A Major breakthrough in the Scott line Taking a tank to knock down a small brick wall

The siblings – full, half, and step varieties – of great grandfather Charles Scott haven’t had much of a look in on Cutlock and Co so far (just ‘How to Brake the records‘). Sadly this is mainly because most of them died in infancy. Also Scott is another of those common names, and (unlike the Smith line) no unusual or fixed middle names to help.

Of those that survived to adulthood:

  • Older sister Mary Elizabeth, born 1872, disappears from the record after 1881 but leaves behind a son. {5}
  • Step-brother Charles Brake marries Mary Elizabeth Swain 1897, but it’s unclear what happened to him after 1911 census.
  • Half-sister Beatrice Maud Scott, born 1886 and known as Maud, marries George Passmore in 1907. At 1939 they are in Yeovil and she dies there in 1947.

Half-brother Peter Scott, born 1887, proved an enigma after 1901 until now. FindMyPast (FMP) has recently opened up more of its September 1939 register records. Towards the end of checking these, a further trawl for Peter Scott still drew a blank. A thought that perhaps he is already on military service, and perhaps he was too in 1911, so worth a quick check of the wider FMP records, with some different military material to that of the Ancestry site.

A simple search on ‘Peter Scott born 1887’ amazingly brings up an interesting record only half way down the first page of results:

Event date 1905; Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records, 1919-1934; location Whitelackington, Ilminster, Somerset, England

That location is his birth place, rather than recruitment place.

Enlistment record details

Peter Scott enlistment
Key information from the record.

Army/Reg No: 312619 (previously 12712); attested 12 Dec 1905 age 18 and 4 months at Taunton, farm labourer; born Whitelackington, wife Louisa Birkinshaw, married 1 Aug 1910 York, children Harry born 12 Feb 1911 York, Peter born 23 Oct 1913 York; with British Expeditionary Force 15 Aug 1914 to 23 Mar 1919, Victory medal, British war medal; discharged 1926 Canterbury on expiration of service, SSM. Later (?) service number AFB108/ C.Y. (C.R.6).

Wow, that fills in a few gaps!

There is also a faint ‘5th L’ pencilled in, which FindMyPast has interpreted as Lancers, presumably from the context of this record. Quite clearly Peter couldn’t have enlisted to the Tank Corps in 1905 as it didn’t exist then – his “nephew-in-law” Levi Watkins also went from recruitment into the Lancers on to the Tank Corps (just in time not to make it to the WW1 front).

Following the tank tracks

A quick Google reveals that ‘SSM’ is probably Squadron Sergeant Major.

Back to Ancestry with all that data to see if it can tell me anything more. Up pops a FindAGrave entry for 1945 in Chester, complete with a photo of the headstone (which also mentions his wife). No place of death given, but stone does show “Major Ches Yeo” – Major, Cheshire Yeomanry {2}. Age 58, would he have been based at regimental HQ rather than travelling with the troops? Answer below.

Major Scott’s record on Peter Scott CWGC entryCommonwealth War Grave Commission website – service number 38762 – confirms his parents.

Having gathered some details on wife Louisa, she can be found in the 1939 register, in Chester with son Peter.

Obituary Cheshire ObserverTime to check the British Newspaper Archive section of FMP. Result: finding a very useful obituary in the Cheshire Observer (a similar one appears in the Chester Chronicle), from 20th January 1945. The background to his position in Chester becomes much clearer – click on the image to enlarge and read {6}.

