“Akela” was a very regular contributor to local newspapers on Scouting news and topics in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. But who was he/she?
No other name ever appears at the foot of the newspaper contributions and so it is a bit of a mystery.
However, examining reports from Lancaster & District Boy Scouts’ Association AGM’s in the period in question amongst officers re-elected is a Press correspondent, Mr. J. V. Smith. This is most likely the man concerned – so who was he?
Looking at birth registrations there is a John Vernon Smith born March quarter 1894 in (Greetland) Halifax. In the 1911 census he is living with his family at 1 Barlow Street, Horwich. His occupation is recorded as Shop assistant, cycle accessories. His parents are Harry and Emily Smith, both born in Halifax. He has a younger brother Lloyd Stanley Smith born 1909 in Horwich.
British Army Service Records:
Joined 14 June 1915; France 28 Nov 1915
5ft 8¼ inches, 121 lbs, Shop Assistant
Regiment Royal Field Artillery
Unit / Battalion C Battery, 151st (Co Palatine Howitzer) Brigade, 52nd Company Ripon
Moving on to 1939 J.V., born 25 Jan 1894, is living at 20 Beaufort Road, Morecambe with wife Ethel (married 1919, St. Johns Methodist Church, Hindley). He is a Shop Salesman Sports Goods.
He died in 1960 in Morecambe.
For now the story ends there . . .
If anyone knows any more the webmaster would be pleased to add more detail