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On This Day



In On This Day

By Nicola Gauld

On This Day, 7 July 1917

On 07, Jul 2017 | In On This Day | By Nicola Gauld

Birmingham Mail

Saturday 7 July 1917




This afternoon Sir Robert Baden-Powell, Chief Scout, inspected at Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston, the Boy Scouts and Wolf Cubs of Birmingham and district. There were about 8,000 boys on parade, and, favoured with beautifully fine weather, the event attracted much public attention.

Remarkable scenes were witnessed at the tramway termini for Cannon Hill and Bristol Road. Although the Tramway Department substantially augmented the services they were quite inadequate, owing to the enormous crowds. The queue for the Bristol Road cars stretched from Navigation Street along Hill Street to the General Post Office, while that for Cannon Hill was arranged along Navigation Street, up Stephenson Place, and for a considerable distance along New Street. The police declared that the traffic was for a time, much greater than is usually experienced when an important football match is taking place.

The visitors to the park were mostly of the family type-of fathers, mothers, and children. Thousands of persons tired of waiting, walked to Cannon Hill.

The Birmingham Association comprises fourteen divisions. The members of the various troops assembled in the vicinity of the various tramway termini and marched to Cannon Hill. Most of them were headed by bugle bands with drums and the picturesque colours of the troops. The orderly manner in which the boys paraded evoked favourable comment. The Wolf Cub sector, the nursery of the Boy Scout movement, was admirably presented, the youngsters showing enthusiastic interest in their work.

In view of today’s rally, a recruiting campaign was inaugurated, with most satisfactory results. The Wolf Cub packs’ (which constitute a recent feature of boy scouting) have been materially strengthened. This is essential, in view of claims of the Army and other forms of National service, if the Scout movement is to make adequate progress. It was to be noted that many of the scoutmasters wore on their arms gold stripes indicating that as soldiers they had rendered service at the front.

The rally was probably the most successful that has ever taken place in Birmingham, excepting of course, the International meeting of Boy Scouts at Perry Park a few years ago, when the inspecting officer was Prince Arthur of Connaught. Many thousands of persons witnessed the inspection and march past, and at the close of this an address was delivered by the Lord Mayor.

The Chief Scout, who was accompanied by Lady Baden-Powell, warmly congratulated the Birmingham Association upon the success of the rally. Once again he emphasised the value of the movement as a means of providing physical recreation and discipline among lads. Later in the afternoon many of the boys took part in a programme of sports.