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Thread: Cenotaph television

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    Senior Member ChrisA's Avatar
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    Cenotaph television

    Been watching the Cenotaph activity on TV this morning. It was great to see the new role for Queens Scouts, and to see so many of them accepting and laying the wreaths. As a Queens Scout I never actually made it to the line up outside the Home Office entrance - but my green jacket did go up four times with other attendees from the District.

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    I thought that the "special" scarves didn't look great.

    I've heard that there are quality issues but for me the border colour should be a proper red to go with the poppy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Rush View Post
    I thought that the "special" scarves didn't look great.

    I've heard that there are quality issues but for me the border colour should be a proper red to go with the poppy.
    All it needed was a red material border to match the poppy colour - it wouldn't have been that hard to do instead of what they did. Also the PVC woggles, although they looked very nice would be much better if they were made out of leather - the lady who does all the official leather ones for TSA and also does our group ones does leather poppy woggles.
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    I think over all, for this, less is definitely more.

    They need to step back a bit from the poppy over-use. It's turning into an exercise in passive one up-manship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    They need to step back a bit from the poppy over-use. It's turning into an exercise in passive one up-manship.
    I get it, sometimes it seems like more of an outward show of "look at us! We're rememberancing really hard!" than an inward pause for collective contemplative remembrance.

    On certain social media outlets [cough]1stFB*[cough] I can't quite work out whether it's some sort of collective "we're all doing the same thing so we'll post about it", I don't know.

    Perhaps it's just the 14-18 thing, and it'll calm down a bit until say 2039, and people doing massive poppy "waves" (for example) will be like the person singing the footy chant one too many times.

    Then again, it's important kids learn about war and what leads to war.

    * And cripes, don't be the one that criticises all the poppy posts on there, note, not the doing of any remembrance thing, just the need to be quite so many posts about it, jeesh, Amazon sold out of pitchforks and firebrands that day!
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    I think, for the first time, we asked our Scouts what the day meant to them and tried to have a serious conversation about it.

    Out of fourteen that were down, only four commented on it being an opportunity to remember. None mentioned non-combatant deaths. Two identified the first world war specifically, another mentioned the second. None mentioned any 'modern' wars.

    Of the 20 scouts we have on the books (all of who's parents received an email about Sunday), it looks like only one turned up.

    For the first time (too), I explained the difference between the march and the service. I said that, the march was the important part in terms of remembrance. The service - while part of the day - could be missed if they didn't have any particular faith... I'm phasing the old fashioned attitudes out...

    I admit, I tend not to go to armistice day parades - for reasons of my own. But, as I tried to explain to the young folk, I still think it's really important to have a critical understanding of what went on and about what I'd call informed remembrance...

    Obviously fell on deaf ears...

    That said, looking at the pictures, the march was well attended by cubs and beavers and other groups. At a rough estimate, I think maybe half of the scouts who were down on Thursday there had actual reasons for not attending - be it football or rugby... The rest I think are probably apathetic, which bothers me slightly. I don't wear a poppy, but I think its important we remember in our own way.


    PS: I tried to impart to them the feeling I had whilst recently on an Explorer trip there. We visited a shooting club and got to fire all sorts of long guns and pistols from various wars - specifically, the standard issue rifles from the first and second world wars. I tried to explain how easy they were to use - especially the M1 carbine... The standard rifle (.303 No 4/SMLE etc) was clunky and heavy but that M1 was so easy to use. The action was incredibly smooth and it wasn't heavy. In that tiny wee 10 round magazine... Fourteen scouts standing there (getting bored listening to me), I tried to make them understand that ten of them could just be gone - from that tiny box of death... We were firing all these massively noisy, heavy guns - with a three mile exclusion zone beyond the limits of the range itself... I tried to get them to imagine sitting in a shallow ditch down range...

    I'm no pacifist, but it put the fear in me...

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    We would give any cubs who attended Remembrance Sunday & St Georges Day a free sleepover, with a film and a trip to chippy. Used to cost me about £60 quid a year in sausage and chips, but we would get 95% of the pack to attend both events, and the chip shop owner was elated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    We would give any cubs who attended Remembrance Sunday & St Georges Day a free sleepover, with a film and a trip to chippy. Used to cost me about £60 quid a year in sausage and chips, but we would get 95% of the pack to attend both events, and the chip shop owner was elated!
    I struggle with this. So you had to bribe them to be there. Good for the leaders to have a good turnout but it doesn't feel to be for the right reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I think over all, for this, less is definitely more.

