This little badge and around 60,000 others very like it, were issued in 1945 to members of the Scout & Guide Association who carried out National Service in defence of the UK on the home front during the WW2.
While the older members and leaders joined up to serve in the armed forces the younger members did their best to keep their troops going.
This service is mostly remembered for the useful work collecting scrap or for digging for victory or working on farms.
There is however a darker side to this service. In many of the most heavy bombed towns and cities in the UK
Scouts/Guides were thought of as dependable and members were recruited as messengers, first aiders and guides for the massively over stretched fire and police services. Around 1000 bravery awards were presented for this work.
So while people attend memorials across the country this morning and Sunday and quite rightly remember the soldiers sailors and airmen lost in the many conflicts across the globe, I will remember our brothers/sisters from Scouting/Guiding.
I’ll think about the terrified 14 year old directing fire engines during an air raid with burning buildings on each side of the road and bombs bricks glass and tiles raining down on them, or the 15 year old on firewatch seeing the fires and explosions slowly advance towards them or the beleaguered 16 year old patrol leader whose patrol are holding back a crowd, stopping them entering a burning building because they think a relative is still in there.
This is the reason you will see Scouts & Guides parading, they are not here to glorify wars and conflict. They are there simply to represent those who have gone before and those who did their best in the most terrifying and impossibly difficult situations imaginable.
We WILL remember them…..