the family farm at Hollymount, Carndonagh.

Scott enlisted in the North Irish Horse or its predecessor the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry at some time after 1903. By 1911 he had risen to the rank of sergeant, but he left the regiment soon after.

Between 7 and 9 September 1914, soon after the outbreak of war, Scott re-enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Londonderry (No.963). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

On 15 September 1914 Scott and two other men of C Squadron, Sergeant George Hicks and Private William Moore, were on patrol along the Aisne River near the bridge at Conde, the far side of which was held by the Germans. According to fellow Horseman Fred Lindsay, at a ford over the river:

...they found a British officer dead across his motor-car and some of his men dead around the car. They were about to dismount to investigate when [a German] machine-gun fired upon them, instantly killing the two troopers. Sergeant Hicks escaped on Moore's horse, his own being shot under him.

Both men were initially listed as missing but their death was later accepted. Whether Scott died that day, or of wounds later on, is not entirely clear. According to a report in the Londonderry Sentinel:

Rev. Joseph Northey, Belfast (uncle of the late Trooper Scott, North Irish Horse, Hollymount, Carndonagh, has received the following letter from Lieutenant-General Rev. J. R. Simms, D.D., Presbyterian chaplain to the forces:-- "I am deepy grieved from my heart to tell you that your worst fears for your dear laddie are more than realised. The only official information that has reached us as yet is that he was found lying dead. If anything further is heard I will certainly let you know as soon as I can. Meanwhile will you please express to his poor father my heartfelt sympathy, and accept the same for yourself. We are living in trying and testing times."

However an earlier report in that paper suggests that he had died of wounds on 8 October and was buried on the nearby Chassemy-Conde Road:

Mr. and Mrs. John Scott, Hollymount, Carndonagh, have received an intimation from the War Office that their only son, Trooper Henry St. G. L. Scott, of the North Irish Horse, died on the 8th October as a result of wounds received while serving with his regiment in France. Much sympathy is felt in the district for the bereaved parents.

Referring to the sad event in the course of the service on Sunday in Donagh Parish Church, of which the deceased was a member, Rev. P. C. Duncan, M.A., rector of the parish, and chaplain of the forces at Clonmany, said – When the call came Harry Scott at once responded and entered the service of his King and country with a feeling of pride. He volunteered on the 7th August, left on the 10th, and arrived in France on the 23rd. On the 15th September he was wounded, and on the 8th October he died and was laid to rest at Chassemy Conde Road, about fifty miles from Paris, in a lovely country. The naked truth brought sorrow when they thought of the father bereft of his only son and of the vacant place in that church, in which he never would be seen again. There was, however, the consolation that it could be looked on with pride that he had laid down his life for his country and died a soldier's death in the cause of honesty and justice. The Dead March in "Saul" was played by Miss Penfold, organist, at the close of the service.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives his date of death as 8 October 1914. However I believe it more likely that he died with Private Moore on 15 September, and that their bodies were not recovered until 8 October, when they were buried in the Chassemy-Conde Road. That burial place, however, was subsequently lost or forgotten, and Private Scott is now commemorated on the La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.


Scott 2



Images kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project, www.twgpp.org.