The Role of Uniformed Youth Organisations on the Home Front in our Area

Edward Hawthorne, teacher at Scarcroft School

Edward Hawthorne, teacher at Scarcroft School

Edward Hope Hawthorne was a teacher at Scarcroft School in the years before the First World War, who became the first Headmaster of the special Scout School in York. This was set up in two classrooms at the Brook Street School in The Groves in September 1914.

The aim of the school was to provide assistance to the military authorities in the city, while also educating the boys in appropriate practical matters, such as map reading and field surveying. The school seems to have been the brainchild of the Acting Chief Scoutmaster, Cecil Molyneaux, who led the St Paul’s Boy Scout Troop (now the 1st York Poppleton) founded in 1909, the first in York. He taught at the school alongside Edward Hawthorne. Both men enlisted in 1915 and both died as a result. The Scout School continued throughout the First World War, moving several times, finishing at the newly built Knavesmire School. Hawthorne is commemorated on the WW1 memorial at Scarcroft School.

Scout School at Brook St, The Groves 1914

Scout School at Brook St, The Groves 1914

The Scout movement played an important role on the Home Front in our area during the Great War, scouts often taking on the duties of men away fighting, for example acting as coastguards at Scarborough and Whitby. We’re keen to explore this aspect further and also want to research other youth organisations in South Bank at this time, including both girls and boys. We’ll be looking at local newspapers, school and parish magazines, archives at York Explore and other online resources.

If you would be willing to help us with this, or have any family stories or information on this topic to share, please contact us by email at enquiries@clementshall.org.uk or leave a telephone message on 01904 466086.

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