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Remembered Today:

Very STRANGE FIND at Broodseinde ridge


bkristof
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Look what my landlord found during some agricultural activities near my house at Broodseinde ridge:

What is this? Scouting? What does that do here? :unsure:

post-4-1091021479.jpg

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This collar was found nearb the buckle:

post-4-1091021546.jpg

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Look what my landlord found during some agricultural activities near my house at Broodseinde ridge:

What is this? Scouting? What does that do here? :unsure:

Didn't the Boys Brigade form a battalion of the Highland Light Infantry?

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The Boy's Brigade is/was a church linked youth organisation and many members joined up. One of our local churches has a specific Boy's Brigade Great War memorial with a considerable number of names on it. A sad little find.

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But what does the buckle do here?

This was still worn by a soldier who lost his belt or beltbuckle?

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Kristof,

I can only offer a suggestion and it might be worth you accessing any Boys Brigade Web-Site.

As an ex-BB(53rd Aberdeen Company in the 1960's).The Uniform included a Leather Belt with the part buckle you have found.

Presumably,therefore,it belonged to an ex-BB member who may have used the Belt to hold up his trousers or something similar.

Certainly in my time in Scotland the Boys Brigade was probably more popular than the Boy Scouts.The Boys Brigade was run on more military lines and normally affiliated to a local Church.

George

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Kristof

The Boys' Brigade is a Christian organisation for boys aged between 6 and 18 years and is the oldest uniformed youth organisation in the world, being founded in Glasgow, UK in 1883 by Sir William Alexander Smith. It was the world's first uniformed youth group, formed two decades before the Boy Scouts. Groups were soon formed throughout the English speaking world. Scouting after its founding became a much larger youth movement. The Boys' Brigade has, however, continued to function as a small, but not unimportant youth group.

There is photo of the uniform on this thread.

http://1914-1918.org/forum/index.php?showt...hl=boys+brigade

This site may also be of interest.

http://badges.boys-brigade.org.uk/

Dave

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Any records on Boy's Brigade soldiers who served/died in 1917? Who knows this buckle was of one of them..

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Kristof

Sorry. I can't help with the identification of the ownership of your badge but it is a very intriguing find.

I think that lads from the Boys Brigade enlisted in the same territorial regiment as my father but I had always thought that their war service was not connected with the Boys Brigade. Although the Boys Brigade may have had Memorial Plaques.

Certainly the war service photos do not show them wearing Boys Brigade belts but if you've lost your belt you have to keep your trousers up somehow.

Tried to enhance the buckle on this photo but could not get the detail very clear.

Kate

post-4-1091030925.jpg

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what detail you wanted to see kate?

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As has been said earlier. The Boys Brigade was a church organisation. It seemed to mirror the activities of the territorials - training in marching, drills, sports, camps, first aid etc. It was an excellent chance for young people like my father to develop skills and have opportunity for holidays.

Sadly, I know that he thought that his Boys Brigade training would be very useful to him in the war. Unfortunately the training probably didn't cover advancing towards German Machine Gunners.

Photo of what seems to be called a Battalion at summer camp in 1913.

Kate

post-4-1091031378.jpg

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Sorry Kristof, I think we are cross posting here.

I meant the centrepiece of the buckle.

Kate

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Unless you know the archaeological context there is nothing to establish that the buckle is from the Great War period.

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As it is found, DUG UP during agricultural works on Broodseinde ridge (Zonnebeke, near Passchendeale) ther is like 99% chanche that this is a WW1 relic.

Except if one of the Boys' Brigade was on visit in the '20's and lost his buckle there. But i think that is a very slight chanche. ;)

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It's worth adding that Baden Powell held his camp on the island in Poole Harbour with boys from the Boys' Brigade as William Smith had asked him to come up with a training programme.

In the event, Smith did not take up the programme and the rest is history.

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very strange they never started a Boys' Brigade pals batalion, or an own regiment like postoffice riffles, artist rifles. It should be nice, the Boys Brigade rifles...

