Scott, William (No. 216800)

Scott, William (Willie)

Able Seaman

No. 216800, (RFR/DEV/B/2148), HMS Majestic, Royal Navy

Killed in action on Thursday 27 May 1915 (aged 31)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England (Panel 6)

Bangor and District War Memorial

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

First Bangor Presbyterian Church

Masonic Lodge No. 286, Bangor

Family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor

BIOGRAPHY

William Scott was born on 18 November 1883 in Fisher’s Hill, Bangor and he was a son of William and Agnes Scott (nee Gray) who were married on 1 June 1881 in First Bangor Presbyterian Church.

William Scott worked as a boatman and fisherman and he and Agnes had two children:

Jane Gray (born 12 March 1882 in Fisher’s Hill, Bangor; died 24 March 1947)

William (born 18 November 1883 in Fisher’s Hill, Bangor)

William was eight months old when his father died of typhoid fever on 13 August 1884.

William was seven when his mother married William Smiley on 6 February 1891 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.  William Smiley from Bangor was a widower and he was a son of Archie Smiley, a labourer.  Agnes Scott from Bangor was a widow and she was a daughter of William Gray, a weaver.  William Smiley had previously been married to Margaret McCreedy and they had a daughter named Jane (born 29 August 1875).

William Scott and his sister Jane lived with their mother and stepfather at 8 Albert Street in Bangor.  William Smiley worked as a blacksmith and he and Agnes had four children:

Ruth (born 6 December 1891 in Ava Terrace, Bangor)

Agnes May (born 25 October 1893 in Ruthville, Bangor)

Mary Elizabeth (born 11 April 1896 in Ruthville, Bangor)

John Henry (born 23 April 1899 in Ruthville, Bangor)

Before he went to sea William Scott worked as a clerk in the Milfort Weaving Co Ltd., Belfast.  He was a member of Harmony Masonic Lodge No. 286, Bangor and, when he died, his wife and children were living in Kylene Terrace, Croft Street, Bangor.  William Scott aged 25 of Ruthville, Albert Street, Bangor married Annie Allen Johnston on 3 March 1909 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Cathedral Belfast.  Annie Allen Johnston aged 25 from 6 Castleton Avenue, Belfast was a daughter of William Johnston, a cloth passer.

William and Annie Allen Scott had four children:

Agnes May (born 6 March 1909 at 6 Castleton Avenue, Belfast)

Annie Eveline (born 8 August 1910 at 75 Parkmount Street, Belfast)

Hilda Jean (born 23 February 1912 at 77 Parkmount Street, Belfast)

Ruth Gray (born 14 August 1913 at 77 Parkmount Street, Belfast)

William Scott served aboard HMS Majestic and he was killed in action when this ship was torpedoed in the Dardanelles by a German submarine.  The first official report intimated that William was ‘not included in the list of those who were saved’.

HMS Majestic was a battleship built at Portsmouth Dockyard and commissioned in 1895.  In 1914 she escorted Canadian troop convoys and in 1915 she was involved in the bombardment of the Belgian coast before transferring to the Dardanelles operation on 18 March 1915.  Early in the morning of 27 May 1915 she was twice torpedoed by U-boat 21 during the bombardment off Gaba Tepe.  HMS Majestic had a crew of around 700 and the ship sank quickly with the loss of around 40 lives.

HMS Majestic was the second battleship to be lost in the Dardanelles in three days, the other being HMS Triumph on 25 May and the loss of these two ships had a major impact on the amount of support that the Navy could provide for Army operations in Gallipoli.

Able Seaman William Scott (No. 216800) was 31 when he died, and his body was never recovered.

Able Seaman William Scott (No. 216800) is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon; on Bangor and District War Memorial; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 48); on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in First Bangor Presbyterian Church; in Masonic Lodge No. 286, Bangor and on the family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor.  His sister Jane died on 24 March 1947.