WITH the end of the First World War being commemorated soon, 1st Newport scouts are remembering the members of their troop who fell during the war.

The boy scouts were formed six years before the First World War started and had already gained a reputation for reliability and helpfulness.

During the First World War, scouts played a very visible role on the Home Front, which demonstrated what a valuable contribution the movement made to society.

During the first year of the war (1914-15) the Government ran a poster campaign to encourage men to join the armed forces. On two posters published in 1915 the image of a scout was used to reinforce the message that everyone should be doing their bit for the war effort.

As Britain entered the First World War on August 4, 1914, Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the scout movement, volunteered scouts to support the war effort.

They were not to have a military role but could undertake work that released men for service in the armed forces.

The skills learned through scouting proved very useful in carrying out a range of jobs, including guarding reservoirs, working on farms, delivering messages, watching coastlines, fetching hospital supplies, and guarding railway lines.

Many older scouts and scoutmasters went on to enlist in the armed forces and a number were killed on active service.

Former scouts were awarded at least 19 Victoria Crosses, the highest military decoration awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces.

Towards the end of the war, Scouts worked with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to help keep records of where the fallen were buried.

As a group, the 1st Newport have been looking back at the lives of some of the young men who were actively involved in the troop at and around the time it was formed.

The group has specifically been concentrating on those members who went on to join the military during the First World War.

Their names of those killed in active service are found on a memorial at the present headquarters of the group, at Woodbine Close, Newport.

Patrol Leader Harold ‘Joe’ Dore was 20 years old when he died on June 8, 1917. He is buried in Lijessenthoek Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, near Poperinge in Belgium.

Joe was the son of Harry and Francis Dore, of Fairlee Road, Newport, and was serving as a private in the 15th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment at the time of his death.

Scout William Knight is commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

William was 25 years old when he was killed on July 1, 1916. He was the son of Mary Knight, of New Street, Newport, and was serving as a private in ‘C’ Company of the 1st/14th Battalion of the London Regiment (London Scottish) when he died.

Scout G.P.N. Thompson is buried at the Nieppe Bois (Rue-de-Bois) British Cemetery, Vieux-Berquin, France.

He was 19 years old when he was killed on May 4, 1918. He was the son of Dr and Mrs C.I. Thompson, of Siviers Flats, Ryde.

He was serving as a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers when he died.

Scout Charles Lane’s name appears on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Hainault, France. Charles was 19 years old when he was killed between April 9 and 12, 1918.

Charles was the son of William and Emily Lane, of Spicers Farm, Newchurch, and he was serving as a private in the 19th Battalion of the Machine Guns Corps (Infantry) when he died.

Over the years there have been many families with the surname Knight and Thompson involved at the 1st Newport and, today, there are members who are distant relations of Charles Lane.

The group this year celebrated its 110th anniversary.

In September, a group connected to the 1st Newport Scouts travelled to France and Belgium.

Before leaving the UK, much research was carried out into the exact locations of the graves and memorials of all the 1st Newport Scouts who died in battle in and around the Flanders area.

They visited all the locations where the 1st Newport are remembered.

They placed a 110th anniversary wreath and badge on the individual gravestones and small remembrance crosses, bearing the group’s 110th anniversary badge, at the various memorial walls where there was no individual headstone.

Ernie Howard, chairman of the Newport and Carisbrooke branch of the Royal British Legion, arranged the wreaths and crosses, and the 1st Newport would like to extend its thanks for that.

The group also experienced the famous Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, where a nightly act of remembrance for the dead of the British Empire Forces has taken place almost every night since 1928 as a mark of thanks from the people of Belgium.

A passage from 1st Newport – The History of The 1st Newport, IW, Troop (The Old Guard) by J. H. Burgess, published in 1946, reads: “Late in June 1917 came the terrible news of the death of Joe Dore — news which cast a gloom over the troop for days.

“Joe was killed near Ypres on June 8. Beloved by the scouts of his patrol, simple and sincere, his memory is enshrined in the hearts of all who knew him.

“We had all looked forward to the time when Joe could return to the troop; Joe, with his dry chuckle and quiet ways, his utter loyalty and his lovable nature. It was not to be.”