Name: George Bott
DoB: September 30 1886
Regt: Second Lieutenant 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade
DoD: February 9 1917
Academic Career: CGS 1897-1906 and Oxford University
George was the eldest child of the Rev. Richard Bott and his wife Sarah Faulder. Richard had moved from London to become the Vicar at Newlands Church in the Lake District. The GS Register records the family living at Ousby Rectory, Culgaith. Oxford University Archive has a record of Catehill Vicarage (sic). George was one of 12 children; nine girls and three boys. The photograph of the family supplied by George’s great niece, shows them at The Warren on the shores of Derwentwater.
In 1901 George was boarding at the school and was a leading light of the school debating society. He seconded a motion that “Cheap Literature is a Public Boon” and in a debate on the “Best Method of Reaching the North Pole” he wondered if a flying machine could be used! He played Rugby and was captain of the team in 1904, and was in the cricket team in 1905 and 1906. He also shone in the egg and spoon race in 1903! He held the swimming cup between 1903 and 1906 and won the senior challenge cup in 1906.
George enlisted in the Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers on September 2 1914 at Westminster. He was promoted to corporal two weeks later on September 16. And on April 30 1915 he was promoted again, this time to sergeant. He served in the ranks of the British Expeditionary Force in France between November 1915 and March 1916.He was then commissioned as 2nd Lieut, 6th Battalion, 3rd Rifle Brigade on July 6 1916; he had asked to be in the Rifle Brigade. He returned to France in September 1916. His B.A. degree was conferred in his absence, on December 16 1916. He was killed in action near Loos in February 1917 and is buried at the Philosophe British cemetery near Bethune. His Commanding Officer wrote: “He was justly regarded as one of the most efficient officers of his Battalion. He had won the very greatest personal popularity with both officers and men and his men would have followed him anywhere.” A brother officer wrote: “He was absolutely fearless. All the little jobs that no one has to do and yet are everyone’s job always found him willing. He was always ready to work for the success of others.” His servant wrote: “I have been in France since the war began and I have never met a better friend and soldier in an officer. He was everything in the way of cheerfulness and for helping others. His platoon miss him very much.”
After school George went onto to study at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He became a Tutor and seemed intent on taking Holy Orders like his father. The war intervened however and George enlisted instead.
On his gravestone the family put the following text ” Underneath are the everlasting arms” taken from Deuteronomy XXXIII v. 27.
a) Carlisle School Memorial Register 1264-1924
b) Census: 1881 RG/5147; 1901 RG13/4867
c) Obituary from de Ruvigny
d) University of Oxford
Contacts: Nicola Hilton, Archives Assistant, Oxford University Archives, Bodleian Library, Oxford OX1 3BG
Helen Dallal; Relative