Desert Rat, Desert Fox

Libya

This satellite view of a small square of Libya, where rock and sand meet the Mediterranean Sea, is in the vicinity of El Agheila (Al Uqaylah). After Operation Compass routed the Italians in North Africa, the Allied Forces rested in this area – until Erwin Rommel’s infant Afrika Korps arrived to send them packing on this day 1941.

Cecil SIMPSON was born at Cayton and baptized at St Oswald’s, Filey, on 6th March 1918. He was, therefore, 21 years old when the Second World War began.  I don’t know how soon he joined the army but he was with the 1st Battalion Royal Northumberland Fusiliers when a force commanded by The Desert Fox ended his life.

Cecil is remembered on the Alamein Memorial in Egypt (located about 1,000 kilometers from where he died), on the Gristhorpe Memorial in Filey Parish, and on his parents’ headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.

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The pedigree of this branch of the Simpsons is not extensive on Filey Genealogy & Connections – and I have struggled today to find forebears on FST to whom he can be readily linked.

 

Mr Hepton’s Fire

The briefest of notes in Francis HEPTON’s record in Filey Genealogy & Connections runs:-

Fire at Mr. Frank Hepton’s 4 Rutland Terrace.  Damage small, March 19th.

It reminded me of that famously dull headline attributed to Claud COCKBURN – Small Earthquake in Chile, Not Many Dead.

Kath doesn’t give the year of the fire and, not surprisingly, I can’t find a newspaper report about it. (Shades of Chile.) The Hepton’s were enumerated at Rutland Terrace in 1891 with three children, Esther the Second, John William, and Harry. There would be two boys named Francis and two named George Mainprize and they all joined Esther the First in early graves.

The second Esther saw to it that her husband Frederick WEBSTER, who died young, and her parents, are remembered in Filey churchyard. Before she married in 1903 she was running a lodging house at 3, The Parade (The Beach). She is in the 1902 Directory as “Etty”. Her HEPTON forebears, with several variant spellings, are well represented on FST.

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Scottow · Scotter

Mark SCOTTOW was baptized this day, 1854, in Runton, Norfolk. In August 1917 Mark SCOTTER was “killed by enemy submarine”.

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The origins of surnames are often fancifully explained on websites that hope to sell you parchments but I found one today that suggested SCOTTOW derived from a village of that name in Mark’s birth county. It also pointed out that there was a village in Lincolnshire called SCOTTER.

Ancestry has re-designed the surname distribution maps it freely provides online.

1891_ScotterFamilies_Ancestry

Taken at face value, this map shows a Norfolk heartland and zero Scotters in Lincolnshire, so if one accepts the morphing of Mark’s surname in his lifetime, the Scottow theory looks good.

Mark was part of the Norfolk Scottow/Scotter diaspora to the Yorkshire coast and the above map doesn’t register the seven Scotter families in Filey in 1891. If you read the small print, though, you will see that Yorkshire has 42% of Scotter families in England and Wales in that census year. We need a more accurate map.

SCOTTOW is ranked =206 in Filey surnames with 23 males and 6 females.

SCOTTER is ranked =25 with 93 males and 85 females.

These are “unique individuals” in Kath’s Filey Genealogy & Connections database, not people counted several times in census returns.

I counted the birth registrations in the districts containing Scottow, Norfolk and Scotter, Lincolnshire in three decades, 1851-60, 1871-80 and 1901-1910, and in Scarborough Registration District.

There were no Scottows or Scotters registered in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire over those 30 years.

Thirteen Scottow births were registered in Erpingham, Norfolk in the first decade and none in the last.  There was one Scottow birth in Scarborough between 1851 and 1860 and three in the last decade.

For Scotter the count for the three decades in Erpingham was 5, 8 and 4.

For Scarborough, it was 4, 23 and 22.

This is a rather sketchy statistical analysis but it seems to confirm the growing acceptance of Scotter over the “original” Scottow – and the migration of Norfolk fisher families to the Yorkshire coast.

In 2011, David Scotter wrote three articles about the diaspora for Looking at Filey. You can learn more about Mark here.

Mark on FST.