One hundred years ago today, with only a month left of the First World War, Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class, Frederick Cleveland, 1/6th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment died of his wounds received in battle aged 30 years on 11th October 1918.
Frederick was a Porthill Scout, and was the seventeenth of eighteen of our Scouts, that we know of, that were killed in the Great War.
Yesterday we took part in the WW1 Remembered Exhibition at St. Andrews Church. This was held to celebrate the restoration of Porthill’s War Memorial which is outside the Church.
There were exhibits of WW1 era artefacts by Geoff Mayer (who has written extensively on the Wolstanton War Memorial), the centenary of the RAF, the centenary of Suffragette movement gaining the vote for women, displays from Newcastle Museum and Lichfield Cathedral, the ‘There But Not There’ Tommy silhouettes, WW1 era poems were read and the Act It Out CIC company performed ‘Letters of War’ play. There were also individual displays on various people’s relatives who were killed in the war and a display of photos documenting the restoration of the War Memorial.
The highlight of the exhibition was a cascade of poppies above the high altar. These poppies had been made by many local people including our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.
Our Drums played at the beginning of the day and the bugles played ‘Sunset’ in front of the poppies.
We had our own display of our Scouts who were killed in the Great War and we spoke to a number of people whose relatives were commemorated on the Memorial and showed them the Book of Remembrance. We were especially pleased to meet the family of one of our Scouts on the Memorial, Clarence Cork.
A lot of people from the Church put a lot of effort into the exhibition and huge thanks must go to them for their efforts.
The exhibition will be on again on 10th November 2018 from 10 – 4, when the Memorial will be rededicated by the Bishop of Stafford.
One hundred years ago today, over four years into the Great War and just over a month until its end, Private Colin Jackson 42435, 2nd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment died aged 22 on 5th October 1918.
Colin was a Porthill Scout, and was the sixteenth of eighteen of our Scouts, that we know of, that were killed in the Great War.
Yesterday in Newcastle town centre, it was the annual Food Fest and the Drums were there to entertain the shoppers. They were there as part of the District’s participation in the event to raise money for various Scouting activities and to raise awareness of Scouting in our local community.
As part of the day various Scouting awards were made, some by the Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Ian Dudson.
Our entire Drum Corps was awarded a District Commissioner’s Commendation for all the work they do to promote Scouting around our area and beyond. Many congratulations to all our talented drummers!
Becci, one of our Assistant Scout Leaders, was presented with her 5 year service award. Thanks to Becci for all her dedication!
Kind of…..Back in 1908, the year after Baden-Powell’s successful camp on Brownsea Island, he wrote the book “Scouting for Boys”. Boys (and girls) read the book and started to form their own patrols.
Boys in Porthill probably started Scouting in the summer or autumn of 1908 and by the end of that year there were a number of Troops in North Staffordshire. A handwritten book called “Boy Scouts Organisation Register for The Potteries and District Boy Scouts Association” from the old Divisional archives seems to indicate the summer / autumn timescale is correct for us and there are 34 Scouts recorded in the Troop at that time. Our 1st Scoutmaster is recorded at a Scoutmaster’s meeting in its minutes in October 1908 and the Scouts played a football match in December 1908 recorded in the Evening Sentinel. So, the 1st September seems as good a date as any for our ‘official’ birthday! You can read all about our history here.
Looking forward, our Drums are playing at Eyam Carnival today and our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts return from their summer holidays next week with packed programmes of exciting and adventurous activities for our young people!
Here’s to the next 110 years of Scouting in Porthill!
The world is currently going mad over the Baby Shark song. However, we at Porthill Scouts have been singing it for many years. You can see in the video below, the were Beavers singing it over 2½ years ago in 2016.
So, as you can see, where we lead, others follow! 😉
Well, it’s over a week now into the summer holidays!
During the summer term our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts did a great many activities which included visits, camps, hikes and boating!
Our Beaver, Cubs and Scouts are on holiday now, but not our talented drums. The summer is their busiest time and they have already played Bakewell Carnival – keep an eye out for them at many events over the next few weeks.
A couple of weeks ago, as part of their Environment Challenge, the Cubs decided to improve their local community. They went out to the park area behind Bradwell Lodge and to the Dingle to collect litter.
The Cubs returned to the hall having collected 2 bin liners full of rubbish!
As part of the District’s St. George’s Day Parade, service of celebration and Promise renewals, the District asked that we give a short talk about remembering Scouts in the First World War.