They had recruits enough... or was it against the politics of then? To offensive to send "Boys" to the slaughter?

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It would be very interesting to me to find that the Boys Brigade was linked to a particular Battalion. We just never know what new facts emerge from discussion on this forum.

When you look at the photos of the 'Boys' some of them are very young indeed like the Cubs. In 1913 my father would have been 17, 18 in November, having been in the B.B. since early childhood himself I think he must have helped with organising the younger boys. There do not seem to be many older boys there.

This is why I thought that they would leave the Boys Brigade to join the army.

Like you Kristof, I would not have thought that the Boys Brigade from England would have been in Belgium at a later date to camp. After WW1, not many working class boys went abroad until WW2, and - as civilians, not until about the 50's.

On the linked websites which have been posted there is reference to international camps.

By the way, not really relevant to this thread, for the sake of balance, I should say that there was also a Girls Brigade and I have a photo of my mother in the G.B.

Kate

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Did there were members of the Girls' Brigade who joinded the VAD?

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We will probably never know how the buckle ended up there, as it was not part of an official military uniform and it was not found with the remains of an identifiable individual. The same could be said of the Australian collar badge. Of course, it could have been from an Australian former BB member.

All we can really say is that many soldiers would have carried reminders of happy times past in their personal possessions.

If it was buried on land which has not been regularly ploughed and found at the same depth as WWI artefacts, then it is probable that this is when it was dropped.

A fascinating find.

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It was found in a field, a grace land? The farmer wanted to place some new posts for barb wire. He found these two items and a lot af iron pieces (schrapnell) he did not said how deep, but mostley the pits for posts are about 80 cm deep, 2 spades.

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I rather think the Boys Brigade and the Church Lads Brigade had and shared similiar interests. A great number of the Church Lads, upon maturation, went into the Rifle Brigade in WWI, but I believe the Boys Brigade were more "ecumenical" in their choice of regiments than that.

I would agree that it could have been worn in lieu of the army buckle, or maybe, just the keep the trousers up!

It maybe that the Australian badge was lost there by some hapless Aussie as they were engaged at 3rd Ypres as well and has nothing to do with the belt buckle, or perhaps it was carried by the wearer of the buckle as a souvenir.

Incidentally, I have a Church Lads Brigade buckle and the centerpiece of it contains a blank Maltese cross, much like the RB badge but without the crown, title and battle honors.

In the center of the cross is a blank circle, much resembling the one in the photo submitted by another member.

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Guest Desmond6

Just came across this topic. Very poignant item indeed.

The BB motto was - and I believe, still is - 'Sure and Steadfast'.

The Church Lads' Brigade was - generally - the youth organisation of the Anglican Church while the BB & GB seem to have been more closely associated with Presbyterian and other 'non-conforming' Churches.

The item below is from one of the early war editions of the paper I am researching.

The Sir George White Memorial Coy. of the BB was named after Sir George White VC of Ladysmith fame. He resided at Whitehall, Broughshane.

His son, Captain Jack White is worth a story on his own!

Glasgow, as has been stated elsewhere had its own BB 'Pals' battalion in the Highland LIght Infantry but, as another member has said, the BB in most other parts tended to join their local service units.

Sure and steadfast

The Sir George White Memorial Coy. Boys‚ Brigade, Broughshane, has a roll of honour of members serving with the colours. BB Lieutenant John Montford, who is a sergeant in the North Irish Horse, is attached to the body-guard of General Smith Dorrien. Staff Sgt. D. J. Mullan has received a clerkship in the Royal Engineers and Pte Wm. McClure is serving with the Royal Irish Rifles quartered at Dublin.

December 4, 1914

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Just to expand on Kate's point.

In my days in the 1950's you first joined the "Life Boys"(similar to the "Cubs") and joined the "Boys Brigade" round about age 11.

I'm not sure if the same arrangement applied in the early part of the last Century.

George

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