We provide fun, challenge and adventure to over 1400 young people in North Lancashire – #SkillsForLife
We provide fun, challenge and adventure to over 1400 young people in North Lancashire – #SkillsForLife

Romance of Scout Life 1911


Speaking at a large gathering of Lancashire Boy Scouts, in the Public Hall, Preston, on Saturday evening, Sir Robert Baden-Powell said as a rule Lancashire boys had to work within the mills, and but for the scout movement would have no notion of the romance of life in the open.

In many cases their lives were doomed to be spent in the slums of the great cities, and the scout movement gave them a ray of sunshine and an opportunity of developing their minds and their bodies.

The local companies of Boy Scouts were inspected in the afternoon at Preston by Major-General Baden-Powell who presented Patrol Leader Norris*, aged 15 years, with the King’s medal for bravery when the Leyland Company, of which Norris is a member, were camping at Wrea Green, Blackpool, last year. Norris went bathing with two companions who could not swim. Both got into difficulties, and were in imminent danger of losing their lives, when Norris went to their assistance and succeeded in bringing them to the side.

– -Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 27 February 1911.

*Possibly Walter Bigley Norris born 19 March 1896 in Walton le Dale, son of John Norris, a Railway Engine Fireman born 1876 in Farington, and Ann Jane Bigley born 1876 in Seaforth, Liverpool.

In 1911 the family was living at 20 Wards New Road, Lostock Hall where Walter was listed as a Creeler in Lostock Hall Spinning Co’s mill.

Navy records show that Walter served in WW1, No. M 26314, his occupation recorded on enlistment 22 May 1917 as Fitter & Turner. He is recorded as 5′ 7½”, 37″ chest, Brown Hair, Grey Eyes and Fresh Complexion. He was an ERA4 (Engineering Room Artificer).

In 1939 Walter is living at 22 Westgate, Leyland with his wife Annie nee Halstead, they married in 1925 at Leyland St. Ambrose; he is a Maintenance Mechanic and Air Raid Warden. He died in 1982.