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Arthur Shepherd’s 15th birthday was not one he was going to forget.  Arthur was a Scout with 8th Middlesbrough (St Paul’s) Troop.

Arthur Shepherd, 1916


Arthur and his patrol were supporting the Coastguard in Whitby with the coastwatch when on the 30 October 1914 the hospital ship Rohilla hit a reef just off Whitby.  For three days the Coastguards and Scouts worked to rescue the drowning men and recovering bodies.  Arthur took on the most dangerous job of bringing supplies of rockets from the Coastguard station and relaying messages, as described in the December 1916 Headquarters Gazette


“In doing this he had to make his way along the face of the cliff by a very narrow and slippery ledge of rock which overhung the sea and was washed by the waves.  He had to do this alone, with a gale blowing, and in the dark, when a false step or a slip meant death.  But he did it, and did it several times.”


This wasn’t Arthur’s only act of bravery, a matter of weeks after the Rohilla sank Whitby was hit by a German Naval Bombardment.  Again Arthur and his fellow Scouts went to support the Coastguard and the community of Whitby.


On 1 December Baden-Powell attended a special rally in Middleborough.  Around 3000 boys attended with members of the Scouts, Boys and Church Lad’s Brigades.  Baden-Powell presented Arthur with the very first Cornwell Badge.  It really was the very first as the only one in existence at that point was the factory sample so this was retrieved from the manufacturers for use at this special occasion.

Arthur Shepherd, 1994, with the mementoes of his presentation.  These items are now held in The Scout Association Heritage Collection.

On to: The Cornwell Badge 

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