Royal Irish Fusiliers, attached 21 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, 23rd December 1917
Synopsis of Life and Military Service
Jacob Ernest Mott was born in Mount Vernon, Ontario, Canada on 29 August 1890. He grew up in Brant County, Ontario. Tragedy struck his family in 1911 when his father, William Wallace Mott died of prostate cancer.
In 1912, Jacob took on a job as a clerk in the M H Robertson drug store.
Jacob enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps (with a regimental number of 1690) in Toronto on 20 November 1914. At the time of his enlistment his description was given as being 5ft 7 ½ inches tall with a 36 in chest when fully expanded. He had a light complexion with blue eyes and brown hair. His religion was given as Weslyan. He was attached to the Canadian 5th Field Ambulance where almost immediately he was given the rank of Staff Sergeant (he was confirmed in his rank in July 1915).
Jacob sailed with his unit to England on 18 April 1915 on the troopship SS Northland (previously known as the SS Zeeland) and disembarked 11 days later. Once in England they were sent to Otterpool Camp in Kent (near Folkestone) where they underwent training before being sent to France in September that year. He wrote to his mother shortly after arriving in France:
“September 19, 1915
Camp in France
Well, mother, we are here at last and I am now resting in a barn a few miles behind the firing line waiting to take our position, which will be in a few hours.
I wrote you a line when we left England – just a note – to inform you that we were on our way. It was four days from the time we left until we arrived here. It was very tiresome, for we worked whenever needed and slept whenever possible. I think everyone enjoyed the trip. We loaded everything on the train and then loaded it on the boat and then transferred it from the boat to the train in France. We arrived at the end of our journey about 2.30 am on Saturday and had to walk 20 miles to our camp here. We were all very tired, but had a good night’s rest and I feel as though I could walk another 20 miles today.
We have two sky pilots with our unit now, or perhaps I had better explain a little better, two ministers, I think they are principally for hospital work.
We have lots of fun trying to talk to the French people. Some of the boys speak French rather fluently so they talk for us. The French people seen quite backward as regards to farming, but just as in this neighborhood it is a lot better than some other places we have seen.
We travelled from the seaport by train and to cap it all we rode in horse cars. It was great fun. When tired once would lie down on the floor, and it was none too clean, but we are getting used to the rough life. We see aeroplanes every day and hear the guns very plainly, but the boys speak of it as a joke and make light of it. The old people who are left to do the work go one the same and one would not think anything unusual was going on.
Well, mother, I have to be rather careful what I put in my letters, so you will excuse this short letter. I am well and doing fine.
In April 1916, he was sent to the Cadet Training School in St Omer where, three months later, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Imperial Army.
On 16 May 1916, Jacob joined 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers and was posted to ‘C’ Company when the Regiment were in billets in Houvin-Houvigneul. In November that year he was sent back to the UK and hospitalised with Pyrexia of Unknown Origin. He spent 9 days in Queen Alexandria’s Military Hospital at Millbank until he was discharged on 19 November and sent to a convalescent hospital at 83 Portland Place, London.
He remained with the regiment until he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on 11 July 1917. He was appointed as a Flying Officer (Observer) on 27 September 1917 and joined 21 Squadron.
21 Squadron at this time of the war were equipped with Royal Aircraft Factory RE8s – two seater planes used for reconnaissance and known colloquially as ‘Harry Tates’ after the music hall comedian popular at the time. On 23 December 1917 he took off with his pilot Captain Alfred Clarence Youdale MC (and two Bars) from their airfield at La Lovie. They did not return.
Jacob Ernest Mott was born in Mount Vernon, Ontario, Canada on 29 August 1890. The following family members have been identified :-
- Father – William Wallace Mott, born 8 September 1855, died 30 April 1911.
- Mother – Lida Davidson or Mott, born 31 October 1864, died 20 March 1939.
- Sister – Violet C, born 10 November 1886.
- Sister – Rosamond M, born 19 August 1888.
- Sister – Lilian M., born 5 July 1897.
- Brother – William E., born 21 April 1895.
- Brother – Laurence Davidson, born 25 January 1899, died 24 February 1946.
The following addresses have been ascertained from the 1901, 1911 Census and his Attestation Papers.
- 1901 – Brantford West, Ontario, Canada.
- 1911 – Mount Vernon Village, Brantford, Canada.
- 1914 – 40 Queen Street, Brantford, Ontario, Canada.
Jacob is honoured and remembered on the following memorials :-
- the Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
- Brantford Collegiate Institute Memorial Plaque, Ontario, Canada.
Links to Additional Information
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Jacob Ernest Mott
- Lives of the First World War – Jacob Ernest Mott
- A Street Near You website – Jacob Ernest Mott
- Find a Grave – Jacob Ernest Mott
- Ancestry.co.uk: Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas, 1869-1948.
- Ancestry.co.uk: Canada, World War, CEF Attestation Papers 1914-1918.
- Ancestry.co.uk: Canada, World War, CEF Personnel Files 1914-1918.
- Jacob Ernest Mott | Great War Centenary Association
- Page 8164 | Issue 29711, 18 August 1916 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 10682 | Supplement 30339, 16 October 1917 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Second Lieutenant Jacob Ernest Mott (1890-1917) – Find A Grave Memorial
- Trevor Torkington