Remembering Raith’s fallen hero at the Somme

Bert Hannah (right) with walking partner Brian Forrester (left) and the lady Mayor of Contalmaison in the Somme lay a special memorial wreath bearing the names of the seven Raith Rovers players who fought in WW1.
Bert Hannah (right) with walking partner Brian Forrester (left) and the lady Mayor of Contalmaison in the Somme lay a special memorial wreath bearing the names of the seven Raith Rovers players who fought in WW1.

Jimmy Scott was a promising young footballer with the world at his feet when he decided to go off and fight for his country, alongside a number of his Raith Rovers teammates, in the First World War.

But war owes nobody any favours and young Jimmy was just 20 when he died on July 1, 1916 in the notorious Battle of the Somme in France – one of the bloodiest battles of the conflict, which claimed almost 795,000 British lives.

Jimmy Scott (seated second from right) was commemorated in a memorial square by Roger Mullin MP

Jimmy Scott (seated second from right) was commemorated in a memorial square by Roger Mullin MP

As the country honoured those who died in the notorious battle last week, Jimmy was remembered in a unique way by having a special commemorative tile placed on the ‘Path of the Remembered’ in Manchester, by Kirkcaldy MP Roger Mullin.

Thousands of people involved in the Battle of the Somme were remembered on individually designed ‘memory squares’, created by members of the public, uploaded to an online gallery, and then printed onto tiles to form the path in Heaton Park, Manchester on the 100th anniversary of the battle.

Mr Mullin said: “We must not forget the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought during the First World War, and the thousands of men and boys who lost their lives on the tragic first day of the Battle of the Somme.

“Jimmy was a talented young man with his football career ahead of him.

“Yet he chose to sign up voluntarily, as did many of his fellow players, and paid the ultimate price for his bravery.

“We remembered him on July 1, as we will remember the many others who perished during that horrific first day of battle in northern France.”

Jimmy was part of the well documented McCrae Battalion, formed by Sir George McCrae, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, who set about amassing 1000 men in a week.

Thirteen Hearts players signed up followed just days later by seven from Raith Rovers and six from Falkirk.

Jimmy’s sacrifice was also remembered recently by Kirkcaldy historian and campaigner Bert Hannah who made a special pilgrimage in his grandfather’s memory to the Somme in a ‘Walk of Commemoration’ with friend Brian Forrester last month.

Mr Hannah laid a special wreath, based on the Raith Rovers RemembeR strip which was created in 2014, at the McCrae’s Battalion Memorial at Contalmaison.

The wreath bore the name of the seven Raith players who were part of the conflict.

The ceremony was attended by the lady mayor of Contalmaison.

Jimmy Scott died on July 1, the first day of the Battle of the Somme in an attack near La Boisselle. It is believed his remains may be in Gordon’s Dump – a cemetery close to the village of Contalmaison. He is commemorated on the huge Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

Jimmy and his teammate Jimmy Todd, who was one of the first players to die in the war, are set to be commemorated in the Raith Rovers Hall of Fame.