Arundel Scouts visit First World War battlefields following research into those who gave their lives

Scouts and Explorer Scouts from Arundel visited the First World War battlefields to honour members of 1st Arundel Scout Troop who gave their lives.

Over the past few years, volunteers have worked on a number of projects looking at how Arundel was involved in the Great War.

Scouts and Explorer Scouts from Arundel visited key First World War sites, including Passchendaele, the Messines Ridge, Flanders Field Museum, Tyne Cot Cemetery and Thiepval Memorial

Scouts and Explorer Scouts from Arundel visited key First World War sites, including Passchendaele, the Messines Ridge, Flanders Field Museum, Tyne Cot Cemetery and Thiepval Memorial

As the 1st Arundel Scout Troop was formed in 1908, it was decided to look through the archives of the group to see what could be discovered.

Bob Rendall, Explorer leader, said: “The results of the search showed that at least 32 men and boys served and many of the younger Scouts undertook voluntary work at home to support the war effort.

“There were seven who did not come home. Six are remembered on the Arundel War Memorial and one on the memorial in Arundel Post office.

“As four of the men are either buried or commemorated on the battlefields of Belgium and France, it was decided that the Scouts and Explorer Scouts should visit the battlefields during the autumn half-term to pay their respects to the Scouts who did not return.

“Prior to the trip, the Scouts collected some stones and decorated them with poppies and a message. The stones were then placed on the graves and memorials.”

The group visited sites including Passchendaele, the Messines Ridge, Flanders Field Museum, Tyne Cot Cemetery and Thiepval Memorial.

Bob added: “The visit to Talbot House, where rank was left at the door, was particularly memorable, as was the visit to the Menin Gate, where we were privileged to lay a wreath as part of the Last Post Ceremony, in memory of all those Scouts who served and did not come home.”

The results of the research have been recorded in a number of panels for the Arundel in the Great War collection and include extracts from the diary of Mr Gunner, the Scout master.

Signalling had become a popular pastime with the troop and some of the boys were very proficient but with the outbreak of war, the equipment was packed away until 1915, when it was requisitioned.

One of the Scouts joined the Royal Engineers as a fully-qualified telegraphist.

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