News | Scouts commemorate Battle of Jutland

Jack Cornwell

Members of Scouting have attended an official commemoration ceremony in Scapa Flow, Orkney, marking the centenary of the Battle of Jutland.

The Battle of Jutland was the only full-scale clash of battleships in WWI. It was a strategic victory for the British – though the loss of life on both sides was terrible. The battle took place out in the crashing grey waves of the North Sea, in waters between the coasts of Britain and Denmark.

Jack Cornwell, a former Scout, was one of the Royal Navy personnel involved in the battle. As the gunfire burst from the enemy ships around him, Jack – aged just 16 – received a critical wound which would kill him three days later. He stayed at his gun, awaiting orders and defending his ship, until he was found by medics.

Upon Jack’s death, Lord Baden-Powell created the Cornwell Scout Badge, which is still awarded to Scouts who show ‘pre-eminently high character and devotion to duty, together with great courage and endurance’.

Two repicipients of this prestigious award – Noah, 13, and Amy, 18 - were invited, along with UK Chief commissioner Wayne Bulpitt, to the commemoration ceremony. Noah and Amy took part in a reading and presentation about Jack Cornwell at Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Orkney.

Noah Duncan was awarded the Cornwell Scout Badge in 2013, as a Cub. Aged just six, he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour behind his left eye. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy were initially successful, but three years later the tumour returned and surgeons removed Noah’s eye to save his life.

Since then, Noah has actively campaigned to raise awareness of childhood cancer, and was invited to the Scottish Parliament to talk about his experiences. He was fitted with a prosthetic, but chooses not to wear it – proving that, despite apparent differences, you can lead a life full of self-belief and confidence.  

Amy Keogh is a Queen’s Scout Award recipient and active Beaver leader, despite having suffered with severe pain and mobility problems in her knees for 10 years. At just 15, she had both knees surgically reconstructed. This stopped the daily dislocations which were making life extremely difficult, but left Amy with severe pain.

[See more: watch Amy speaking to the BBC about her award]

Amy volunteered as a Young Leader throughout this time, and became a Beaver Scout Leader on her 18th birthday. She ran the Disability Awareness Activity Badge with her Beaver Lodge, using her own experiences to educate the young people. She has never allowed her physical disability to get in the way of her devotion to Scouting.

Both Noah and Amy are shining examples of young people who have shown enormous fortitude in the face of adversity. Their courage and achievements, as well as those of the other recipients of the Jack Cornwell Badge over the years, have helped to keep the memory of Jack Cornwell alive in Scouting.

Several special awards celebrate the extraordinary achievements of Scouting members. Read more about the awards, including the Jack Cornwell Badge, and download a nomination form. 

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