Scott, Peter Marriott Raleigh
He was the second son of Thomas Gilbert Scott, and younger brother of R.S.G. Scott (D 1922-28). His mother was Violet Anne Scott, daughter of Charles Marriott JP (B 1861-1866). On leaving Winchester he went to study Law at Magdalen College, Oxford, and in 1938 married Katherine Nina Grant Smith, daughter of Ronald Smith of Essex House, Campden Hill Square, London.
He joined a Territorial unit, 4th County of London Yeomanry, and early in 1941 was sent to the Middle East. Scott took part in a significant action in the Western Desert in June 1942, during fierce fighting around the “boxes” of the British defensive lines near Maabus er Rigel. A “box” was a formation used in the desert, in which each unit provided support to the others; it would later re-appear briefly in Normandy. Scott was wounded during this action, on 14th June when his tank was hit and set on fire, although he and his crew managed to escape.
In August he was awarded the MC for his gallantry and in February 1943 took over command of C Squadron. The regiment’s war diary records: “February 23rd 1943: Remained in the same position all day, halfway between Medenine and Mareth about three miles north of the road. Withdrew the squadron forming the road block in the morning. Captain PMR Scott assumed command of ‘C’ Squadron when it was heard that Captain IB Aird had caught pneumonia. Practically no change in the positions of the enemy…”
In April 1943 Scott, by now acting as a Major, took part in an attack on the enemy at Wadi Akarit in Tunisia where his involvement was described by Lieutenant C W Pearce of C Squadron: “There seemed to be hundreds of wounded or dead Highlanders everywhere… The Highland brigadier wanted more tanks across the wadi. Major Peter Scott agreed to send two Sherman troops plus the two Grants with Tony Jarvis to control. Our chaps got through the minefield and pushed out a bit the other side. Shelling was heavy all the time, especially on the minefield gap. The brigadier wanted more tank support. Peter Scott led, then my troop, followed by the others. The Shermans went forward; I went right and Mike Ritchie left. Suddenly all six Shermans blew up; direct hits. A few people got out but they were mostly killed. The order came to pull back, but too late… There was an absolute shambles, Italians and Highlanders all together. Firing was coming from all directions, including from behind… Six Messerschmidt 109s came down this wadi and really let us have it. (Lieutenant C.W. Pearce, ‘C’ Squadron 4CLY)
Scott was awarded a bar to his MC for this action.
In the later part of the North African campaign Scott acted as a Staff Captain. His battalion took part in the successful advance into Tunis and were among the first units to arrive.
From there they were involved in the invasion of Italy, landing at Salerno and in October 1943 took part in the crossing of the River Volturno. In December 1943 they returned to England to help train others for the invasion of France. They left England for Normandy in June 1944, arriving on Gold Beach at Arromanches at first light on 7th.
On 13th June 7th Armoured Division, of which 4th City of London Yeomanry were part, was ordered to take Villers-Bocage. They passed through the town and halted to the east on the Caen road when they were attacked by II Kompanie 101st SS Heavy Tank Battalion, equipped with Tiger tanks and led by the tank ace, Obersturmfuhrer Michael Wittmann. Wittmann started by destroying tanks at the front and rear of the British column, preventing the others from moving and then drove through the British lines shooting anything he could see. Eventually Wittmann’s tank was disabled by a British anti-tank gun but four more Tigers and a Panzer created further havoc. Scott, who was in charge of A Squadron by this time, was killed in this action when a shell burst overhead.
Scott was thirty two at the time of his death, and lies in grave II.B.9 of the Bayeux War Cemetery.
- Surname: Scott
- Forenames or initials: Peter Marriot Raleigh
- House: D
- Years in School: 1925-1930
- Rank: Major
- Regiment: City of London Yeomanry
- Date of Birth: 1st February 1912
- Date of Death: 13th June 1944
- How Died: Killed in Action
- Location in War Cloister: Inner E2
- Decoration: MC and Bar
- Burial Site: Bayeux War Cemetery: Grave II.B.9