Back on the trail with Bertram Another Scott relation found on military service


A nephew of great granddad Charles Scott made his way to Oz in 1912, returning to Europe with the Australian army a few years later.

On the trail

As highlighted some time ago in ‘A Major breakthrough in the Scott line‘, some of great grandfather Charles Vickery Scott’s siblings have been rather hard to track down. This time, I skipped a generation and looked at why nephew Bertram had disappeared after 1911 {2} – with his mother’s last appearance being his 1890 Seavington baptism record! In 1891 and 1901 he is with great uncle and aunt Joseph and Louise Vickery {1}.

The obvious assumption would be down to the first world war, but if Bertram Vickery Scott died in military service he should have appeared on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website by now. So time to have another look at migration, and the passenger lists held on Ancestry.

To Australia

A good candidate popped up, leaving London on the Beltana late November 1912, arriving mid January in Sydney. Look further for Bertram in Australia and a possible military service record appears – the Ancestry summary gives relative L Vickery, and born Somerset. Promising!

On looking at the actual record images, there’s no doubt despite his lack of that distinctive middle name, as he is born “Savington, Sommerset” and next of kin is “Mrs L Vickery, Saevington”. A few typos on these files from the other side of the world can be forgiven.

Researching WW1 service in the UK archives can be frustrating due to the ‘burnt records’ – if you are lucky, as about two thirds were destroyed in 1940 blitz. The completeness of the Australian equivalents, using very much the same formats, is quite a contrast.

Movements card extract. Note his two Signal School assignments.

Bertram’s record has at least 4 copies of the enrolment card (for different clerical purposes?), a seemingly complete movements card and even a note of his hospitalisation for tonsilitis in March 1919, before returning down under in June of that year.

The 38 images are also available on the Discovering Anzacs section of National Archives of Australia website. This link has a photo.

In France

A quick summary: enlisted June 1915, joined unit in Mudros (port on Lemnos, Greece) November 1915, to Marseilles via Alexandria early 1916, in France with Machine Gun Corps from April 1916. Leave to the UK (was there time to visit Somerset?) July 1917 and September 1918. Lance Corporal from June 1918, awarded Military Medal September 1918.

He also received the standard war medals.

Issuing the standard medals.

Home life down under

Bertram says he is a farmer when migrating and on enlistment. But  does he go back to this after his return in 1919? The Ancestry database doesn’t appear to have anything to tell us, just a possible Brisbane electoral register entry in 1963, by which time he would have retired.

Findmypast has a few possible entries, most of which need a subscription to view, but Queensland Hospital Registers suggest he died 31st March 1963 in Brisbane, age 72 {3}. Just possibly a South Australia marriage record for 1925 too.

Any further clues gratefully received.

Notes

  1. Bertram Vickery Scott is baptised in April 1890 with his unmarried mother Mary Elizabeth Scott listed under parents in the register. The record says she is a domestic servant, which may help to explain why he lives elsewhere. At 1901 census, age 11, he is already a worker “working half time on farm”.
  2. At 1911, Bertram is a cowman at a farm in Minehead.
  3. There is some confusion on his age, not helped by Ancestry having the wrong birth index image attached. Birth register should read: Oct/Dec quarter 1889, Chard 5c/387. He would have been 25 at time of enlistment, not 24 and 7 months as recorded on 8 Jun 1915 (giving a birth month of October). His declared age of 22 on leaving England on 29th November 1912 is also therefore possibly a year out.

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