Our Group Scout Leader, Nick, said the following –
On 11th November this year we will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the 1st World War. On that day, there will be many events to commemorate the end of that war and to remember those who were killed in that and subsequent wars.
A lot of you may be thinking “why and so what?”, as these were events that happened a century ago.
Let me take you back to 1918. In that year we know there are Scouts in Audley, Basford, Porthill, in Newcastle Town Centre and there are Scouts, Guides, Brownies and Cubs all over Newcastle and North Staffordshire (sorry Beavers and Rainbows, you will have to wait around 60 – 70 years before your sections start) and they did what you all do today. They did activities that were challenging, exciting, fun and adventurous, but without social media, mobile phones and computers! But as well, they helped with the war effort at home. The Scouts of North Staffordshire raised money to buy an ambulance and some local Scoutmasters became Police Special Constables. Scouts and Guides even worked for MI5 in London!
But what of the people? I want to introduce you to John Tomlinson. We don’t know a great deal about him and this rather poor photo is the only one we have of him. John was born in Hanley in January or February 1898. He probably joined the Scout Troop at Porthill in 1909 when he was 11 years old. In 1911, when he was 13 years old, John and his family lived in Catherine Street, May Bank (his house is still there today by the way) and he worked as an apprentice at Twyfords pottery in Cliffe Vale.
In September 1914, a month after the start of the Great War, John went to volunteer to join the army in the North Staffordshire Regiment. He shouldn’t have been able to join the army as he was 16 years old, but the recruiting sergeant probably told him to go away, have a quick walk around the block and think about his age again. When he returned to the recruitment centre, he would have been 19 years old and then a private in the army. He was quickly transferred into the 20th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). John was sent to France in August 1915 and that September and October he fought in the famous Battle of Loos and during this battle he was wounded by an exploding artillery shell.
He recovered from his wounds, fought on and the following year he was fighting in the Battle of the Somme. Sadly, on 6th November 1916, he died of the wounds he received. He is buried in the Grove Town Cemetery in France. John was just 18 years old.
John is one of the 18 men who died during the First World War who had been Scouts at Porthill. There were 2 men killed during the war who had been Scouts at the 2nd St. Pauls Troop in Newcastle. It is highly likely that some of the men from Audley who were killed in the war were Audley Scouts, but unfortunately records do not survive. There were many men from across the whole of North Staffordshire killed in the First World War who had been Scouts.
Basford, Porthill & Silverdale Scout Groups have their own Memorials to remember Scouts like John and do so each year on Remembrance Day.
On Remembrance Day every year, we pay special homage to those who died, like John, in service to their country. We remember these brave men and women for their courage and their devotion to ideals. We wear poppies, attend ceremonies, and visit memorials. For one brief moment of our life, we remember why we must work for peace every day of the year.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
This was followed by members of the Drum Corps playing the Last Post followed by Reveille.
On Sunday, we joined Scouts from across the District to parade in Newcastle Town centre to commemorate the patron saint of Scouting, St. George.
Over 300 Scouts and their volunteer Leaders, gathered at The Queens Gardens Newcastle before parading at 2.45pm along The Ironmarket, via High Street to St Giles Church for a service.
Newcastle’s Town Cryer, Mr Gordon Brayford, helped enhance the sense of occasion and our Drum Corps lead the parade, followed by Scouts from the District and invited representatives from the Girl Guides.
As the parade passed by the Cenotaph in High Street, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Wing Commander Elliott Sharrard Williams together with the Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr Simon White took the salute. The parade then processed in to church for a celebratory service, renewing Promise and a celebration of Scouting and local Scouting activities. As 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1, part of the service commemorated Scouts who gave their lives during this conflict and the story of one of our Scouts, John Tomlinson, was told.
In Church, two of the Scouts were presented with the Chief Scout’s Gold Award and John and Nick were presented with long service awards..
On Saturday morning, the Beavers all met at Stoke railway station so they could catch the train to Cadbury World!
After the journey to Birmingham, it was a quick change of train to Bournville and a short walk to Cadbury World itself. Once inside the Beavers learned about the history of chocolate and the Cadbury company and got to see how their favourite chocolates are made.
They met the cocoa bean and Cream Egg, wrote their names in chocolate, visited the 4D cinema and even got to eat some chocolate and bring some home!
It was then time to catch the train back again for parents to pick up the Beavers from the station!
One hundred years ago today, nearly three and a half years into the Great War and only four days after the previous Scout died, Private Harold Bailey, 36622 King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 9th Battalion died age 19.
Harold was a Porthill Scout, and was the fourteen of eighteen of our Scouts, that we know of, that were killed in the Great War.