|Object type||Last Post film|
Australian War Memorial
|Place made||Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell|
|Date made||22 March 2018|
Second World War, 1939-1945
Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
|Copying Provisions||Copy provided for personal non-commercial use|
The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (428799) Flight Sergeant Cyril Thomas Scott, No. 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.
The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Sharon Bown, the story for this day was on (428799) Flight Sergeant Cyril Thomas Scott, No. 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.
428799 Flight Sergeant Cyril Thomas Scott, No. 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in flying battle 13 August 1944
Story delivered 22 March 2018
Today we remember and pay tribute to Flight Sergeant Cyril Thomas Scott.
Born in the Sydney suburb of Botany on 27 December 1915, Cyril Scott was the son of Cyril and Violet Scott.
Growing up, young Cyril attended Gardner’s Road Technical school. He was a keen sportsman, playing Australian Rules football, rugby league, soccer, cricket, and tennis.
Following his schooling, he took up an apprenticeship with Enoch Taylor, eventually becoming employed as a clicker, cutting the uppers for boots and shoes at the Selby Shoe Company in Redfern.
On 1 June 1940, Scott married Caroline Melling at Malabar. The following year a son, Robert Thomas Scott, was born to the couple.
Scott applied to become an air crew member in December 1941, joined the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve in February 1942, and then the Citizen Air Force in July. He formally enlisted in the RAAF in October.
After initial training school at Bradfield Park, he began training as a wireless operator and air gunner. He attended bombing and gunnery school at Port Pirie, and wireless and air gunner school at Parkes, earning his wireless and air gunners badges in May and June 1943.
On 4 August 1943 Scott left Australia, his wife, and two-year old son, and embarked for overseas service. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, he was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers who, throughout the course of the war, joined Royal Air Force squadrons or Australian squadrons based in Britain.
In the United Kingdom Scott served in training units, until July 1944, when he was posted to No. 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force. As part of the RAF’s Bomber Command, No. 9 Squadron was equipped with the four-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bomber.
The following month, on the 13th of August, Scott was the wireless operator and air gunner in a Lancaster on a daylight mission to bomb U-Boat pens and shipping in the harbour at Brest, on the western coast of France.
While the aircraft was over the target, it was hit by flak and its wing-tip was shot off. As other members of the squadron looked on, it turned and dived straight into the ground. No survivors could be seen emerging from the wreckage, which sank under two metres of water near the beach at Plougastael.
The bodies of Scott’s crewmates washed ashore, and were buried in the Plougastael–Daoulas Communal Cemetery near Brest. But no trace of Cyril Scott could be found.
He was initially posted as missing, and with no further information regarding his whereabouts, he was officially presumed dead in 1945.
Four years later, a violent storm moved the wreckage of the aircraft, and Scott’s remains were dislodged from the wreck. After being recovered and identified, they were buried alongside those of his crewmates.
Cyril Scott was 28 years old. He had been with his squadron for just one month when he was killed, leaving behind a grieving wife and infant son.
The epitaph chosen by his family for his gravestone is simple:
He lived for us,
He died for us
Cyril Scott’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among almost 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second World War. A photograph of his headstone is displayed beside the Pool of Reflection.
This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Flight Sergeant Cyril Thomas Scott, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.
Historian, Military History Section
Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (428799) Flight Sergeant Cyril Thomas Scott, No. 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War. (video)