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Harold James Walter Scott (1880-1959)

Lieutenant with 5th Battalion DLI charged with fraud after the war

Harold James Walter Scott was born in 1880 in Camberwell, Surrey to Owen (29 years) and Isabella (26 years) Scott. Harold moved around the country frequently. He worked first as an assistant secretary to a furniture company and then as a bank clerk.

He married Norah Thompson in July 1908 in Lexden, Essex. They had five children.

Harold served in the First World War in France and Flanders with the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) from 1915. He was commissioned as Second Lieutenant of the 5th Battalion DLI in August 1917. He was captured on 23 March 1918 and became a prisoner of war until his release in October 1918. In early 1919 he was made a lieutenant. However, he relinquished his command in April 1919 on account of ill health caused by wounds previously.

In 1925, Scott was working as a deputy-chief accountant in the civil service. He was in charge of releasing securities, such as the stocks and shares of ex-enemy nationals which had been taken during the war by the state to prevent trading with enemy nations. In November 1929, Harold Scott and Frank Marsden were summoned to court for ‘contraventions of the Prevention of Corruption Acts’. They had allegedly received gifts from Johan Peter Hauser, an agent of Kerr Ware stockbrokers, as an inducement to sell securities to Hauser at less than market value. Scott and Marsden were charged with ‘conspiring with Hauser to defraud the King’.

They were tried at the Old Bailey in January 1930, and pleaded not guilty. They argued that the payments received from Hauser were profits on speculations in which they were all engaged. However, Hauser, a Dutch national, refused to show up at court, which the judge took as evidence of guilt and an attempt to avoid conviction. Scott was sentenced to 18 months in prison, whilst Marsden was given 12 months. As a result of the trial, Harold Scott was deprived of his rank of lieutenant on 14 January 1930.

Later in life, Harold worked as a wireless dealer and lived in Middlesex. He died on 23 September 1959 in Stanwell, Middlesex at the age of 78.

Newspaper sources
Gloucester Citizen, 25 November 1929
Leeds Mercury, 26 November 1929
Aberdeen Press and Journal, 3 February 1930
The Scotsman, 19 March 1930.

Birth date: 1880

Death date: 23-Sep-1959

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Camberwell, Surrey (1881 census)
Barnard Castle, Durham (1891, 1901 census)
15 Springfield Avenue, Hornsey, Middlesex (1911 census)
East Molesey, Surrey
39 Thames Street, Sunbury
Ashford Common, Middlesex

Education: Ripon Grammar School
Barnard Castle School

Employment: Assistant Secretary to school furniture company (1901 census)
Bank clerk (1911 census)
Deputy chief accountant in the civil service (1930, trial report)
Wireless dealer (1937, administering mother’s estate)

Family: Father- Owen Scott
Mother- Isabella Scott
Wife- Norah Scott (nee Thompson)
Children- Owen, Isabella, Melody, Anthony, Heather, Christie Margaret
Siblings- Jessie Isabel, May Dorothy, Winifred Vera, Phyllis Maud

Military service:

Served with the 3rd and 18th Battalions, Durham Light Infantry before being commissioned as Sergeant
Second Lieutenant, 5th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (1-Aug-1917)
Lieutenant (1-Feb-1919), deprived of this rank in 1930.

Medal(s): 1914-15 Star
British War Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by Jessica Rome, Durham

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