Harry Travis Stott was born at 9 Dale Street in Royton on July 22nd 1883. His mother was Eliza, a Cotton Weaver. It's unknown exactly who his father was and his birth certificate gives no clues. Perhaps it was one of his later stepfathers James Quinn or James Seville (or perhaps these men were the same person!) as his father is listed as being James by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
In 1885 Eliza married James Quinn at St.James' Church in Oldham. Half siblings for Harry followed - Granville & Alice who were both born in Royton. The historical record then becomes a little hard to follow and at the time of the 1891 census, Harry was registered as being Harry T.Seville and living in a farm at Thorp with his father being James Seville. Two more siblings - John, aged 1, and Tom, 1 month old, are by now in evidence. Tom was to die, aged 3, in 1895.
In 1901 the family - all listed as Quinn, except for Harry who again is Harry Travis Stott - and with no sign of James Seville were living at 13 Blackshaw Lane. Mother Eliza is listed as being a widow. Harry was by now 17 years old and working as a piecer in one of the local mills. He had previously been a pupil at the Blackshaw Lane School.
Harry married Bertha Butterworth in 1909 at St.Mark's Church in Heyside and together they had two children. Alice Ann was born in 1910, sadly only to die aged two in 1912 and then Harry Travis junior was born in 1915. By the time Harry's son was born he was already in the army. His service number indicating he enlisted, along with several friends from the Luzley Brook district - Harry & Bertha lived at 285 Shaw Road, shortly after the outbreak of hostilities in either August or September 1914.
Harry became a member of the freshly formed 12th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. The 12th had been created at Ladysmith Barracks, the Regiment's Depot, in Ashton under Lyne in September 1914. Harry sailed with his battalion, 1005 strong, out from Folkestone on July 15th 1915, reaching Boulogne the following morning. The 12th Manchesters were first shown the niceties of trench warfare by the Liverpool Scottish before going into the line on the 24th July.For the rest of the year they were in and out of the line around Ypres. Another Royton man, James William Barker, was killed serving with the battalion two days before Christmas 2015.
On the 2nd January 1916 the battalion went in to the trenches at Hill 60, and throughout February they remained in the Ypres area. On February 15th they came under heavy shellfire whilst manning the frontline and casualties were heavy in A Company with 15 men killed and many more wounded. One of those killed was Thomas O'Dea. The following day the unit's war diary states that the enemy had dropped a few 'whizzbangs' on them and that damage had been light. However two further men had been killed - one being Harry Travis Stott. The other was Private Benjamin Ray (13564) from Manchester.
Shortly afterwards, Bertha Stott back home in Royton started receiving letters from the friends Harry had enlisted home telling her of his death.
The following year on February 17th 1917 the following appeared in the Oldham Chronicle:
In loving memory of my dear husband,Harry Travis Stott,
killed in action on February 16th. Sadly missed by his
Widow (Bertha) & child
285 Shaw Road, Royton
Bertha remarried, to Francis Hurst, at St.Anne's in Royton in 1920.
HARRY TRAVIS STOTT
Date of Death:16/02/1916
Panel Ref:Panel 55
Harry's inscription on the Menin Gate