SCOTT, William Thomas
(Service number 64902)

Aliases Known as Tom
First Rank Private Last Rank Rifleman


Date 27 August 1886 Place of Birth Chirnside, Berwickshire, Scotland

Enlistment Information

Date 25 June 1917 Age 30 years 10 months
Address at Enlistment Temuka
Occupation Ploughman
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin William SCOTT (father), 16 Allnutt Street, Temuka
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 7½ inches. Weight 138 lbs. Chest measurement 34-36 inches. Complexion dark. Eyes blue. Hair dark. Sight - both eyes 6/6. Hearing - right ear deaf (wax), left ear normal. Colour vision normal. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated (left). Good bodily & mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Deafness right ear due to wax. Class A.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 34th Reinforcements Otago Infantry Regiment, D Company
Date 8 February 1918
Transport Ulimaroa
Embarked From Wellington Destination Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date 17 September 1919 Reason On termination of period of engagement.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

30 July 1918 - admitted to Hospital, sick; 3 August 1918 - admitted to 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital, France - trench fever' 6 August 1918 - admitted to 53rd General Hospital; from there transferred to Convalescent Depot.

Post-war Occupations



Date 14 January 1969 Age 82 years
Place of Death Timaru
Notices Timaru Herald, 16 January 1969; Press, 16 & 23 January 1969
Memorial or Cemetery Temuka Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 30, Plot 731
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William Thomas Scott, who was known as Tom, was born on 27 August 1886 at Chirnside, Berwickshire, Scotland the first-born and only son of William and Jane (née Watson) Scott. William and Jane married in 1885 at Polwarth, Berwickshire, their four children – Tom and three younger sisters – were all born at Chirnside. Tom was at home with his family at Chirnside in 1891 and 1901, his father being a groom and head gardener for a very well-known horticulturist. In 1891 4-year-old Tom was a scholar; in 1901 14-year-old Tom was a paper mill worker. Wm and Mrs Scott, and their three daughters (Christina, Helen and Mary) came to New Zealand by the “Ionic”, departing from London on 24 June 1910 and arriving in New Zealand in mid-August. They may even have come directly to Timaru. It appears that William Thomas preceded his parents and sisters, as he had been in New Zealand for eight years when he enlisted , while his parents had been here seven years. By 1911 the family had settled at Temuka, William senior employed as a gardener and William Thomas as a farm servant.

William Thomas Scott, a farm hand at Rodburn, Temuka was called up in 1917. When his name was drawn in the Eighth Ballot for service with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, he enlisted on 25 June 1917 at Timaru. J. T. Brown, Temuka, appealed on behalf of his ploughman, W. T. Scott, asking that he be given a month to complete grain sowing. Scott was allowed till 17 September. Tom was 5 feet 7½ inches tall, weighed 138 pounds, and had a chest measurement of 34-36 inches. His complexion was dark, his eyes blue, and his hair dark. While his sight, colour vision and hearing in the left ear were all normal, he was deaf in the right ear because of wax. His limbs and chest were well formed, his heart and lungs normal. Free of illnesses, diseases and slight defects, he was in good bodily & mental health, and was classified A. He named his father as next-of-kin – William Scott, 16 Allnutt Street, Temuka. He was single and Presbyterian, and gave his address as simply Temuka.

The Temuka and Geraldine recruits for the 34th Reinforcements left for camp by the afternoon express on 17 September 1917. Before leaving, the men and their relatives and some friends were entertained to luncheon in the Temuka Drill Hall. A splendid spread was provided and patriotic selections were given by a small orchestra. The president of the Temuka Patriotic Entertainment Committee remarked that it was “the duty of all to help in giving these men the best possible send-off, . . . . They all hoped that the men would not be long away, and that they would return safe and sound.” He wished them all success. Speaking on behalf of the local branch of the Red Cross Society, Mr Guild said that “they would use every endeavour to keep up the supplies of necessaries and comforts as long as there was any need for them.” Major Kennedy, of Geraldine, called on those gathered to sing “For they are jolly good fellows”, cheers were given, and a verse of the National Anthem was sung. After the roll was called, the recruits paraded to the railway station, headed by the brass and pipe bands. There the Mayor wished them God-speed. Among the men who left was W. T. Scott.

Tom managed a couple of indiscretions while in camp, forfeiting 6 days pay and being confined to barracks for 14 days when he was absent without leave; and on a second occasion, forfeiting 3 days pay and being confined to barracks for 7 days. Private W. T. Scott embarked with the Otago Infantry Regiment of the 34th Reinforcements, leaving from Wellington for Plymouth, England, on 8 February 1918 by the “Ulimaroa”. He disembarked at Liverpool on 29 March. He proceeded overseas from England on 15 May 1918, a few days after forfeiting a day’s pay for again being absent without leave, and joined his battalion. He was admitted to Hospital, sick, on 30 July 1918. On 3 August 1918, he was admitted to the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital in France, suffering from trench fever. Mrs Scott, his mother, was advised that he had been admitted to the 53rd General Hospital. That occurred on 6 August. From there he was transferred to the Convalescent Depot. He was discharged to the Base Depot in France on 2 October and attached to Strength a few days later. In February 1919 Scott went on leave to the UK. He was at Brocton in March, then at Codford in May, and at Sling in June. On 4 July 1919, he embarked for New Zealand.

