Officers, N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Buried in Zillebeke Churchyard
This Cemetery contains 32 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War.
Fourteen (mainly officers) belonged to the Foot Guards or the Household Cavalry who died in 1914.
Six of the burials are “Known Unto God“ and special memorials commemorate two casualties whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.
The Cemetery contains just 1 soldier of the 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment, who was not part of the Original First Battalion, but joined from the 2nd Battalion in May 1915.
Grave: H.3. Killed in Action: 5 May 1915 Age: 49
Personal: Arthur was the eldest son of the late Major General (R.E.) Alexander de Courcy and Rosalind (née Dumbleton) Scott, later of “Hawley” Parkstone, Dorset.
He was born on 19th February 1866 in South Stoneham, Hampshire, and educated at Wellington School (Cumbermere House) from 1879 – 83 and then entered Sandhurst as a “Gentleman Cadet” before being commissioned in 1855 into the Cheshire Regiment.
He had two older siblings, Rose Isabel (died aged 18 in August 1881) and Cecil (b. 1865), and four younger brothers and sisters, Alice Douglas (b. 1869), Maud Lauriston (died aged 3 months in August 1871), Alex (1874) and Gertrude (n/k).
In 1871 (Census RG 10/1160) Rosalind and the oldest children were living at De-la-Warr Villa, Northwood, Hampshire. (Father Alexander was presumably with the Regiment). Ten years later (1881 Census RG 11/1320) 15 year old Arthur was a boarding student at Sandhurst.
In 1901 he was serving with his Regiment in South Africa and the 1911 Census (RG 14/34980, pps. 8 and 13) sees Arthur, his wife, Phyllis and their two children enumerated with the 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Arthur had married Phyllis Katherine Wilson at St. Thomas Church, San Thome, Madras, India, on 14th October 1905. He was 39 years old and Phyllis, 20.
They had two children, Rosalind Enid, born at Ootacamund, Madras, India, on 21st March 1907, and Arthur Louriston, born at Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, on 31st January 1911.
After Arthur’s death Phyllis re-married, firstly to Robert Charles Auber (Clerk in Holy Orders), on 14th September 1920, at Lilliput, Dorset, and after his death on 13th April 1930, she married Ernest Lloyd Armstrong, a couple of months later.
Phyllis died on 18th January 1947 at 2 Saltern’s House, Parkstone, Dorset. Probate Records show that her estate worth £3723 10s 4d (£3723.52 – equivalent to about £186,000 today – 2023) was left to her unmarried daughter, Rosalind.
Military Service: After completing his education at Wellington College and Sandhurst, Arthur was commissioned into the Cheshire Regiment, as Lieutenant, on 2nd May 1885, promoted to Captain on 12th October 1994, and Major on 3rd November 1907.
As a 2nd Lieutenant Arthur first witnessed active service in the Burma operations of 1887-89, where ‘he saw much fighting‘. (He received the India General Service Medal with ‘Burma’ clasp – left)
Captain de Courcy Scott also served with the 2nd Battalion during the South African (Boer) War.
He was present at the engagements at Karee Siding, and the Vet and Zand Rivers, in addition to other operations in Cape Colony and the Transvaal.
He was awarded the Q.S.A. (Queen’s South Africa Medal) with 3 clasps [Johannesburg, Cape Colony and Orange Free State] and the K.S.A. (King’s South Africa Medal) with 2 clasps [1901 and 1902] (both pictured – right)
At the outbreak of the Great War Arthur was a Major and 2nd in command of the 2nd Battalion stationed at Jubbulpore in India. On 19th October 1914 the 2nd Battalion was warned to hold itself in readiness to proceed to England on relief scale forming part of Force A, Expeditionary Force.
They left Jubbulpore on the 13th November 1914, picking up the Mhow detachment en route, and concentrated at Bombay on the 15th. Embarkation on HMT Braemar Castle followed on the 16th.
The Battalion disembarked at Plymouth on the 22nd December 1914 and went immediately to Winchester, receiving a draft of 158 men from the 3rd Special Reserve Battalion of the Regiment. They were put in to 84 Brigade ‘After a period of waiting’, says Col. Arthur Crookenden ‘not improved by the scrappy news of the severe handling their sister battalion had had at Mons, the battalion got to the front in France in the second week of 1915.‘.
The 1st Battalion was withdrawn to Frezenburg on the 4th May 1915. It was still very short of Officers and Lt. Col. A. de C. Scott, Capt. Savage and Lt. W. Mills were sent to join it from the 2nd Battalion.
Early on the morning of the 5th the Battalion was ordered forward to the support trenches facing Hill 60. When they got out into the open country around Zillebeke Lake they ran into a heavy shell barrage accompanied by clouds of gas. At this time the gas mask was a primitive affair consisting only of a piece of wadding held over the mouth by elastic bands.
Arthur de Courcy Scott was killed on the 5th May. “We have seen how long and honourable was his service to the regiment and we can therefore appreciate the extent of his loss. He was a man of deep scholarship and charm, known to all ranks as ‘Brother’ Scott and loved by them.” [‘Ever Glorious’, Bernard Rigby] As well as the loss of the C.O., Capts. Woodyer and Savage and Lts. Pym and Clay were wounded. Maj. C.G.E. Hughes took over command of the Battalion.
Unlike virtually all of the Battalion killed in the attack on Hill 60, who have no known grave and are commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, the body of Lieutenant Colonel Scott was recovered and taken back to Zillebeke Churchyard.
His CWGC headstone, which replaced the original marker, bears the inscription “Jesus Put Forth his hand and touched him”.
The Battalion continued its advance and by 1.30 p.m. had driven the Germans back and were occupying the old support trenches.
When the fighting at Hill 60 ended, the combination of the shelling and the effect of the mines meant that little of the original hill remained.