Lieutenant James Fraser Scott
|Birth date:||24 September 1877|
|Birth place:||New Zealand: South Island, Otago, Roslyn|
|Death date:||25 April 1932|
|Death place:||United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London|
|Service number:||3265 - First World War, 1914-1918|
Scott's official war art is particularly informative, both due to his experiences as a soldier who had seen active service in the First World War, and also because of his physical proximity to key battles.
Selected from the ranks of soldiers in May 1918 to work as an artist with the Australian War Records Section, Scott was able to quickly interpret and record crucial moments in Australian military history.
He reportedly produced Mont St. Quentin one hour after the hill was taken by the 2nd Australian Division, and portrayed Bayonvillers three days into the offensive.
Scott was a highly trained artist. Following his time at the Dunedin School of Art in New Zealand, he received an extensive art education in Europe. During the 1890s he travelled to Paris, studying at the Academie Julian and subsequently in Munich, Antwerp and Italy.
Enlisting in the 50th Battalion, AIF, in May 1916, he served in France; he later sustained injuries to his hand and neck in September 1916 at Zonnebeke. Following this, Scott suffered from poor health, and contemporaries believed the illnesses and injuries he incurred during the war contributed to his death.
After he was seconded to work with the Australian War Records Section, Scott initially worked as Officer in Charge of Camouflage attached to the 1st Division AIF. In order to record military life he then accompanied the AIF through numerous engagements in France in 1918 - 1919.
Scott had a somewhat difficult period in France before his commission came through, and, in August 1918, was arrested by the Camp Commandant after he refused to direct traffic. Official historian C.E.W. Bean reported in his diary that the order had come 'on the top of a good deal else which had wrought upon his feelings.' Although Scott resigned his post, his work was held in high regard by Bean and his resignation was ignored.
Scott was also an accomplished illustrator before the war, and during the conflict produced numerous black and white illustrations about life in the army. In 1918, he contributed pieces to the short-lived publication about the AIF in Europe, The Dinkum Australian. In this publication he displayed an interesting and well-developed illustrative manner, using clear lines in the Art Deco style. In 1919, he illustrated A Handful of Ausseys, a written account by C. Hampton Thorp of life in the AIF.
Following armistice, Scott worked in a studio at St John's Wood with fellow Australian War Records artists Will Longstaff, Frank Crozier and George Benson. Here he completed numerous works which are now held by the Memorial. After his commission ended in 1920, Scott subsisted on a small war pension in London, and struggled to make a living as an artist.
His impoverished death, which was described by The Sydney Morning Herald as 'pathetic,' attracted much attention in the media. Public sympathy in Australia and New Zealand was sparked by the fact that he received the news his work 'The Sculptor's Studio' had finally been accepted as an exhibit in the prestigious Royal Academy Summer Show only hours from his death.
Rolls and Awards
- Rank: Private
- Date of embarkation: 16 December 1916
- Place of embarkation: Adelaide
Interior of Nissen hut used for administrative purposes by the 1st Division AIF at St. Sylvestre Chapelle.ART03385
Self portrait of James Fraser Scott, appointed an Official War Artist and in Charge of Camouflage attached to 1st Division AIF in 1918, Western Front, 50th Battalion, Australian War Records Section. In the last years of his life, Scott was destitute and suffered greatly. His self-portrait was...ART19759
Depicts the Red Chateau at Villers-Bretonneux, which was used as headquarters by the 1st Australian Division after the recapture of Villers-Bretonneux in April 1918. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his experiences as a soldier who had seen...ART03395
A view of the interior of the quarters occupied by the First Australian Division, at Strazeele, Lys area, Western Front. Four soldiers sit around a central table, two are reading letters. There is food and a candlestick on the table. Three soldiers relax in a corner of the room or near a kettle....ART03408
This painting, executed in Scott's studio at St John's Wood, London, in 1919, refers to the death of Major Percy Black during the attack by the 16th Australian Battalion which Black led at Bullecourt on 11 April 1917.ART03416
Depicts the ruins of the Church at Peronne, with some arches still standing, and metal gates intact as well as a large religious statue. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his experiences as a soldier who had seen active service in the First...ART03404
A painting of a vase of flowers, which were gathered at Mont St Quentin, France. James F Scott's (1877-1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his experiences as a soldier who had seen active service in the First World War, and also because of his physical proximity to key...ART03414
