We were approached by the leader of South Walsham Guides, Chris Bond, last spring to think of ways to encourage her girls to take an interest in World War One guiding, and what the girls did for the war effort. We offered them a day from camp at Hautbois to come and see if they were able to get up to speed with what Lady Baden Powell thought Guides could do to help.
The girls learnt about the Union Flag, how to make a hospital bed, how to tie their tie and use it for a sling, how to cook on a buddy burner and tin can, how to use calligraphy pens to write a postcard to the soldiers in France, how to dig the vegetables, and how to sing and stay cheerful even under difficulties, as well as being prepared to cope with unexpected emergencies.
We had a very memorable afternoon and evening. The girls dressed in WWI uniform (using their school uniforms) and then as they achieved various challenges, gained a tie, a belt, a hat and a lanyard for some.
Later on we went to the unit meeting to explain what was involved in the War Service Badge. This included learning how to tie a tramps hitch, roll bandages, etc.
The following weekend the girls visited the ARC whilst staying at Patteson Lodge to see what evidence we could find of South Walsham guiding in the early days… and the girls got very hooked when looking through old logbooks and using cross-referencing to find information. Researching to find treasure for sure, and what an amazing few documents we uncovered!
They discovered that there was a unit in their village back in the 1930s and they are doing more research to find out more about it.
The climax of this will be the production of a stage show Keep the Home Fires Burning on November 10 and 11, as part of the acknowledgment of the Centenary of the Armistice. It promises to be amazing!
On Monday the ARC had a fantastic visit from Mundesley & District SSAFAgettes (the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association). The group was formed in the hope of fundraising for the SSAFA organisation. Hence the SSAFAgettes were formed. So far the ladies have raised over £5000.00!
They came in and had a talk about the ARC and everything that it does, followed by a tour and an exploration of some of our wonderful treasures. This was followed up by a delicious afternoon tea, enjoyed by all!