War heroes honour

PUBLISHED: 12:03 08 March 2007 | UPDATED: 15:01 12 May 2010

David Mayes with the rediscovered replica of the memorial - Picture: Daniel Wilson 2224DW8

David Mayes with the rediscovered replica of the memorial - Picture: Daniel Wilson 2224DW8

A REPLICA of a memorial dedicated to Boy Scouts who later died fighting for their country in the Great War is to go on display again in Buntingford. The original 1917 memorial was first mounted on the wall of 39 High Street, once the Scouts headquarters,

A REPLICA of a memorial dedicated to Boy Scouts who later died fighting for their country in the Great War is to go on display again in Buntingford.

The original 1917 memorial was first mounted on the wall of 39 High Street, once the Scouts' headquarters, and The Indian Star public house, at an unveiling ceremony reported by The Crow on June 1 1917.

However, it disappeared some years later.

Dick Rye and David Mayes of Buntingford made the replica for a joint Scout and Guide display in the Heritage Centre.

But the board was later stored in St Peter's Church and the church authorities would not give permission for it to be displayed in the church.

Now that it has been rediscovered, the town council has recommended that it should be displayed in the town to mark the Scouts' Centenary.

Deputy mayor, councillor Jean Cook, said: "I think this is a very important piece of Buntingford history, which should be displayed in a prominent position to be seen by as many people as possible. The Great War was a terrible war - as indeed they all are - but this one was said to be the war to end all wars, which of course it wasn't.

"What better time to have the memorial on display again than in 2007, the Scouts' Centenary?"

Mr Mayes, 77, of High Street, said: "I remember vaguely when the memorial was taken down during the last war.

"It was when the road signs were taken down.

"It probably just rotted away or was destroyed some time later."

When Mr Mayes made the replica he measured the brick work to get the right size and hand-painted the names.

The only difference between the original memorial and the replica is that Mr Mayes put his uncle's name - Leonard Walter - on the replica.

He said: "My uncle died in October 1918 and I added him to the Scouts who died in WW1 because the original was dedicated in 1917 before the end of the war."

Now that the memorial has been rediscovered he said he would like to see it as a permanent exhibit at the Heritage Centre.

He also hopes to plan an exhibition for the Heritage Centre later on in the year to mark the Scouts' Centenary.

Mr Mayes, whose father was awarded the Silver Cross in 1910 for life saving when he was a Scout, said: "I have lots of photos of the scouts and even a picture of the unveiling of the memorial in 1917.

"It would be nice to share them with the town and put them in the exhibition.


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