Depicts the headquarters office of the General Officer Commanding of the 1st Division AIF, set in Buire Wood, part of the Hindenberg out post line. There are several huts and duckboard paths depicted as well as a soldier with a satchel. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is...ART03402
A line of men in uniform are marching beside the Pradelles church, behind Strazeele, France.ART03412
Interior of ruined church, roof missing, piles of rubble on floor, (possibly interior of Abbey).ART19762
The work is a satiric, anthropomorphised view of Army hierarchy during the First World War with Australian birds representing titled officers such as Lieutenant, Colonel, Major, Captain, Padre, Corporal etc. This work was possibly reproduced or designed to be reproduced in 'The Dinkum Australian'...ARTC00062
Depicts a dead machine gunner who had been killed at his post near Foucaucourt. Beside him is a machine gun and at his feet, his helmet. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his experiences as a soldier who had seen active service in the First...ART03400
A diptych view of the trenched landscape of Peronne, France, from an old German position. Buildings are visible in the distance.ART03409
This painting, executed in Scott's studio at St John's Wood, London in 1919, refers to the death of Major Percy Black during the attack by the 16th Australian Battalion which Black led at Bullecourt on 11 April 1917. A second version of this painting was de-accessioned in 1988 and presented to the...ART03419
A view of the market square of Cassel, Belgium. The artist has given attention to the buildings surrounding the square and the horse drawn wagons, jeeps and ambulance vehicles in the square.ART03407
This large painting was completed in Scott's studio at St John's Wood, London in 1919 refers to a battle on the Somme in 1918. In the foreground a runner is depicted in muddy terain with soldiers behind him laying duckboards.ART03417
Depicts a captured German Casualty Clearing Station with several tents and soldiers being carried on stretchers into the larger tent in the background. There are two soldiers in the right foreground, one sitting on a can with a German? helmet at his feet and the other standing with a rifle. There...ART03397
Depicts the outpost at Buire Wood situated atop a large tree with forest all around. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his experiences as a soldier who had seen active service in the First World War, and also because of his physical...ART03405
One of the gates of old Peronne, France, with the surrounding footpath and vegetation.ART03415
Depicts the advance dressing station of the Australian Forces 2nd Field Ambulance, with a motor ambulance in the background. In the foreground there is a table with medical supplies arranged on it, a corpse on a stretcher on the floor, orderlies sitting on benches and chairs, all in a brick...ART19763
Depicts the encampment of the 1st Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Battery, at Aubigny, with horses tethered under trees, horse blankets lined with striped woollen blankets airing in sun, harnesses on rails and tents in the background. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is particularly...ART16975
A camp of Nissen huts at the Western Front. These are the 1st Division AIF headquarters near St Sylvestre-Chapelle.ART03411
Depicts the bridge near Halle, which had been hurriedly built in place of the destroyed Somme bridge before the attack on Mont St Quentin. There are two soldiers crossing the bridge and another on horseback also crossing in the distance. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is...ART03374
Depicts the encampment of the 101st Howitzer Battery near Aubigny, Albert Area. There are several tents and temporary shelters, soldiers and horses in the encampment.ART03394
This painting depicts an encampment and five men involved in a game of quoits at Tincourt, France.ART03387
An observation post in the attic of a house at Strazeele, occupied by the 1st Australian Division. The Battle of Lys took place near the village of Strazeele.ART03386
Unidentified cooks of 1 Battalion Australian Imperial Force AIF, in cookhouse (cooks doubled as drivers for Battalion transport) messing equipment, cooking utensils, temporary shelter.ART03372
Depicts trenches on Mont St Quentin taken by soldiers of the AIF from German troops, with the town and river in middle distance. The location is near the Hindenburg Line, Western Front. James F Scott's (1877-1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his experiences as a...ART03369
St Vaire to outskirts of Hamel, from dugouts occupied by Australian troops prior to attack on Hamel, Somme Valley, Western Front.ART03373
Depicts ruined buildings in the town of Villers-Bretonneux.ART03393
Depicts the 1st Australian Army Hospital near Aubigny on the Western Front, with soldiers, huts and horses grazing in the midground.ART03388