    They need to step back a bit from the poppy over-use. It's turning into an exercise in passive one up-manship.
    If by "they" you mean society, I agree. There seems to be a lot of poppy porn around these days and it's starting to feel like a competition of who can remember the hardest.
    James

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    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    We would give any cubs who attended Remembrance Sunday & St Georges Day a free sleepover, with a film and a trip to chippy. Used to cost me about £60 quid a year in sausage and chips, but we would get 95% of the pack to attend both events, and the chip shop owner was elated!
    I am afraid that when I was a leader, if I had had to do that to get the yp to turn out to the Remembrance Parade (not so much for the St Georges Day Parade as I was often not able to attend myself!), I would have viewed that as a failure on my part to get the message across.
    Last edited by BigBadBaloo; 12-11-2018 at 06:42 PM. Reason: to correct quote
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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonhhjh View Post
    If by "they" you mean society, I agree. There seems to be a lot of poppy porn around these days and it's starting to feel like a competition of who can remember the hardest.
    There is a fantastic twitter feed called Giant Poppy Watch that is doing a tremendous job of satirising this nonsense. Well worth a look.

    Going back to 1stFB someone posted a picture of their poppy painted finger nails and asked if it was too much. I felt like posting that yes, yes it was an absurd thing to do, but held back. I canít be bothered with some arguments.

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    This is an interesting thread.

    For some time I have been wondering what goes through the minds of some leaders.

    Menin Gate - Scouts turn up, sometimes in smart uniform, sometimes not so smart. Leaders lay the wreath, or Leaders accompany the wreath layers. When we did this, two PLs were chosen. I ofetn wonder why the Leaders have to lay the wreaths, whilst their Scoutslook on? Or why they have to accompany the wreath layers?

    I get dismayed by all the photography of "didn't we remember well" type. This is NOT a publicity opportunity. It is an act of remembrance. There are some who seem to want to turn it into a urinating contest.

    My Navs turned out, just over a third of the Seniors and a handful of Juniors. We simply told them what we were doing and asked them to turn out. Those who turned out were those whom I expected to turn out. No uniform, no fuss, no photographs, just being there to remember.

    But remembrance is not just one day per year. It arises when it arises. "We shall not forget" means just that, not, "We shall not forget for one day each year".
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonhhjh View Post
    If by "they" you mean society, I agree. There seems to be a lot of poppy porn around these days and it's starting to feel like a competition of who can remember the hardest.
    I think I also mean the various charities involved too, but especially business' that desperately virtue signal around this time of year.

    I don't think anyone can deny that charities are now very much ran along business lines, Scouts is a case in point. Maximise profi- I mean donations/membership etc etc etc - we have targets! The Earl Haig Trust and British legion etc make all sorts of sombre comments about the furore that erupts around poppy one-upmanship - but, their marketing teams love it - as do the Peace Pledge Union...

    The entire occasion has become a victim of what ever it is that ails the rest of society these days - see any other thread about greed, the internet, the me-now culture, blah blah blah...

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    By Siegfried Sassoon

    I knew a simple soldier boy
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    No one spoke of him again.


    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

    That last stanza. Gets more prophetic each year

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    I was going to read the last verse from Wilfred Owens' poem 'Dulce et Decorum est' on Thursday there.

    But to be honest, I thought it would go over the kid's heads.

    Reading Siegfried Sassoon's poem, I had three Explorers, all brothers - all in Air Cadets. Certainly two of them were going into the army and RAF. They love all this stuff. While I admire their strength of feeling, their naivety is worrying, it's what governments prey upon for the wars they decide they need to fight. I was speaking with another leader about it recently, knowing the family as we do, we wondered what fed the attraction they seemed to have to the armed services. We suspected it was down to their cadet membership - we really couldn't think of anything else.

    (Saying that, the youngest brother, piped at the grave of the unknown solider in London on Sunday morning, of which we were proud...)
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 13-11-2018 at 11:22 AM.

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