Remembrance Sunday is on 11 November this year and we will again be joining in the village Remembrance Day Parade.
We hope that all our Cubs will be able to attend.
As usual the parade is being organised by the Billingshurst branch of the Royal British Legion. They have now provided details of timings and the route.
- You should assemble at Frenches Mead Green by 10:15am in full smart uniform (no trainers) and with a poppy. You will not be allowed to wear coats (unless it is pouring with rain in which case you will be advised of alternate arrangements) so will need to put warm clothes on underneath your uniform.
- The parade is due to leave Frenches Mead at 10.25am. Although it seldom does we still need to be ready. We will walk the traditional route via West Street, the High Street and East Street where we’ll drop off our colour and wreath bearers as we pass the church. While they go to stand by the war memorial, the rest of the parade will continue into Silver Lane and Gratwicke Close. After being dismissed we will move down the narrow path to the war memorial outside the church where we will squeeze into the tight space with the rest of the village.
- Once we are joined by the church officials there will be a ceremony at the war memorial. It includes the reading of the names on the memorial, the last post, two minutes silence (ideally at 11am if we are on time) and laying of the wreaths. We have a wreath from Parbrook Cubs.
- We will then enter the church for the service. We hope that the Cubs will be able to sit together and have the necessary orders of service as this has worked well in recent years. There will be a collection during the service.
- After the service the parade will re-assemble in Gratwicke Close and then march to the Village Hall, passing the saluting base which will be outside Truffles. The parade will be dismissed at the Village Hall at about 12.40pm. The British Legion will then invite all those attending the parade to pop inside for tea and biscuits.
Update 8 Nov: the weather forecast for Sunday is wet and windy. Should this weather materialise we will be marching with coats on. Should the weather be very wet a decision about the parade will be made on the day. The wet weather programme includes wreath laying in the church before the service, with the wreaths then moved out to the memorial after the service.
We will need to select Cubs to do the following jobs:
- Colour bearer (to carry our flag). Our eldest Cub: Tommy
- Colour party (2 Cubs to escort our flag on the parade): Will be selected on the day
- Wreath bearer (to lay our wreath at the war memorial). Our Cub of the month for October: James
The colour bearer will need to attend a practice on Friday evening. This will be held between 6.40pm and 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church.
A collection for a local charity will be taken during the service.
We hope that all our Cubs will attend this event but to give as an idea of numbers please let us know that you can attend by registering via My Scout.
It is always hard for leaders who should be in the parade to get photos of the parade itself. If you are coming to watch please bring your camera and let Jacala have your best pictures for us to use on the website.
Scouting and Remembrance Sunday
Since 1922, there has been an Honour Guard of Queen’s Scouts (and formerly King’s Scouts) flanking the door from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to the Cenotaph. There are no remaining written records in The Scout Association archives to tell us precisely the history of the first Honour Guard, but it is probable that the King’s Scouts were there at the request of King George V himself.
So, what exactly did Scouts do in the First and Second World Wars that qualifies them to mount an Honour Guard at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to this day, and to stand to attention in front of the Queen, the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and all the representatives of Commonwealth countries as they file past? Well, for a start, an enormous number of Scouts served in the armed forces, police force and fire service since 1908, and have been highly valued by their regiments and squadrons for their prior knowledge and training. Many Scouts served in ambulance units, air raid patrols, and other civilian services.
By the end of the World War 2 more than 60,000 Scouts had been awarded the National Service Badge for their work at home. They had worked as First Aid orderlies, signallers, telephonists, Air Raid Precaution (ARP) messengers, stretcher-bearers, Coast Watch, Home Guard instructors and Rest Centre assistants. They had made camouflage nets, helped evacuate thousands of younger children from bombed city centres, harvested millions of tonnes of food and animal fodder, chopped wood on a massive scale (around 600,000 hours), and salvaged glass, metal and rubber for re-use.
However, it was the service performed by Scouts during air raids and the Blitz on London that showed outstanding courage and application of the words of the Scout Promise and Law. 80 young Scouts were given Scouting gallantry medals, and in London, Coventry and Liverpool the Silver Cross (Scouting) was awarded to entire Troops. Individual Scouts were awarded the George Medal and George Cross. Fifteen Scouts just old enough to serve in the forces were awarded the Victoria Cross. One particular service Scouts gave to London was guiding fire engines in from the outskirts of the city by the quickest routes to blazing buildings. When they couldn’t get any closer to the fires because of the danger, the Scouts provided First Aid treatment and a barricade to stop others getting too close. In an air raid on Manchester, Scouts rushed burned and wounded firemen to hospital and returned to the scene to carry on their First Aid work. In many cases, older Scouts took over from Leaders who had joined up or been killed, in order to keep Troops together.
That’s just a small indication of the support and service given by Scouts at a time when their skills, training and team-spiritedness were called upon constantly. The uniform made them instantly recognisable as individuals who could be trusted to give directions or provide a focus in a crisis, such as an air raid. So, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month every year, Scouts march at the tail of the procession of veterans, alongside Guides and members of the Boys’ Brigade who have also provided civilian services to the public. From the 1930s until the late 1950s, London’s Rover Scouts had their own service and procession past the Cenotaph, and thousands came from all over the country to march.
Remembrance Sunday for Scouts isn’t about marching like soldiers or glorifying war. It’s about representing fellow Scouts who ‘did their best’ in frightening and dangerous circumstances for the sake of their community and their country.