Near Aubigny; an improvised plank bridge over a river, with three trucks parked near the Aubigny end.ART03371
Showing bridge over the River Somme, Bray-sur-, Western Front.ART03381
Depicts the German machine gun position after its capture by the 1st Brigade AIF near Templeux-le-Guerard. Two German machine gunners lie dead near a damaged and dismantled Maxim machine gun with sled mount.ART03379
Watercolour sketch depicting engineers erecting a pontoon bridge across the River Somme near the village of Corbie. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his experiences as a soldier who had seen active service in the First World War, and also...ART03389
Watercolour sketch depicting limber wagons at the 1st Division AIF Battery Park near Aubigny and an Australian soldier standing to the right of the image near the wagons.ART03376
Depicts Peronne Square with ruined church and buildings in the background, and a pile of war debris in the foreground. There are also several soldiers, horses and wagons and civilians in the image. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his...ART03375
Between April and May 1918, the town of Corbie was heavily shelled by frequent intervals and the church was badly damaged by many direct hits. A Brigade Headquarters and reserve troops were billeted in the town during the defence of the Amiens sector.ART03370
Depicts a German machine gun post near Proyart, after its capture. There are camp remnants scattered around, helmets, rifles, satchels. In the distance are bombardments with smoke rising and explosions.ART03380
Watercolour sketch depicting the ruins of the church at Villers-Bretonneux with debris strewn across the ground and small sections, such as columns and archways, of the church left standing. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his experiences...ART03390
Depicts the ruins of the Citadel at Peronne with debris strewn through the surrounding streets and soldiers walking around the Citadel. Peronne was the objective of an intensive series of operations mounted by the Australian Corps between 29 August and 2 September 1918. Surrounded by sturdy 17th...ART03377
A number of houses that have been damaged as the result of the bombardment of Peronne.ART03382
Depicts an 18 pounder quick firing gun, Mark II, with camouflage paint, with a half limber wagon for ammunition, which is also camouflaged, behind the gun. The gun was used by the 1st Australian Imperial Force, Australian Field Artillery. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is...ART03378
A column of Australian infantrymen and artillery wagons crowd a road leading into a battlefield on the Western Front. The battle is clearly already in action, with a tank moving into position as explosions and shellfire erupt in the distance, and parties of stretcher bearers return to a field...ART03406
The distinctive Corbie Abbey appears in numerous works in the Memorial’s collection of official war art. The town of Corbie, in the Somme Valley 15 kilometres east of Amiens, was in Allied territory for most of the war but in 1918 was on the front line. Between April and May the town was heavily...ART03368
Raiding party incident during occupation of Strazeele Front by Australian 1st Division Strazeele, Lys Area, Western Front. The painting refers to the German offensive on Strazeele April-May 1918 in which the British-Australian front line vigorously and successfully resisted the attack.ART03384
Depicts a British tank, (probably a Mark V) disabled while supporting the 1st Division AIF at FoucaucourtART03398
Depicts wrecked British Gun Carrier MK 1 supply tanks outside the town of Villers-Bretonneux. James Fraser Scott's (1877- 1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his experiences as a soldier who had seen active service in the First World War, and also because of his...ART03391
Loft being used as an observation post by AIF soldiers at St Sylvestre Chapelle, near Lys Area, Western Front. This painting is mentioned in Bean's diaries: (1918) July 12th.... "I had arranged for Scott, one of our A.I.F. artists to meet me here. He had been up in the O.P. yesterday painting the...ART03383
Old Redoubt, a stirring scene of overgrown trenches in front of Polygon Wood, with Passchendaele in distance.ART19761
Depicts wounded soldiers being carried on stretchers through the dressing station at Bayonvillers. On either side of the path are tents.ART03392
Depicts wounded soldiers being placed and carried on stretchers and placed in field ambulances at a casualty clearing station near a Somme battlefield.ART03399
Duck boards curve across the landscape from left to right of the composition which features a German pillbox on the Somme at the Western Front.ART03418
Depicts the interior of a Nissen hut used as officers' quarters by the 1st Division AIF. Beds and personal effects are evident in the background, and improvised heater and flowers in the foreground. James F Scott's (1877-1932) official war art is particularly informative, both due to his...ART03413
|Date of birth||1877-09-24|
|Date of embarkation||1916-12-16|
|Date of death||1932-04-25|