That has really nailed an early conceit of the family tree not containing any career soldiers. {3}


  1. Despite the obituary mentions of sons Harry and Peter, plus clear connections to Queenie, Jean and wee Jean, further information seems to have fallen under the tank tracks, other than that both died in the 1990s. It would be great to hear from anyone who knew these chaps or close relations.
  2. From Cheshire Military Museum: “The Cheshire Yeomanry was reformed as cavalry in 1920 and remained such until 1942. At the outbreak of the Second World War they served in the Middle East and were one of the last regiments to fight on horseback. After losing their horses in 1942 they became a Signals Regiment serving in the Middle East, England and North West Europe.” The CWGC record clearly shows he was with Royal Armoured Corps, but perhaps the obit clarifies things a bit.
  3. Some more distant relations see army service ranging across the years:
    • Thomas Woodland (in-law relation of great great aunt Ellen Osborne, born 1788 Somerset) served in Corfu.
    • Thomas Mallett (father-in-law of great great aunt Eliza Blyth, born 1817 Norwich) served in India – also South Africa from a note on Ancestry. ‘Chelsea Pensioner’ by 1861.
    • George Henry Crundwell (in-law relation of sister-in-law, born 1840 Kent) was in the Army Service Corps in Woolwich in the 1870s, later a royal dockyards foreman.
    • Christopher Liddiard (in-law relation for a nephew, born 1841 Wiltshire) was an army private in Chatham at 1861, serving in India at 1881.
    • George William Watts (first cousin twice removed, born 1881 Dilham Norfolk) was a military clerk in India in 1911, later at Britannia Barracks, Norwich.
  4. Remembering those that died in the two world wars, and their loved ones, in Those the “intended” left behind.
  5. Mary Elizabeth’s son Bertram Vickery Scott now has his own article: Back on the trail with Bertram.
  6. At long last, a transcription of the bulk of the obituary:from Cheshire Observer, 20th January 1945: .. death last Friday of Major Peter Scott of 14 Beech Grove, Hoole. Major Scott, who was 58, had lived in Hoole since 1928. He enlisted in The 5th Royal Irish Lancers in December 1905 and served in France throughout the last war.
    After the Armistice he went with his unit to India, and for two years served on the North-West Frontier. At that time he was the rough-riding Sergeant-Major of his Regiment. An excellent horseman, he took part in many racing and jumping competitions while serving in India, and won the jumping trophy at the great North India Horse Show, and first prize for jumping in the open competition at Peshawar. In addition he took several prizes in regimental competitions.
    Returning to this country, he joined the permanent staff of the Cheshire Yeomanry as Instructor to “C” Squadron, Birkenhead. While there, he completed his 21 years’ Amry service and retired on pension. After being out of the Army for two years, he was granted a commission and rejoined The Cheshire Yeomanry as Lieut.-Quartermaster at the headquarters in Chester. He served from 1928 until the outbreak of the present war, when he went with his regiment to Palestine. On the outward journey he had a serious illness, and this resulted in his being returned to this country and retired on pension with the rank of Major.
    Since then Major Scott had been employed on the supervision and maintenance of rest centres in Chester.
    He is survived by his wife and two sons. His eldest son joined the Army at the age of 15, and is now serving with the British Commission to the Egyptian Army as Armourer-Instructor with the rank of Sergt.Major. His younger son is on war work.

    Members of The Cheshire Yeomany acted as bearers at the funeral on Wednesday at All Saints’ Parish Church, Hoole. The service was taken by the Vicar (Rev. R.A.P. Gell) and Mr E.K. Carey, deputy organist, was at the organ. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack. At the interment in Blacon Cemetery, the Last Post and Reveille were sounded by Trumpeter Wharton (Cheshire Yeomanry).
    Family mourners were: the widow, Mr and Mrs P Scott (son and daughter in law), Mrs H Scott (daughter in law), Mrs Izatt, Mr Birkinshaw, Mrs Willets, Mr Willets, Mr Vernon, Mrs Vernon, Mrs Moore, Mrs Thomas, Miss Formston and Mr Tomlinson.
    Representing The Cheshire Yeomanry: …. Others present included: ….
    The bearers were: ..
    Wreaths were sent by: – Louie (widow); Harry, Jean and wee Jean; Queenie and Peter; Nellie, Jack and George; Maud (sister), Ethel (niece); ….

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