KIX BlogPosted on the 5th Aug 2023 at 10:31 by Max Harvey KIX 2023
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Operation Last Post 2022Posted on the 23rd Aug 2022 at 6:04 by Lucy Longley InternationalScoutsSurrey Scouts
An introduction to OLP
On Sunday 28th August, 120 Scouts & Leaders from across Surrey will be travelling internationally to participate in a 3 day trip to Belgium & France to explore, learn and pay our respects to the fallen.
Throughout the trip, the Scouts will travel to Brugge, Ypres and Arras, where they will learn about what happened on the front-lines and take part in remembrance ceremonies.
We will visit the Passchendaele Museum, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Ferme-Olivier Cemetery, the Flanders Field Museum, Essex Farm, the CWGC Experience and Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery, plus we’ll even get the opportunity to take part in the Menin Gate parade.
This is an amazing trip for our Scouts which all begins with a 4.30 am start. We will be documenting their journey, so follow along here.
Commemorating a founding Scout
Surrey Scouts are travelling to Belgium & France this weekend to pay their respects to the fallen and learn about life on the front lines, and an important man inspired this trip.
In 1907, aged 10, Marc Nobel attended the first camp run by Baden Powell on Brownsea Island.
The camp actually formed the foundations of the Scout Association. Later on Marc became a 2nd Lieutenant in the British Army, Royal Field Artillery, but sadly died of his wounds on 1st July 1917, he was just 20 years old.
Marc is buried at the Ferme-Olivier Cemetery and our Scouts will be visiting his grave and conducting an act of remembrance for Marc and all those that died.
Advance Team Docks
Our 6-strong advance team are on route to Belgium! They will be getting the campsite ready & organising the food for the 120 Scouts & Leaders arriving tomorrow.
Tagged, Packed & Away
After a 04:30 start there’s an excited buzz on the coaches. Some Scouts were tucking into breakfast before we even set off (I don’t think the leaders will be far behind either).
We have a 90min journey to Dover, before our check-in and crossing.
Well done to all the Scouts & parents for arriving on-time and with the right passports!
We’ve arrived at Dover
We’ve now arrive at Dover and gone through passport control. Time for a toilet break and to grab some breakfast ready for our 09:30 boarding.
We are at Calais!
Both coaches are heading straight to Passchendaele museum, before hiking to Tyne Cot Cemetery this afternoon.
28/8 12:15 (local time)
1st Dorking & Sheerwater enjoying the ferry and one very tired Scout!
What a busy afternoon!
28/8 20:30 (local time)
We have picnicked in Zonnebeke
Explored Passchendaele Museum
Walked the trenches
Tested the plumbing
Hiked 2km across Belgium
And remembered at Tyne Cot
The Scouts have just enjoyed dinner before a quick campfire briefing & bed. We expect it won’t be long until they’re sleeping soundly.
Whistle-stop tour to the European capital of chocolate, Brugge. This town unscathed from the WWI is a great contrast to Ypres, which we’ll be visiting tonight. The Scouts enjoyed looking at the architecture and learning about the historical relevance… but mostly visiting the chocolate shops!
29/8 12:30 (local time)
An emotional afternoon
29/8 23:30 (local time)
After a cooked lunch we visited Ferme-Olivier Cemetery where Marc Nobel, one of our founding Scouts who was on the first camp run by Baden Powell, is buried after being killed 1st July 1917, aged 20. We conducted a small ceremony together, spoke the exhortation & reveille, laid a wreath & placed one of our Surrey Scout scarfs.
We then headed to Essex Farm which was an advance dressing station in WWI.
We patched up some “casualties” from the “front line” and took them through the evacuation chain.
They explored the bunkers which were used as operating theatres for wounded soldiers.
John McCrae was a Lieutenant-Colonel working in the advance dressing station from 1915. John was also a poet and after the death of a close friend, Lt Alexis Helmer, he wrote ‘In Flanders Field’.
Prior to our trip, we found out that there was a link between Dorking and Essex Farm. Valentine Joe Strudwick, lived in Dorking and attended St Paul’s School. He lied about his age to do his part for King and Country, and sadly died on 14th January 1916, aged 15. He is one of the youngest soldiers known to be killed in action in WWI. Former students and the current site-manager laid a home-made wreath from the school.
We then headed into Ypres, where we visited the In Flanders Field Museum, which was formerly the Cloth Hall, which was almost completely destroyed in WWI. The whole town was then re-built in the Medieval style, and the Scouts could see the similarities & differences to Brugge.
The Scouts also had some time to explore Ypres before we attended the 32,608th Last Post under the Menin Gate.
The Last Post Association hold a daily tribute since 2nd July 1928, except for the period of occupation by the Nazis in WWII where the Last Post transferred to the Brookwood Military Cemetery, until the 6th Sept 1944 when Ypres was liberated by the Polish.
It was an emotional parade, with our standard bearers being asked to line the road opposite the Buglers from the Last Post Association. We laid 5 wreaths whilst the Sandhurst Military Wives Choir serenaded.
Our Last Post
30/8 14:45 (local time)
We are currently on the coach heading to Calais but we’ve had a reflective day. The Scouts travelled across the border into France, and visited the Commonwealth War Grave Commission experience & the Faubourg d’Amiens cemetery, learning about how the CWGC record & commemorate fallen soldiers, preserve remains & artefacts and even creating cemeteries for recently found soldiers over 100 years on.
The CWGC experience allowed the Scouts to see the full process from finding remains to burial & the maintenance of the memorials.
Some Scouts even tried their hand at chiselling a plinth. Luckily it was just a demo piece!
Scoutabout 2022 – Scoutabout is Live!Posted on the 3rd Jul 2022 at 5:23 by Alistair Tickett ScoutsSurrey Scouts
Scoutabout is Go!
Sunday morning – 10am
The wind has dropped and the parascenders are up!
Sunday morning – 6.32 am
It is suspiciously quiet on site this morning – could the Scouts and Guides possibly have been tired out from yesterday?
Saturday evening – 10pm
Saturday afternoon – 6.30pm
The sun has been shining at the South of England Showground this afternoon and the Scouts and Guides have been enthusiastically taking advantage of the exciting activities on offer
Saturday afternoon – 2pm
Activities are reopening after a pause for lunch. Nicely topped up with some more energy for the afternoon, the Scouts and Guides are back in action!
Saturday morning – 11.30am
The site is buzzing with activities and busy young people having fun! There is nothing like a spot of fake wounds to scare the adults!
Saturday morning 6 am
The sun is shining and the Scouts and Guides. The super keen Scouts and Guides are already queuing for Kayaking!
Third time lucky – after a couple of Covid related postponements, we are back with a vengeance! Thousands of Scouts and Guides have arrived at the South of England Showground for a weekend of activities. Camping in their districts, they have settled in for the evening and are already taking in the Scoutabout 2022 highlights.
The weekend has begun! Tents are up and first activities have been undertaken! People have been checking out what is available with the full range of activities opening in the morning.
Hannah Dorman has been on stage and got the evening programme underway with style!
Then came the fireworks!