Remembering seven local Boy Scouts in 1920

Remembering seven local Boy Scouts in 1920
Bodmin Town Museum

By: Bodmin Town Museum
Added: 27 July 2020

On 27th July 1920, two candlesticks were dedicated and placed in the Sanctuary of St Petroc’s Parish Church, Bodmin and a service was held to commemorate the seven Boy Scouts who had enlisted to serve in WWI. Five of the Scouts were killed in action; one died within a month of discharge due to ill health in 1917; one died due to sickness contracted in France. 

A brass plaque placed in the Sanctuary records this event and the names of these Boy Scouts for posterity. Eileen Selley, shop manager and volunteer from Bodmin Town Museum and a member of St Petroc’s Parish Church, noticed the inscription and names of these Scouts on the plaque whilst cleaning the brass in 2013 and has been researching their history ever since. The Sanctuary in the Church is a very special place for one of these brass plaques to be placed, so it must have been a very impressive service.

Quoting from the Deanery Magazine of August 10th 1920:

“The remembrance of the service will I think always be fresh in the minds of those who were present. Mrs Udy played the two hymns that formed part of the service (‘Let saints on earth’, and ‘Fight the good fight’).”

Bodmin Guardian of August 1920:

“The dedication took place on Tuesday evening when the Scouts and Wolf Cubs and the Scout Master WL Tonkin and Assistant Scout Master F Beswetherick, marched to church where a special service was held conducted by the Vicar Reverend L Browne.”

The scouts named are:

Norman Charles Frazier, born 1897, East Lancs Regiment, killed in action in France, February 1917

Thomas George Hambly, born 1899, DCLI then RASC, died in May 1917 after discharge through ill health in April 1917

Fred P Holman, born 1894, 1st/4th DCLI, killed in action in Palestine, September 1918

Fred Keat, born 1894, London Irish Rifles, killed in action in France, September 1916

John Henry Lawrance, born 1899, 1st DCLI, killed in action in France, August 1917

Harry Osborne, born 1896, 1st/5th DCLI, died of sickness contracted in France, September 1919

Harry Thomas, born 1895, 8th DCLI, killed in action in the Balkans, September 1918

A framed picture, in poor condition, containing photographs of six of the Boy Scouts was handed in to Bodmin Town Museum during the 1980s and will be shown here shortly. No photograph has so far been found of Harry Thomas.

Research by Bodmin Town Museum into this story is ongoing and it is hoped that a booklet will be published in due course.

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