Mervyn Noott was born in 1890 and lived with his family at Upton Lodge where he became a professional soldier. The London Gazette, on the 23rd May 1913 lists his move from the 3rd Battalion to Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Just a few weeks later, as 2nd Lieutenant Mervyn Noott, he was awarded an Aviator’s Certificate by the Royal Aero Club on the 20th June 1913, flying a Bristol bi-plane at the Bristol School at Brooklands.
On June 28th 1914 was the assassination that heralded the beginning of the First World War as country after country became involved. On August 4th 1914, Britain Declared War.
The Buffs were stationed at Fermoy in County Cork, Ireland, the then major British Army Barracks outside England at the time of the declaration of war, and they were sent to Cambridge to guard against a feared invasion. Later they were sent to France, arriving on 11th September 1914 and were soon in the thick of the fighting. Mervyn Noott was killed in action on 20th October 1914 aged just 24. He is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial which commemorates more than 1100 service men who died in that area during the conflict and who have no known grave.
Mr Noott has another memorial which many pass every day without realising it – the East Window of St Peter’s-in-Thanet Church, which was installed in 1921. His name lived on through his niece, Joy Mervyn Noott MRCP, MRCS, JP, daughter of his brother, Geoffrey, and through the television comedy Programme “All Gas and Gaiters” written by another local man, Frank Muir from Ramsgate, who was much taken with the name. Derek Nimo played the part of Reverend Mervyn Noott in the series which ran from 1966 – 1971.
Image courtesy of Ronnie Cox & Maggie Cook. Text by B.Sleightholm