John Benson Lishman was nearly 47 when he was called up to join the London Electrical
Engineers in February 1918 as a Pioneer. While his War Service was relatively brief and
uneventful it was the work he did before enlisting that proved to be his enduring legacy.
On April 10th 1915, Lishman set up the first meeting of the 8th Darlington Scout Group with 12 members. It was his idea to provide activities for young people while their fathers were away fighting. The first thing the boys did was set up a Drum & Fife band and played concerts in aid of the Red Cross.
Some of examples of the 8th’s packed programme include camping, hiking, badge work and collecting materials for the war effort, most of which they still do today.
It was a sad day when the Troop learned that their Scout Master was leaving them, as this excerpt from their Log Book tells:
“The lads had collected a small pocket wallet & the Secretary presented it as a small – a very small token of love & respect for the work & time spent on us by the S.M.”
Lishman returned to the Group in 1919 and after a “solemn handshake” it was back to normal.
Submitted by the grateful Leaders and Members of the 8th Darlington Scout Group.
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