SCOUTS OF BRITAIN
DEVOTION TO DUTY
FILLING A NOBL^ROLE
Numerous examples of the great part the Boy Scout movement is playing in the Battle Britain are;given in a booklet, "They Were Prepared," compiled by headquarters of the Boy Scouts' Association, London, and a copy of which has reached New Zealand. Whether assisting evacuees, rescuing people trapped in debris, fighting fires, salvaging furniture after air raids, serving in canteens for the Forces, acting as instructors to the Home Guard, or performing a host of other duties, the Scouts of Britain have filled a noble role since the first onslaught on the British Isles was made by Nazi airmen. One simple t(ut graphic example of a Scout's devotion to duty Is typical of the many given in the booklet. "Derrick Belfall was fourteen years old. Though the official minimum age for A.R.P. service is sixteen, Derrick worried permission out of his father to join the messenger service. And then one night the time of testing came.. ; Swift and devastating was the attack on the seaport city. Heavy explosives and fire bombs fell in the area where he was on duty.. There was a message to be delivered and Derrick was sent. Bombs were falling, and high overhead shells were bursting. Shrapnel rained down, but Derrick carried on with, undaunted courage. It was when returning to his post that he saw a chance of further service. With a stirrup pump, and working single-handed, he fought a fire and extinguished it. Then from another blazing house he rescued a baby. It' was shortly after this that Derrick was picked up in the street, gravely wounded. He died in hospital and his last words will surely be added to those many other famous last words: 'Messenger Belfall reporting. I have delivered my message.'" IN THE LINE OF DUTY. Many Scouts have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, and the courage of even the youngest members of the movement, the Wolf Gubs, has touched the hearts of men of the A.R.P. Many under-sixteens have bluffed their way into the A.R.P. service and performed most valuable work to the limits of their physical ability.
.This is the list of awards conferred bf the 'King on Scouts during the. war to June 30, 1941: One 0.8. E., two George Crosses, twelve George Medals. Awards by the Boy Scouts' Association during the same period include eleven Bronze Crosses and many Silver Crosses and Gilt Crosses. In a foreword to the booklet the Chief Scout, liOrd Somers, writes: — "The spirit of service. is the spirit of the true Scout whatever his rank of age. The spirit of the good turn, ever present in peace time, has matured to devoted self-sacrifice in war. In writing to me recently the Prime Minister, Mr. Winston Churchill, said: -'The record of the work of the Boy Scouts during the war on the home front is a very fine one.' I thinkj therefore, the world should be told of some of the acts of heroism and devotion to duty of our Scouts, and that is the purpose of this little booklet." .
"They ;Wfre Prepared" is stark;.r.eadin"| ixx: fecjme" "respects, but it' should be read to appreciate what the youth of Britain is doing and will continue to do until victory is won.
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