To mark WW1 a hundred years on below are some of the stories of former local Scouts who enlisted and in some cases made the supreme sacrifice.
The first King’s Scout badge locally was gained in 1911 by Herbert Dobson M.M. (4th Lancaster) of Dundee Street, Moorlands who tragically became a war casualty on 9 August 1916 at the tender age of 21 serving as a sergeant with the 1st/5th Battalion King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. He is buried at Quarry Cemetery, Montauban, near Albert, France. It is recorded that some 130 former scouts in the district served their King and Country in the war.
Also, recently discovered, Tom Bolton, Stephen Cook, Raymond Arthur Dowthwaite, Richard Stanley Hutton, James Francis Christopher Prescott, and John William Vockins.
Link here to a photograph of six members of the 4th Morecambe Scouts who enlisted in the 5th Battalion of the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, for Imperial Service.
Tom Helme 1881-1949, a great benefactor of local Scouting served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in WW1 from 1914-1919.
Prisoners of War at Lancaster – an article from a local newspaper dated 11 September 1914 illustrating how Boy Scouts made themselves useful to the war effort.
The Boy Scouts and the King’s Own.
To The Editor of the Lancaster Guardian.
Dear Sir, The proceeds from the sale of the old newspapers this week will be devoted to providing “Christmas Cheer” for the soldiers of the King’s Own at the front. We are anxious to collect a large quantity for this worthy object, and shall do our best to cover the whole town, but if some houses are missed we should like anyone who has not been called on up to 5 pm, to kindly send their parcels to our collecting centre, the Old Town Hall. Any kind of old papers, periodicals, or magazines, clean or dirty are acceptable.
The Boy Scouts
Lancaster, 2nd December 1914.
Lancaster Guardian, 3rd July, 1915
SCOUT PATROL. – The boy signallers have now become affiliated with the Boy Scouts, and passed their preliminary tests. Major Fell has been instrumental in the formation, and under the instruction of Mr. E. I. Cottam the boys have become very good signallers, having sent and received messages correctly at two miles’ range.
1911: Edward Isaac Cottam born Lancaster 22 May 1858 Retired Colliery Agent. Living at Thornfield, Caton.
From R. E. Wright’s scrapbook (newspaper clipping):
LANCASTER BOY SCOUTS AND C.L.B. WASTE PAPER CORPS.
It is one of the familiar sights in our town on a Saturday afternoon to see a batch of Boy Scouts or members of the Church Lads’ Brigade pushing or pulling a truck for the collection of the old paper and periodicals. These have been sold, and the proceeds now aggregate £116*. Of the many centres which commenced collecting paper in October, 1914, Lancaster is one of the few that has persevered up to the present.
Numerous War Charity funds have benefited. For twelve months now parcels of food have been sent to the prisoners of the King’s Own Regiment, and to Lancaster men in other regiments’ prisoners in Germany. With but six exceptions all have been acknowledged with gratitude, that though prisoners in an enemy country they are not forgotten by the boys of the Regimental town. Arrangements are being made to send parcels to the prisoners of the Regiment in Bulgaria. Over 5000 books have been sent to the Hospitals and Camps.
* Roughly £7000 in 2014.
Saturday, April 14th, paper collection. A scout is required by the military authorities in Lancaster; full time. Apply to the Hon. Sec.
Badges:- Ambulance W. Mercer and W. Goodwin, 1st Caton.
THE LANCASTER GUARDIAN, APRIL 14, 1917
Actual photo print via Ebay purchase from USA. Central pier in the background. ASH 2018
Morecambe Visitor and Heysham Chronicle September 24, 1919
AT THE CENOTAPH.
A Wealth of Flowers in Memory
of the Fallen Brave.
The beautiful cenotaph composed of white chrysanthemums and dahlias erected in the gardens on the Promenade near the Central Bandstand, “Sacred to our Glorious Dead,” remained the most inspiring feature of Peace week.
Day after day, reverently and without ostentation, those who had suffered losses in the great war visited this, to them hallowed, spot and placed a floral token of remembrance at the base of the broken column.
Others, to whom it had not such deep significance gathered round and admired the tasteful work of Mr. Wm. Cocking*, whose design it was, and none gazed upon it unmoved, because of what it represented.
The profusion of wreaths attracted considerable attention throughout the week.
Appended is a list of the floral tributes to Morecambe’s glorious dead: (not copied)
* William Cocking, born 1871 Poulton le Sands. In 1911 living at 53 Euston Road, Morecambe, a fruiterer – previously a fisherman (1891) and an insurance agent (1901).
Lancaster Gazette, 1919
BOY SCOUTS’ MEMORIAL SERVICE.
A memorial service was held on Tuesday evening in the King’s Own Memorial Chapel at the Parish Church for the boy scouts from the district who have fallen in the war. The various troops of scouts, in charge of Scoutmaster R.E.Wright, paraded in Dalton-square, and proceeded to the service, which was conducted by Rev. G.O. Rubie. The list of war heroes from the scouts is as follows;-
4th Lancaster (Wesley) Troop, Robert Bowker, David Bratherton, Herbert Dobson, Harold Gill, and Stanley Hutton.
5th Lancaster (St. Peter’s) Troop, James Prescott and James Wilton,
7th Lancaster (Parish Church) Troop, Reginald Crayston.
1st Caton Troop, Thomas Bolton, Raymond Dowthwaite, and Stephen Cook.
Melling Troop, W.E.Vockins.
Hornby Castle Troop, Harold Slinger.
Some 130 former scouts in the district have served their King and country in the war.