Rifleman W. T. Scott, of Temuka, was one of more than 800 men who arrived back in New Zealand on 20 August 1919 per the “Port Hacking”. The special troop train reached Temuka about 3 p.m the same day, “one of the Red Letter days in the history of Temuka”. There was a large gathering of the public to welcome the men, and the Municipal and Pipe Bands were in attendance and played appropriate airs as the train steamed in. Four men detrained, one of whom was Private W. T. Scott. They were at once driven to the Post Office where the customary cordial welcome home ceremony took place in the presence of a large attendance of the public. The mayor assured them that they were proud to have them back again. “All knew that they had done their duty well and nobly. They had kept in safety and comfort those who remained at home.” “Hundreds of homes and thousands of hearts had been made glad that day because so many of their boys who went away full of courage and devotion had returned safely,” said the deputy-mayor. “These boys had held prominent positions in the community before they want away, they had occupied prominent positions while they were away, and be believed they would do the same again now that they had returned.” Hearty cheers were given for the returned men before they were driven to their homes. They were all very glad to be back in “old New Zealand”.

“The transport Port Hacking left Liverpool on July 4th, and with the exception of two days of rough weather about a week out from Colon and another two days before reaching Lyttelton, fine weather was experienced during the whole voyage. There were 835 troops, under the command of Major Richardson, D.S.O., M.C., and the utmost harmony prevailed during the whole trip. The food throughout was regarded as good for a troopship, and the men had practically no complaints. The troops on the Port Hacking comprised a mixed draft, from the Main Body to the latest reinforcements, and every man appeared to be wearing the new General Service ribbon. Their behaviour throughout the trip was regarded by Major Richardson as excellent. The only port of call was Colon, where the usual hospitality was extended to the troops. Lectures, debates, and concerts were held each evening during the trip which was enlivened by the band of the 2nd Canterbury Battalion, which is the champion band of the New Zealand Division, having earned this distinction at St. Leger, France, in June 1918. The band is commanded by Sergeant-Major R. G. Owen, and consists of thirty-five men.” [Timaru Herald. 21 August 1919. (Per Press Association.)]

He was discharged on 17 September 1919 after two years’ service, all of that overseas in Western Europe. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. At the August 1919 social of the Temuka Presbyterian Bible Classes, the opportunity was taken to welcome home Mr Scott and three mates, “members of the class who have recently returned from the front”. In the ballot for soldiers’ sections held on 18 September 1919, W. T. Scott (Temuka) was successful in drawing a section in the Beach Settlement.

William Thomas Scott married Sarah (Sadie) Boyd on 18 December 1919 at the Temuka Presbyterian Church. Their son William Boyd Scott, known as Boyd, was born in 1922. Tom and Sadie farmed at Lowcliffe (Beach Settlement) and Hinds for some years, moving back to Temuka in the 1940s. His father, William Scott, died in 1921at Temuka and his mother in 1950. Thomas William Scott died on 14 January 1969 at Timaru, aged 82 years. He was formerly of Temuka and late of Beverley R.S.A. Home, Timaru. He had been a resident of Beverley Home when his sister Helen McKenzie died in January 1968. He was buried at Temuka Cemetery with Sarah who had died in February 1949. He was survived by his son Boyd, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. Two of his sisters married returned servicemen – Robert Henson Ward of South Canterbury and Alexander McKenzie. His estate which was administered by the Public Trustee, comprised $617 in the Australia & New Zealand Savings Bank Account, $600 in the Australia & New Zealand Investment Account, $104 Cash in possession, and $10 Accrued War Veterans Allowance. He bequeathed all to the children of his son, William Boyd Scott.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [08 August 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives ref. AABK 18805 W5553 0102820) [20 October 2016]; Temuka Leader, 7 June 1917, 18 September 1917, 21 August 1919, Sun, 8 August 1919, 25 August 1921, Timaru Herald, 7 June 1917, 13 July 1917, 15 & 18 September 1917, 12 October 1918, 11, 21 & 29 August 1919, 19 September 1919, 24 August 1921, Ashburton Guardian, 19 September 1919, Lyttelton Times, 19 September 1919, Press, 17 February 1949, 10 January 1968, 16 & 23 January 1969 (Papers Past) [11 August 2014; 06 September 2014; 22 August 2020; 16 July 2021; 08, 16, 18 & 28 August 2022]; Temuka Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [09 August 2014]; Timaru Herald, 16 January 1969 (Timaru District Library) [06 January 2016]; 1891 & 1901 Scotland census returns ( [20 October 2016]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [20 October 2016; 28 August 2022]; Ionic shipping list, 1910 ( [28 August 2022]; Probate record (Archives NZ) [30 August 2022]

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