St. George, the scouts and our charity

23 April 2017 13:00

England’s patron saint, St. George also shares that role for the worldwide scouting movement. Blind Veterans UK has a long association with the scouts, who even today help us at our centre in Brighton.

In our early years a number of them assisted us at our then headquarters at our hostel in Regent’s Park. In fact there were close connections between our charity and the scouting movement going back to our founder Sir Arthur Pearson and his links with Lord Baden-Powell.

The two organisations’ founders knew each other well, and were supportive of each other’s activities. Pearson’s background was in publishing and it was his company, C. Arthur Pearson Ltd, that published Baden-Powell’s book Scouting for Boys. It was from this that the scouting and girl guiding movements developed.

Black and white photo of Scout with blind veteran William Cook alongside colour photo of blind veteran Joe Childs with Scout Kumi Kemp of the 23rd Brighton Scout Group
On the left: Scout with blind veteran William Cook in 1920. On the right: Joe Childs with Scout Kumi Kemp of the 23rd Brighton Scout Group this year at our Brighton centre.

Baden-Powell chose St George as the patron saint for the scouts as his story shows him overcoming adversity, and he wanted his scouts to not fear difficulty or danger but to go about their adventures boldly and confidently. He wrote:

"'When he was faced by a difficulty or danger, however great it appeared, even in the shape of a dragon - he did not avoid it or fear it but went at it with all the power he could... That is exactly the way a Scout should face a difficulty or danger no matter how great or how terrifying it may appear. They should go at it boldly and confidently, using every power that they can to try and overcome it, and the probability is that they will succeed."

Sir Arthur would have greatly valued such qualities and the assistance the scouts gave to the newly-blinded men on their journey to overcome the adversity they had themselves suffered.

Happy St.George’s Day.

To see more stories from our Historical Photography Project click here or check our Facebook page for our #ThrowbackThursdays.