The Fountain brothers

Needham Fountain was born in 1865 at Gosberton Risegate near Spalding, the son of Colson and Eliza, and like his father became an agricultural labourer.  He came to Scotter to find work, living for a time on The Green at the home of his niece Emma Jane (of Spalding) and her husband John Wilkinson (a coal dealer from Scotter).

Annie Chafer was born at Cottingham near Hull and as a child came here to live with her uncle and aunt, the Robsons.  They were John (a threshing machine owner from Scotter) and Martha (nee Brumby of Market Rasen) and their home was in the High Street.  For a time Annie was employed by Ellen Leggott at the Sun and Anchor Inn.  At the end of 1891 she had a daughter whom she christened Betsy Ann Chafer.

On 1st February 1892 Needham and Annie married at St. Peter’s Church when she was just 19 years of age.

The couple lived at Scotterwood Lodge before moving to Gainsborough Road.  Their children George Johnson, Thomas Henry, Lily, Fred, Walter and Eliza were born in the village.  In old age Needham’s parents came to live with him but were not here long before they died; Eliza in 1901 and Colson the following year. Both are buried in the churchyard.  Needham moved his family to Gainsborough to find work.  More children followed but only Albert T. and John appear to have survived infancy.

During the Great War two of their sons enlisted into the Army. Sadly both were killed and, since they had moved to Gainsborough, are not remembered on any local memorial.
 

THOMAS HENRY FOUNTAIN (‘Henry’)

9871 Private, 6th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment

killed in action 9th August 1915 aged 20 

Henry, their second son, was born in Scotter on 17th March 1895. When he died the family were living at 3 Shugar's Yard, Gainsborough.

On 9th August the 6th Battalion attacked towards the Anafarta Ridge at Yilghin Burnu, Gallipoli.  It was immediately apparent their objectives could not be reached as Hill 70 was held in force by the Turkish enemy.  They were forced to turn back but when a few reinforcements arrived many men returned into the firing line.  The slaughter continued with shrapnel bursting around them and small fires starting in the shrub land.  The blaze took hold and at 12:15pm the order was given to withdraw taking as many wounded with them as they could.

Captain Percy Howard Hansen called for volunteers and with a handful of men he dashed back through the fire and bullet streams to try and save his comrades from being burned alive.  Repeatedly they went into the flames and managed to save six wounded men.  Hansen was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry.  Just 5 of 17 officers and 170 of 561 men survived and none of the Battalion missing were seen again.

The Helles Memorial stands on the tip of the Gallipoli peninsular in Turkey. It is the battle memorial for the whole campaign and the place of commemoration for British servicemen who died throughout the area.

Private Thomas Fountain is one of more than 22,000 listed on it who have no known grave.
 

FRED FOUNTAIN

64580 Private, 12/13th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers
(formerly 43923, Infantry Battalion)

killed in action 22nd August 1918 aged 19 

Their third son was born at Scotterwood on 2nd March 1899 and was employed as a labourer at Marshall Sons & Company in Gainsborough.

He enlisted on 13th June 1915, claiming to be 19 years 3 months old, and became 4191 Private, ‘A’ Company, 2nd/5th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment.  Fred was described as a Roman Catholic, 5 foot 8 inches tall, weighing 9 stone 7 lbs with grey eyes and light brown hair.

On 25th June 1916 he was discharged under Section 392(vi) (a) of King’s Regulations due to being under age.

He re-enlisted on 19th March 1917 at Gainsborough and went to the front just under a year later on his 19th birthday.

On 8th August 1918 British troops launched a major offensive to bring the war to an end. On the 21st an assualt was ordered across the ground of the 1916 Somme battlefield. The Fusiliers attacked at Beaucourt and captured their objective - a trench known as ‘Luminous Avenue‘. At 3:30pm they pushed patrols across the South side of the River Ancre but came under machine gun fire from Thiepval Ridge.

Vis-en-Artois memorial

Vis-en-Artois Memorial (awaiting repairs)

The next day was spent trying to consolidate the gains and building strongholds in the trenches. At 5am the Germans forced ‘D’ Company on the left flank to withdraw and ‘B’ Company were sent to ensure they didn’t get round the defensive positions. Fighting continued all day with the Germans also sending small parties to attack the right flank. At 7.30pm the enemy made a central assault and got within 30 yards before being driven back. They also pushed in the right flank until the men of ‘C’ company restored the situation. Fred died that day.

At the time of his death his family were living at 2 Old Chapel Yard..

Private Fred Fountain is remembered on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial near Arras, France.