In a year like no other when Scout groups around the country are paying their respects by standing on their doorsteps rather than parading through their communities to the local cenotaphs the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts at 1st Shiremoor took to zoom to learn about Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, about how young men not much older than themselves were serving their country working as a team and how Scouts of the day helped.
Cubs then learnt about the origins of the poppy going back to 1912 and about the story of three young soldiers who served their country in various wars.
- Sidney Lewis
Sidney George Lewis (24 March 1903 – 1969) enlisted in the East Surrey Regiment in August 1915 at the age of twelve. He fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, then aged thirteen, in the 106th Machine Gun Company of the Machine Gun Corps. Lewis fought in the Battle of Delville Wood which saw some of the worst casualties on the Somme. Sidney was the youngest authenticated British soldier in World War I aged twelve-year-old but he was sent home after his mother sent his birth certificate to the War Office and demanded his return. Lewis was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He re-enlisted in 1918 and served with the army of occupation in Austria. He joined the police in Kingston upon Thames after the war and served in bomb disposal in World War II. Later, he ran a pub in Frant, East Sussex. He died in 1969
- Jason Burt
Private Jason S Burt (28 Jul 1964 – 12 Jun 1982) signed up for the army’s Parachute Regiment straight after leaving school, aged only 16. Sadly, he was killed in action at Mount Longdon in the Falklands War on 12 June 1982, still a boy at the age of 17. Jason is one of the youngest soldiers to have died for his country.
- Reginald Earnshaw
Reginald Hamilton Earnshaw (5 February 1927 – 6 July 1941), known as Reggie, is believed to have been the youngest person in the British services to die in World War II. He was just 14 years, 151 days old when he died under enemy fire on the SS North Devon off the coast of Norfolk on 6 July 1941.
Cubs considered the word CENOTAPH and took part in a scavenger hunt for items starting with the eight letters of the word, but rather than rushing off they quietly planned there attack before launching on on a hunt around their houses for all sorts of different items.
Car, Eight, Ninja turtle, Orange, Tie, Apple, Poppy and Hat
Calculator, Elbow album, Notebook, Orange, T-shirt, Apple, Poppy poster and Hat
Cap, Egg, Necklace, Oil, T-shirt, Animal, Poppy, Hat
Scouts learnt that even though Scouting was only 6 years old when the World War 1 started in 1914, Baden-Powell felt that the younger boys could also ‘do their bit’, not in a military role but in supporting essential services by working as farmers, messengers and coastguards. Learning about the suggested 16 badges which could help Scouts carry out this work mention in a special book called the “Scouts War Book” and how those badge could be earned using today’s equivalent.
- Leatherwork – This badge shows ability to mend boots or horse harnesses, it isn’t very relevant now but could relate to the DIY badge.
- Bugler – This badge shows the ability to play signals on a bugle, this relates to the modern musician badge. The Last Post is usually played on the bugle to mark the end of the two minute silence these days)
- Ambulance Man – This badge shows ability of knowing first aid and the fireman’s lift, this could be helpful now and relates to the emergency aid badge
The Scouts considered the POPPY, the red poppy a symbol of both Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future. They had to be inventive with items of red, black and green to create their own poppy.
The Beavers played a game involving finding their way across a minefield, if they chose the wrong square they lost their life and the next Beaver had to remember where in order to avoid meeting the same fate. The Beavers learnt that teamwork was crucial but even a successful team may lose members along the way especially when it comes to war.
They were also asked to find an item from their home that could represent something they might take into a battle. Showing great imagination we had a nerf gun, football (cannonball), a baking tray for a shield, a bowl for a helmet and bandages for first aid.
The Beavers also considered the POPPY, with their mini scavenger hunt for items of red, black and green from around the house to create their own poppy.