Shorts down on Baden-Powell scout show

Hastings17Joseph Ineichen (1899 -1977) was my grandfather! The London born Joe left a considerable number of articles at the house journal of his long-life place of work, Lloyd’s of London.

In 1970 he recalled how his life developed from age 10 and to adult life. He joined Lloyd’s at age 14. One can but imagine the feeling of the time, a period that lead to the First World War and then saw the horrors of this butchering conflict that did all but dignify the human race!

As a boy of ten my grandfather recalled how he entered the newly founded Scout movement. For my grandfather the nearest troop was the 8th Westminsters. But he and some friends preferred to start a rival group to the Baden-Powell organization and formed the General Buller Scouts! This was the consequence of events during the Boer War that these boys had taken notice of and stand for.

After a number of activities by this group, a call was made at Joe’s home from the scoutmaster of the 8th. The rebel, Buller half dozen boys, accepted to try the Baden-Powell organization.

Later on they were given carbines without bullets or bayonets- But still! A full and complete show was given before General Baden-Powell himself at Caxton Hall in Victoria Street. At this event my grandfather was told by B-P that he did not approve of boys carrying firearms. His greatest misfortune during that event happened however when the boys did a show of bridge building. “Carrying a baulk of timber, the top button flew off my shorts and down they came to rest about my ankles”.

The following year Joe was promoted to playing the drum and this musical talent in the family is not shared by anyone else as far as I know. We also learn from Joe’s article, on the Lloyd’s log, that many of the scouts were approaching military age and with “old patriotic spirit found their way to the recruiting centres, some never to return. My elder brother… (William Hatchard) was in the 2nd London Fusiliers, went in August 1914. It was on the Somme in June 1916 that a German trench mortar cut short his life at the early age of 21”.

Even Joe would later be called for army duty but that story will be told another time. There was still time and opportunity for some fun as the published picture shows on an outing to Hastings in 1917 with Grandfather Joe standing on the right!

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