The Great War Part 202, June 29th 1918

342 The Great IV ar BOYS WHO KEPT ALIVE THE SOUL OF INDEPENDENT SERBIA. Serbian Boy Scouts at. drill and (above) enjoying a boxing match in good work during the great retreat from the country and afterwards camp. Mobilised and attached to the Army as despatch-riders and during the exile they kept up their organisation and training so as to be orderlies on the outbreak of war the Serbian Boy Scouts did particularly ready for use directly opportunity offered. Boy Scouts of Milan drawing rations when in holiday camp. The Italian Boy Scouts were officially utilised for auxiliary service with the Army during the war. They were given non-combatant duties and by taking these released many able- bodied men for Army service at the front. DINNER-TIME IN AN ITALIAN SCOUTS CAMP. patrolling cyclist despatch-riding telephone duty, and signalling under the petty-officers in charge of stations. They were granted a messing allow­ance by the Admiralty the boys doing their own catering and cooking. The variety of their duties maybe judged from the following log extract noted in the inspection of one small section of coast :“Warned a destroyer off the rocks in a fog.” “Sighted and reported airship going S.S.E. five miles distant.” "Provided night guard over damaged seaplane which was towed ashore by drifter.” “Light shown near----- at 3.15 a.m. for seven minutes and again from apparently the same spot at 4.35 a.m.” “Trawler No. ------came ashore. Permits all in order except J------M------- who had none. Took his name and address to police superintendent at ------.”“Floating mine reported by fishing-boat No. ------.Proceeded with the patrol boat which located and blew up the mine." “Provided guard over wreck and stores three days and nights i n------B a y.”In some parts of the coast the stations had no naval officer manor in charge but the duties were nonetheless efficiently carried out the “patrol leader ”being given sole responsibility for their proper performance and in no case was this trust misplaced. Another gratifying point about the whole thing was that the sympathy and support they received was earned by the Scouts on their own merits. When they first overtook the duties there is no doubt that they were inmost places unpopular the local men thought they were being deprived of the chance of Government pay b y these boys coming to uptake the duty of coast-watching and they disliked them accordingly. They also thought that, being only boys it would be easy to evade their instructions or to cow them but they soon found their mistake. The lads carried out their duties with all the sense of responsi­bility and with all the determination of trained police, and were loyally backed by their officers when they made their reports to them. The consequence was that the men soon found them­selves shamed by these youngsters who were doing their work for mere patriotic Popularity reasons and doing it with a strict sense well earned of duty that stood against all bullying and all underhand methods. Then their habit of doing good turns to their neighbours by helping in the gardens and houses around them and helping on the farms or with the fishermen at their work soon brought them favour and they became popular at every station. It is a splendid result and one of which not only the boys but also their Scoutmasters and trainers maybe proud. This is what the naval officer in charge of this service on one part of the coast wrote concerning
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