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.
Explore more memories from the ribbon
Marcia Howard submitted this photo of her father, Philip Baker (right) and her Uncle Leslie – both ready to defend King and Country in 1915. The story she has to tell connects the First and Second World Wars: “Philip my father and Uncle Leslie were the two youngest of the boys in their large family. With an ‘Army’ father in the Hampshire Regiment, it depended on his posting as to where each child was born. Uncle Leslie b.1907 was born in Bermuda, although by the time my dad arrived, they were back in England and he was born 1910 in Winchester. Older siblings had been born in various locations including County Cork, Aldershot and Hampshire. My grandfather Ernest Benjamin Baker was discovered to have haemophilia, a condition which eventually caused his demise, but with an Army Pension, was retained as an Army Messenger as far as I am aware. My grandfather, who died well before I was born, suffered a nose bleed after falling off his bike which caused him to bleed to death. From checking the National School Admission Register, Leslie went to St Thomas’s Higher Grade National/Service Church of England school in Winchester. I couldn’t find details of where my father Philip went to school, but I do recall him telling me during my early teenage years, that he had hated school, and one day had just walked out, never to return. It was a year before he was officially allowed to leave. Fortunately for him he was both…
Submitted by Paul Elliott. My maternal grandfather, Edwin Scriminger, was born in 1892 and worked as a bricklayer living in the Leeds suburb of Meanwood. He joined the West Yorkshire Regiment in early 1915 and went to France. He became a Lewis gunner and, unfortunately, in 1916, a casualty, when he was hit in the lung by a bullet. Invalided from the front line to a casualty clearing station, he was sent to hospitals in Colchester and Stourbridge. On his eventual recovery he was sent to the Northumberland Fusiliers where he became a mess servant. In 1918 he was transferred to the Durham Light Infantry and sent to Archangel on the North Russia expedition. Like the majority of those sent to Russia he was not considered physically fit enough to be sent back to France. The DLI were used principally for guard duties, although some of his notes describe the subduing of a mutiny by Croat troops. After demobilisation in 1919 he returned to the building industry, eventually becoming a manager in a house building company. He died of cancer in 1972, aged 81. His service numbers were: 24904 West Yorkshire Regiment. 41631 Northumberland Fusiliers. 24th Batt. 78110 Durham Light Infantry. 2/7th Batt.
Cradock was born at Hartforth, Richmond, North Yorkshire. After attending Richmond School, he entered the Royal Navy in 1875 he was promoted to rear-admiral in 1910. With the start of the First World War, in August 1914, Cradock, commanding the 4th Squadron of the Royal Navy and stationed at Stanley, had to deal with Admiral Maximilian von Spee’s East Asia Squadron. Cradock’s fleet was significantly weaker than Spee’s, consisting of mainly elderly vessels manned by largely inexperienced crews. The orders he received from the Admiralty were ambiguous, and Cradock interpreted them as instructing him to seek and engage the enemy forces; clarifying instructions were not issued until 3 November, by which time the battle had already been fought. Cradock found Spee’s force off Chile in the late afternoon of 1 November, and decided to engage, starting the Battle of Coronel. He tried to close the range to engage immediately, so that the enemy would have the setting sun in their eyes, but von Spee kept the range until dusk, when the British cruisers were silhouetted in the afterglow, while his ships were hidden by darkness. Cradock’s flagship HMS Good Hope and the HMS Monmouth were destroyed with the loss of all 1570 lives, including his own. A monument to Admiral Cradock was placed in York Minster. There is a monument and a stained glass window in Cradock’s memory in his parish church at Gilling West.