The Airmen's Stories - P/O A M W Scott
Alec Maxtone Wright Scott, of Glasgow, was born in 1912 and attended Brasenose College, Oxford where he learned to fly with the University Air Squadron.
He married Alice Barclay on 2nd June 1937 in Kobe, Japan, the circumstances are currently undocumented (March 2019 - see below).
He must have returned to the UK as he was called to full-time service in November 1939.
Above image courtesy of the Principal and Fellows of Brasenose College.
He was commissioned in the RAFVR and completed his training at RAF College FTS Cranwell on No. 8 Course, which ran from 6th March to 22nd June 1940.
Scott arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 22nd June and after converting to Hurricanes was posted to 3 Squadron at Wick on 20th July.
He moved to 607 Squadron at Tangmere on 27th September
On 7th October 1940 his Hurricane, P3860, collided with another 607 Hurricane, L1728, flown by F/O IB Difford. Scott baled out successfully but Difford was killed when his Hurricane crashed at Eartham Farm, Slindon, Sussex.
Scott was posted to 605 Squadron at Croydon on 15th October 1940.
He was killed on 2nd January 1941 when his Hurricane II Z2383 crashed near Brize Norton after icing up.
Scott was 29 and is buried in St. Marys churchyard, Black Bourton, Oxfordshire.
He is also commemorated in Dowanhill Church, Glasgow.
March 2019 - renewing the search for a photograph of Scott, contact was made with Brasenose College who kindly supplied the photograph at top plus the obituary that the College published at the time. It is reproduced here and documents a truly dreadful tragedy.
Obituary for Alex Maxtone Wright Scott In the Brazen Nose June 1941.
Pilot-Officer ALEX MAXTONE WRIGHT SCOTT came to Brasenose from Shrewsbury as a Commoner in Michaelmas Term 1930. He had been Captain of the Shrewsbury football XI but before coming up met TM Hart, the Scottish International, and vowed that he would play rugby instead of association at Oxford. Fortunately JSO Haslewood persuaded him that to play one game did not necessarily mean to give up the other, and Max captained the Association XI which won the Cup in 1933, and played in the Final of the Rugby Cup as a centre-three-quarter the same term.
But he was far from giving his whole time to football. He was a keen member of the University Air Squadron, was a regular player for the Hornets and a Vampire, and he was one of the founders of the short-lived " Brutes " who dined as well as played rugby football on tour.
These varied activities did not prevent Max from being a serious student. He was genuinely interested in many things, and it was a disappointment when he only took a third class in the Honour School of Modern History in 1933. For Max was very purposeful and a man of ideals and had set his heart on a career in either the Sudan or the Colonial Political Service. To his friends no one seemed to have higher qualifications for such an appointment, and to this day they cannot understand why he was not selected.
His failure to get such a post was a bitter disappointment to him, but he accepted the position manfully, and took work with Messrs.
Butterfield and Swire, first in China and later at Yokohama.
Whilst in the East he got married and was also a member of the Hong Kong Volunteer Air Defence Corps. When the war came upon us he was home on leave with his wife and immediately enlisted as an Aircraftsman in spite of his considerable flying experience. It was not long before he got his commission and whilst with a fighter squadron he baled out once and claimed to have shot down one enemy plane, though the " kill " was officially awarded to another.
He was also selected to carry out some important flying tests, which he was said to be doing exceptionally well. But a ghastly tragedy had occurred. On 28th November he was called home to be told that his wife and two daughters to whom he was so devoted had been found that morning in the kitchen with the gas on. The war had played on her mind until something snapped. Max took this terrible blow with his usual courage. " This is no time," he said, " for personal grief to interfere with work, we must get on with the job."
And get on with the job he did, only to be killed on active service some five weeks later.
Few men better deserved good fortune than Max, yet ill-fortune dogged him. He was not born under a lucky star. Stockily built and standing only 5ft. 4ins. in his shoes, his tenacity and quick sense of position enabled him to shine at both rugby and association football. He was the special hero of many of his contemporaries.
His own greatest hero in College was Michael Peacock, who like Max has given his life for his country in the air, and he shared Michael's daring. None that were there will forget the array of men and ladders that were required to get down the flag which those two unaided had flown from the Cavendish at Eastbourne.
But even in those days Max was a man rather than a boy and had a sense of vocation which was to be frustrated. He had a crystal clear style and was very observant—the article " John Chinaman " printed in vol. VI, p. 61 of the Brazen Nose is from a letter written by him.
In ordinary company quiet, reticent, and self-contained, he thought deeply and was in the best sense religious. He hated the idea of bombing civilians—he thought, he said, of his own wife and children—but was more worried by after-the-war problems than by the war itself.
Adversity revealed the true depth of his character. His courage at the time of his wife's death was superb. In him Brasenose and the Royal Air Force in the fullest sense of the words lost " a very gallant little man."
Above courtesy of the Principal and Fellows of Brasenose College.