Return to 'Scouting Milestones' links
'Footnotes' to Scouting Milestones
The Piper of Tobruk

PIPE Major Rob Roy was in the Black Watch, the famous Scottish Regiment. He made himself notable by playing his bagpipes along the trenches at one of the battles of Tobruk. Although wounded, he carried on playing to spur on his troops. During the course of the battle he was captured by the Germans and made a Prisoner of War.

In the prison camp he further raised the morale of the troops by playing his bagpipes, to the great annoyance of his German captors who took away his set of pipes. Undeterred, he made up another set of chanter reeds from the wood out of match boxes during the course of his capture. He eventually escaped and made it back to the British lines and carried on fighting in the battles for North Africa.

Later, he was posted to Gibraltar as Garrison Sergeant Major, an appointment which made him the senior Warrant Office (1st class) on 'The Rock'.

(This information came from Tony Almeida, one of the two pipers who were taught by Pipe Major Rob Roy still left, as related to Tony Galliano, both from the present Gibraltar Sea Scout Group and to both of whom we are grateful.)

Go Back
A Rover/Ranger Romance

STEVE Rowley, of Loxley Rovers sent us this account in July 2003:-

"I met my wife at a Scout Hall in Melbourne, Australia. We were introduced by her debutante partner who was a fellow Rover in my Crew. She was a Ranger at the time, and the Deb Ball had been a Ranger function. Anyway, we started going out, and very soon her Ranger Unit invited our Rover Crew to a couple of social functions, which we attended with pleasure. This was early in 1969. We got married in April 1970, and our first-born was a boy in 1974. By the time his sister came along in 1977 he was already a hit with my new Rover Crew (in Perth, Western Australia), where I was now Rover Leader.

"Our children went into Scouts and Guides, and Iain went from Cubs to Rovers, earning his Queen's Scout badge along the way. Kirsty had a bad experience in Guides and dropped out at 14. We tried to convince her to join the Scouts with her brother (we have had girls in Scouts here in Australia since 1976), but she was determined that she was not going to join with him. So she did other things with her spare time, still supported by Mum and Dad.

"Iain has now been booted out of Rovers, having reached the retiring age of 26 after convincing the Crew here in Canberra, Australia (we get around a bit, and I didn't mention our time in Sydney and back in Melbourne either) to take me on as Rover Advisor (the new name for Leader) in 1997. At this time he was Crew Leader (used to be Rover Mate) and was known as 'Grandpa', because he was a couple of years older than the other members of the Crew. Of course, I became 'Great-Grandpa', and still am.

"Chris, my wife, meanwhile spread herself around, serving as a Ranger Leader and Guide Leader (mainly running 'Lones' units) and being Group, District and Region (County) committee person for Scouts. At one time she held non-Warranted uniform rank (District Secretary) with the Scouts whilst still an active Guider, so had both uniforms in the wardrobe. For some reason I have never had a Guide uniform, although I have given lay assistance to that movement.

"We have just finished a term of three years as Manager/caretakers at the Scout Camp here in Canberra (Camp Cottermouth). The camp was burnt out in the disastrous bushfires of 18 January 2003, and so our positions became superfluous. By coincidence, we were hosting the Australian National Rover Council at that time, so it was a very high-profile demise for the camp. The Australian Chief Commissioner was among those evacuated on that day. Luckily, the Australian National Venture (for Venturer Scouts, 14-18 years) had finished the previous Monday, or we would have had hundreds to evacuate rather than 40."

Go Back
Waddecar Scout Camp

THE Waddecar Scout Camp, near Preston, Lancashire is the home of the Scout Museum, Be Prepared: The Story of Scouting. How this amazing museum came to be built is told on The story of the Wood Badge. Its curator, Michael Loomes, says that it is the country's first purpose-built Scout Museum, and modestly fails to make any other claims for it other than it is 'Lancashire's Little Gem'. He is wrong. It is one great big diamond! It is unequalled, even on a national scale, in quality of build, use of space, selection and quality of artefacts, their conservation and presentation. I heartily recommend to those of you with even half an eye towards our great Scouting Heritage the inclusion of Waddecar on your excursion list for next year, if not this!

Waddecar Scout Camp is at G/R SD560440, Ordnance Survey 'Landranger' Sheet 102

Go Back