Canon Frederick George Scott
In Flanders fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row…
This iconic poem, written in May 1915 by Lt. Col. John McCrae during the Second Battle of Ypres, has long been associated with the observance of Remembrance Day in Canada. In fact, it is believed published poets wrote more than two thousand poems about and during the First World War. Today we feature one such poem on this beautiful WW1 era postcard, one of over a thousand in the Fanshawe Pioneer Village postcard collection. The short but poignant verse below the flag is from a poem written by Canon Frederick George Scott, author, poet and much loved Chaplain to the First Canadian Division.
At the outbreak of WW1 in 1914, Frederick George Scott was a 54 year old Victorian clergyman. Fiercely loyal to the ideals of the British Empire he wasted no time enlisting for overseas duty. Ignoring the risks to his own personal safety, Scott spent the war with his “boys” in the frontline, following his beloved First Division into every major Battle.
Frederick Scott also suffered a personal tragedy during WW1 with the loss of his son, Captain Henry Hutton Scott, killed in action on October 21, 1916 during an attack on Regina Trench. In mid-November, as the troops were preparing to leave the area and head north, Scott set out to find his son’s grave. Accompanied by a runner from the 11th Battery, the two men made their way through a quagmire of mud and water-filled shell holes to the last known location of the grave. After digging several holes in the soft mud they came upon the left hand of Scott’s son, still wearing his signet ring. With the crack of German sniper fire around them, Scott read the burial service and quickly dashed between shell holes to safety.
Frederick George Scott’s war ended in late September 1918 when his legs were injured in an explosion near the Canal du Nord. His first thoughts were not of his condition but rather about being separated from his beloved First Division.
You can learn more about Canon Scott’s wartime experiences in his memoir, “The Great War As I Saw It”.