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Old 23-04-14, 17:13
Jill Jill is offline
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Default (3) Allen Gaston Botting

Third of the Old Boys of my school to die in WW1.

Driver, 45704, Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery

Born in Scaynes Hill, Sussex, in 1885 son of Philip and Annie Botting who ran the grocer’s and draper’s shop in the village. His mother had also attended St Wilfrid’s school as a girl (as Annie Maria Gaston) and started first as a pupil, then a monitor and worked her way up to become a teacher there. Allen had also attended Scaynes Hill school, and had some private education at Belvedere School.

By 1911 Allen was already in the Army having joined in 1906, serving in India with the 76th Battery Royal Field Artillery.

Allen entered the European war on 16 August 1914 and died of wounds at Wimereux, France, on 3 Nov 1914. He is buried at Wimereux Communal Cemetery, grave I. A. 10A.

This is the War Memorial from Scaynes Hill church with his name on, he was also a choirboy here

Last edited by Jill; 18-08-14 at 15:58. Reason: spelling, choirboy & schooling detail
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Old 18-08-14, 18:30
Jill Jill is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,125

Today I discovered that I had Allen's obituary from The Mid Sussex Times but had not transcribed it, unfortunately I have omitted to note the date.

Official notice was received on the 18th inst by Mr P. A. Botting of New England Road, Haywards Heath, formerly of Scaynes Hill, of the loss of his eldest son, Driver Allen Gaston Botting, No 45704, 57th Battery Royal field Artillery, who died from wound received in action on the 3rd inst. Deceased was a promising smart young man. He joined the Army in 1906 and was drafted to Bangalore, India, where he served three years. From there he went to Kirkee where he remained until his time expired in November last year. His regimental character was “exemplary.” He was a keen athlete, and whatever he engaged in – cricket, hockey, football or tennis – he always played the game. In 1906 he won a silver cup for gymnastic competition presented by Major-General Sir Wykeham Leigh-Pemberton, K.C.B. He was a great lover of horses, and when in India he had a painting done in oils of his favourite horse. Every letter from his chums since his return to England had contained accounts of how his horses were being treated since he left them. While in India he was offered promotion but owing to Army regulations at that time he declined. He belonged to the Independent Order of Good Templars*, and gained five medals during his membership. When he received the last one, which was for five years fidelity, the officer presenting it said that he was proud to shake hands with him, and that the medal was a harder one to win than the Victoria Cross.

When a lad Driver Botting was for years a member of St Augustine’s Church, Scaynes Hill. He also attended the Church School there, and finished his education at Belvedere, Haywards Heath. After spending Christmas at home last year, he obtained an appointment as assistant and physical trainer in the Epileptic Schools and Homes at Lingfield, Surrey. There he filled the duties of Captain of the Boys’ Life Brigade with great credit, and one of his colleagues has said of him “To know him was to love him. He was a soldier and a gentleman.” He was a good correspondent, and during his six years’ service in India not once omitted his weekly letter to his mother. His last one to her from the battlefield was written on All Saints’ Day - Sunday November 1st – two days before he lost his life. He wrote “This battery, the 57th was specially commended by General French for splendid work done the other week. We were shelling the German trenches and our shells killed thousands of the enemy. They were piling up the dead bodies to make parapets under which to take cover. I wonder what the Kaiser thinks of the contemptible little army now! I read in THE MID-SUSSEX that men from Sussex seem bent on making a name for themselves. Don’t you feel proud of them mother?” When these words were read he had laid down his young life cheerfully and willingly for his King and country. “Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friends.”

*A temperance society.

His father Phillip received his effects of £9 1s 4d on 25th February 1915 and a War Gratuity of 5 on 4th July 1919.

Last edited by Jill; 19-01-15 at 17:59. Reason: effects/gratuity
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