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Frederick Scott - museum buys medals

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Percy Toplis

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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Aug 2010 16:34    Onderwerp: Frederick Scott - museum buys medals Reageer met quote

War museum buys medals of WWI chaplain
Canon Frederick Scott was dubbed 'poet of the Laurentians'
Last Updated: Monday, July 19, 2010

The Canadian War Museum has bought the medals of Canon Frederick G. Scott, a First World War chaplain and poet, for $28,000.

Jeffrey Hoare Auctions Inc., an auction house that specializes in military memorabilia, sold a set of 10 medals belonging to the war hero last Friday in St. Catharines, Ont.

Among the medals are the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George and the Distinguished Service Order.

Lt.-Col. Scott was senior chaplain with the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, but he could not be kept safely in the rear while men were in the trenches. Instead he insisted on being in the thick of the action at Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge and the Battle of Arras.

The Anglican priest was mentioned four times in dispatches, according to the Ottawa-based war museum. He was wounded in 1918 and sent to England to recover. He died in 1944 at age 83.

Born in Montreal, he was dubbed the "poet of the Laurentians," for his poetry on nature, religious themes and the fellowship of men. In 1922, he published The Great War as I Saw It, a memoir of his experiences in the First World War.

"Lt.-Col. Scott's story is an important part of our national heritage," said Mark O'Neill, director general of the Canadian War Museum, in a statement.

"The story of this great Canadian and his contribution to our history deserves to be preserved in our national military museum."

The medal set was bought with the assistance of a special fund that allows the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization to acquire artifacts that might otherwise have been lost to Canada's national heritage.

“I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not, l hope you have the strength to start all over again.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Aug 2010 17:33    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote


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Er is geen enkele Canadees die de battlefields bezoekt en Scott niet kent.

Zijn bezoek aan het slagveld in Passendale is helaas erg beperkt, maar er is een indrukwekkend stukje over de rol van de artillerie.

Leuke anecdote : Tubby Clayton wandelde met Scott in de Boeschepestraat in Poperinge en ze geraakten maar niet vooruit omdat iedereen Scott wilde groeten en met hem wou spreken, zo populair was hij.

Uittreksel over Arras :

April 9, 1917 - Roused by his alarm clock at 4 a.m., Lieutenant-Colonel the Reverend Canon F.G. Scott—56 years old and the senior chaplain of the 1st Division, Canadian Corps—rises smartly, eats the breakfast he prepared yesterday, and puts a tin of bully-beef in his pocket to sustain him through the day. He heads out into the dark, past the sentries guarding divisional headquarters and through the village of Écoivres to a hill beside the road to St-Eloi, where he settles down to wait for Zero Hour. Despite his senior rank and heavy responsibilities, the aging priest is determined to watch his fellow Canadians storm Vimy Ridge.

One eye on his watch, the other on the skyline to the east, Canon Scott is nevertheless startled at 5:30 a.m. when the grand bombardment begins, and a super-heavy battery opens fire only half a mile behind him. Muzzle flash in all directions looks like lightning, and the air is full of the swish of projectiles passing overhead. Realizing that he is witnessing an event of historic proportions, he drops to his knees in the mud to pray for the soldiers in the jumping-off trenches four miles in front of him at the foot of the ridge. Like everyone else in the Canadian Corps, Canon Scott knows the plan: the first assault battalions are already out of the warren of tunnels and trenches that lie west of the ridge, marching with the strict pace they learned to keep them safe just behind the creeping barrage.

When the sun is fully up, Canon Scott leaves the hilltop and starts walking southeast on the St-Eloi road to 3rd Artillery Brigade Headquarters, where he finds the staff waiting tensely for signals—until someone checks his watch and notes that, according to the schedule, the assault battalions are taking a 10-minute break. Everyone beams with relief when, right on time, rockets fly up indicating that the advance continues. After a second breakfast with a 23-year-old battery commander, Canon Scott hikes more than three miles through shell-pocked muck dotted with gun positions and supply dumps to his next stop, the aid post at Neuville-St-Vaast, about 300 yards west of the start line. Here he finds walking wounded and the day’s first stretcher parties, all remarkably cheerful (considering their situation) and eagerly telling triumphant stories about the success of their attack.

Late morning finds the leading infantry battalions pushing the Germans off the crest of the ridge and Canon Scott half-way up the west side. Even after two and a half years at the front, he is shocked at the artillery damage in the German trenches. The entire region looks like the aftermath of a volcanic upheaval. The deep, well-built German positions are ploughed up and shattered, their wire mazes twisted and torn. When he stops to look around, he sees a landscape full of stretcher parties and gangs of prisoners heading back while platoons of reinforcements hurry forward. Burial parties are at work already, and Canon Scott spots his colleagues, the battalion chaplains, as they stoop over the temporary graves.

The bully-beef comes in handy at lunchtime, which the priest spends in a shellhole near the wrecked village of Thélus with a group of reconnaissance troops laughing about their adventures in a freshly abandoned German gun position, where their efforts to liberate a fine field telephone were interrupted by a Canadian smoke bomb tossed by someone who clearly took them for the enemy.

Canon Scott spends the afternoon with a high-spirited party of Signal Corps linemen building a field telephone system on the heels of the infantry. At 6 p.m., he is eating baked beans out of the can at the day’s final objective on the crest of Vimy Ridge. The wind is strengthening and it is beginning to snow, and every soldier on the ridge is hacking at the unyielding ground. An officer warns of an inevitable counterattack but the infantrymen ignore him, each determined to craft for himself the safest and most comfortable position for the night. Taking the hint, Canon Scott starts the six-mile trek back to his own billet.


F.G. Scott, The Great War As I Saw It (Toronto: F.D. Goodchild, 1922).

De diary 'The war as I saw it' kost je 12 euro via Amazon.
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