SSAFA commemorates the First World War

The Scroggs brothers

Stories from the First World War

The Scroggs brothers

SSAFA Volunteer, Julia Klaja, shared the story of her great uncle and his brothers:

John Edward Scroggs"Jack was one of my great-uncles and was born in 1894 at Bladon, Oxfordshire.  His father Walter worked as a groom/cowman at Blenheim Palace and the family lived in tied accommodation in the grounds of Blenheim Park.  Jack had six brothers and four sisters.  Jack’s mother Elizabeth and sister Ellen both became volunteer nurses at the Blenheim Hospital Supply Depot from October 1915 until March 1919. On 1 September 1915 (aged 21) Jack signed his Short Service Attestation and enlisted in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry Regiment (Pte 23232).  On 10 November 1916 his regiment embarked at Southampton and arrived at Rouen in Normandy on the following day.  On 30 November 1916, the regiment was transferred to the field – to the Northern France Theatre of War.  On 23 April 1917, Jack was captured at Arras, Pas-de-Calais and was reported as missing in action on 3 May 1917.  As a prisoner-of-war, Jack was interned at Sennelager POW camp in Germany until his release in December 1918.  Jack received the Victory and British War Medals.  On his return to England, he transferred to and served with the Hampshire Regiment (Pte 32668) until he married May Andrews in December 1924 and began working as a railway shunter. The other Scroggs boys who saw action in WW1 were William Henry (born 1886) –research continues to establish his service record.  

In 1911 (aged 23) Walter John (born 1888) enlisted in the 1st Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Dragoon Guards, Wellington Lines, Aldershot  (Pte C/2348), saw action in France and received the Victory, British War and Star medals.  

In July 1908 (aged 18) Thomas (born 1890) enlisted in the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards in Oxford.  He then transferred to the Royal Engineers (309146).  In 1914 he received Notice to Reservists to Rejoin the Colours at Wellington Barracks in London (Pte 13840) and subsequently transferred to the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (GS/114889).  He saw action in France and received the Star, Victory and British War medals.  He was eventually discharged from the Army Reserve in 1929.

In 1915 (aged 16 years) Philip (born 1899) enlisted in the Norfolk Regiment, Staffordshire Regiment (Pte 37325), subsequently joined the North Staffordshire (Prince of Wales) Regiment, Lichfield (Pte 41627) and received the Victory and British War medals.  However, in 1922, the official census lists him as temporarily resident at the Asylum in Birmingham but there is presently no further information on this.  It is thought that Philip saw action in the desert –research continues.

With so many lives lost during this devastating conflict and with so many families stripped of their men folk, it is a cause for wonder that all five Scroggs sons returned home safely."