Carnforth Guardian, Friday, 25 July, 1941:
Second Award For Lancaster District
THE Lancaster and District Scouting organisation now has within its ranks two Scout “V.C’s.
On Sunday at the Carnforth Scout Headquarters 14-years-old Ronnie Newsham of King Street Carnforth, patrol leader in the 1st Lancaster (sic) Scouts was presented with the Cornwell Decoration, the highest award that Scouting offers, for “unfailing cheerfulness” during an illness lasting about three years. Ronnie was subject to severe pain during his illness, including having his leg in plaster for eight months. It was during his period of illness that he passed as a First Class Scout. Ronnie, although his leg is still in plaster, is now able to get about and attend to most of his Scouting activities.
A feature of Sunday’s presentation, which was made by Mr. H. L. Slater, Chairman of the local Committee for Handicapped Scouts was the presence of “Sam” Cook, Lancaster’s other “V.C.” It will be remembered that “Sam” was presented with his award during his serious illness at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
“Sam” and Ronnie are the only two local Scouts to have the honour conferred on them. It is pointed out by high Scout officials that great care and attention is paid to the awarding or such decorations and consequently Lancaster and district can feel proud of their two “V.C’s.”
The Chairman at Sunday’s proceedings was Group Master Sam Whalan, who was supported by Mr. J. Dodds Drummond (District Commissioner; Mr. R. E. Wright (Assistant District Commissioner); Rev. H. Hardman; Coun. J. Kew, chairman of the U.D.C.; Mr. F Gander, Headmaster of the C. of E. School; Miss Baldwin, Headmistress of the North Road Council School (Infants Department); Mr. Richardson. R.A.F.; Sergt. Ian Howarth, K.O.R.R.; Mr. E Parker; Miss Harrison, Assistant Cubmaster; Scoutmaster D. Beaumont, and Mr. and Mrs. Newsham.
Ronald was one of 7 children of Thomas Newsham 1899-1963 and Charlotte nee Hunt 1902-1966. In 1939 the family was living at 6 King Street, Carnforth. Thomas is listed as a Locomotive Fireman.
G.S.M. Whalan gave a report of the Scouts activities, and said that 14 local Rovers were serving in the Forces, four Scouts were A.R.P. messengers, four Rovers in the Home Guard, five in the First Aid Party, and two Scouts were A.F.S. messengers.
Ronnie Newsham’s Cornwell badge is on display at the Story of Scouting Museum at Waddecar Activity Centre.
If further evidence were needed of the work which the British Boy Scout Movement is doing for the war effort, it is provided in a recent pamphlet, “They Were Prepared,” issued by the Scouts National Service.
The pamphlet states that more than 60,000 Scouts have been awarded the National Service Badge for sustained work as ARP. messengers, first aid orderlies, telephonists, signallers, stretcher bearers and instructors to the Home Guard, and assistants in rest centres. Wherever there is a job to be done you will find a Boy Scout. More than 180 different kinds of service jobs are being done by the Scouts. Many of them are dull routine tasks, others mean long periods on duty, waiting for the emergency and being prepared to meet it when it comes. The Scout has fitted himself for these emergencies by training. He has learnt how to fight fire, how to act if an attack is made by poison gas, how to deal with panic. He has attained skill in first aid, relaying verbal messages, signalling and a thorough knowledge of his own district.
MADE MODEL BRIDGE LYING ON HIS BACK
Scout Gets Medal for Courage
Ronnie Newsham, a 15-year-old patrol leader of the first Carnforth (Lancashire) Scout Group, has been awarded the Cornwell decoration by the Boy Scouts’ Association. Although encased in plaster from the armpits downwards, he was a cheerful patient during the two years he was in hospital. He passed many Scout tests and is already a first class Scout. He even made the model bridge required for part of this test.
A Scoutmaster said, ” If you want an idea of Ronnie’s stickability, try making a bridge while lying flat on your back and without using your knees as support. Since he left hospital Ronnie has been working hard for the King’s Scout Badge. Recently he walked half a mile, despite his leg being in plaster, to watch a troop parade.
Dundee Evening Telegraph 22 July 1941