Over on another of my blogs, I wrote about my thoughts on learning that I did have a male relative who fought in the Great War. Up until last week, I had believed myself to be of a family that didn’t have anyone to have fought. In this belief, I was wrong. But I was wrong in more than one way.
You see, I am not just a member of my biological family. No. I am also by virtue of a promise made when I was around ten years old, also a member of the Worldwide family of Scouts. Many, many Scouts fought bravely in the Great War, some of them only boys. Some were honoured by the nation: Jack Cornwell received the Victoria Cross for staying at his post despite being fatally injured by a shell in case he was needed. After him –and in his memory – B.-P. named a Scout award which to this day is awarded “in respect of pre-eminently high character and devotion to duty, together with great courage and endurance”. Jack Cornwell also received The Bronze Cross the highest award in Scouting for gallantry, the Bronze Cross.
But it is not just the well-known heroes like Jack Cornwell that we should be remembering, it is every Scout who served, every Scout who has done his duty to do his best.
I am pleased, therefore, to say that I will be supporting the efforts
“to raise funds to build and maintain a Scouting memorial to remember those who have given service to Scouting and their communities, especially those members of Scouting who have suffered through conflict.”
I am sure that many people here in Northern Ireland will recognise that Scouts as with the rest of our population have suffered greatly through the period of unrest and the terrorist campaigns of the 1970s onwards. Through all that period of time, Scouting continued to provide a safe haven for boys (and later girls) who wanted to have some fun and adventure in the great outdoors as well as in Scout halls across the Province.
If you would also like to support this cause, please look at the campaign’s new website.