1900, Caesar's Camp

SCOTT, ROBERT, Private, was born at Haslingden, Lancashire, on 4 June 1874. On 2 February 1895, he entered the Manchester Regiment , with which he was serving in Natal when the Boer War broke out in October 1899. He went through the whole Siege of Ladysmith without being once absent from duty. He won the Victoria Cross, with which he was decorated by Lord Kitchener on 8 June, 1902, at Pretoria. He was serving under Lieutenant R Hunt-Grubbe during the great attack on Ladysmith on 6 January 1900, when he won his Cross, which was gazetted 26 July 1901: "R Scott, Private, and J Pitts, Private, 1st Battalion The Manchester Regiment. During the attack on Caesar's Camp, in Natal, on the 6th January 1900, these two men occupied a sangar, on the left of which all our men had been shot down and their positions occupied by Boers, and held their post for fifteen hours without food or water, all the time under an extremely heavy fire, keeping up their fire and a smart look-out, though the Boers occupied some sangars on their immediate left rear. Private Scott was wounded".

After recovering from his wounds Scott was employed at the Regimental Depot as Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant. With the outbreak of WWI he took over the same role with the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, which moved to Cleveleys until February 1919 when it moved to Blackdown, near Aldershot in February 1919 and was disembodied on 9 July 1919.

After 28 years service in the Regiment he retired and moved to County Down, where he joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary, becoming a Sergeant, serving at the RUC Depot in Newtonards. During WWII he was keen to re-enlist in the Manchesters but, this not being allowed because of his age, he managed to enlist in the Royal Air Force, serving in a security capacity with RAF Ground Staff. At the end of the war he returned to his home in Ballinran, Kilkeel, Newry, County Down.

Robert Scott died on 22 February 1961 and, following a military funeral, was buried in the cemetery of Christ Church, Kilkeel. The 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment, stationed in Northern Ireland at the time, provided the bearer party and Guard of Honour. A commemorative blue plaque was erected on his birthplace in Haslingden on 11 January 1997 and was unveiled by Colonel Donald Gibbs of the Manchester Regiment.

His Victoria Cross and medals were left by him to the Manchester Regiment and are now displayed in the Museum of The Manchester Regiment.

On 10 May 1998 a memorial plaque to Robert Scott and Robert Hanna VC was unveiled by the British Legion in Kilkeel. This was attended by members of the Manchester Regiment Old Comrades Association. He is also remembered in the museum of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Belfast.

Robert Scott had two daughters and four grandchildren. One grandson, Dion Carr Scott, served in the Royal Air Force during the 1960's.


From the Daily Sketch, 15 July 1944:


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