Ystradgynlais & District

History and Heritage

Scouts Bravery Award - 1917

From the Labour Voice, 9th June 1917:-


There was an excellent attendance at St David's Church Hall on Monday evening, when Col Gough presided. The object of the meeting was to present the Sunday school prizes for good attendance, and also to present Scout William Coleman for having saved a life from the River Tawe. Before the meeting, the Boy Scouts paraded and attended at the gathering. An excellent programme was arranged, and Master Cyril Gape commenced with a violin solo played in a fine style; he was followed by Master W Hughes, who recited "Grandpa's spectacles," Miss Jessie Williams then sang a song in an excellent manner, and responded to a hearty encore. Mr E Telorydd Nicholas and Miss Lydia Nicholas rendered a duett, "Life's Stream is O'er," in an accomplished style, and also responded to an encore. The presentations then followed. The Vicar said he was pleased to welcome Col Gough and Commissioner H N Miers to their midst. Mrs Gough had promised to make the presentation, but had been called away, and Col Gough had come forward in her place. Mr Benthall was also welcomed to the meeting. Two of the children who were to be presented that evening had not missed once in three years, and would therefore be presented with a silver cross each. No less than 15 had only lost between once and five times in three years, and they would also be presented with illuminated certificates of merit. Mr E G Benthall then presented Miss Doris Clee and Master Arthur Davies with the crosses. Messrs William Thomas and T C Arnold presented the 15 others with certificates.

Mr E T Nicholas gave another solo followed by one of the Boy Scouts, who sang.

Mr Miers afterwards called upon Scout Willie Coleman to be presented. Col Gough making the presentation of a medal and illuminated certificate to the hero, who was acclaimed with cheers. Col Gough said this lad was the second from the same family that had been presented for life saving, his brother, Harold Coleman, having also saved a child from drowning. He felt proud that Coleman had been brought up on the Yniscedwyn estate.

Col Gough then spoke of the aims and objects of the Boy Scouts movement, and urged all parents to allow their boys to join. He had been informed that a Scout movement of some kind had been formed at Ystradgynlais in competition with the proper Boy Scouts. Many boys were joining it, and he wished to warn parents that when their boys joined these scouts, they were under an erroneous impression when they supposed that they were in the proper movement.

Mr Miers also spoke of the finish the scout movement gave to a boy's character and education.

Mr George Ernest Davies gave a comic song, and responded to a vociferous encore. He was followed by Master Levi Hopkin, who gave an excellent violin solo.

Mr Griffiths, C and C Bank proposed a vote of thanks, to those who had taken part. He also referred in eulogistic terms to the Scout movement.

County Councillor D W Davies seconded, and said he had been so much impressed by Mr Mier's speech that he would give a prize to the Scout who individually recruited the largest number of boys between then and the garden fete to be held at Yniscedwyn. Possibly other gentlemen would give a second and third prize. The vote was carried. The meeting then terminated with the singing of the National Anthem.

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