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Coronavirus can’t stop Scouts remembering fight for freedom

Date: 13th May 2020 Author: Gerald Law

75 years on from Victory in Europe, and the Scouts of Luton were supposed to be celebrating with the rest of Luton by parading and enjoying a good old-fashioned tea party in St George’s Square to pay tribute to the veterans of WW2 who fought in and gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy today.
To remember the people of Luton who suffered from 24 air raids, a V2 Rocket falling on Biscot Road, the loss of 107 lives with over 500 injured, and to commemorate the Luton Scouts who actually gave their lives during the war, including Flight Sergeant Stanley Ainsworth RAF, age 21 who was killed in action over Leipzig on the 3rd December 1943 from the 21st Luton Group and Pilot Officer Donald B T Adams RAF at age 20 who was killed in action over Germany on 24th February 1945 from the 3rd Bedfordshire (1st Luton) Group and many others from all over the country who also fought for their country.
But Covid19 put an end to those particular plans and, with Scouting also in lockdown, Leagrave Scout Group in conjunction with the Mad Hatter Scout Network put together a ‘VE Day Stay at Home Party’ for Luton Scouts.
With a lot of hard work, effort and support, banners, flags, bunting designs, party food and cake recipes, along with posters inviting neighbours and members of the Scouting community to join us for a day of celebration, were sent out online via Group and Luton Scouts Facebook pages and website.
Scout groups and young people across the town were soon joining in with the plans, and as the day drew nearer the efforts of the Scouts throughout the town was shown in pictures and memories online.
On the 8th May 2020 at 11am Scouts and Scout Leaders stood with flags lowered for the 2 minutes silence; later family and neighbours joined their Scouting friends for a tea party in their front gardens (bearing social distancing in mind) and enjoyed the music and food whilst remembering those who made it possible.
One Scout when asked what the day meant to him said: “today means a lot to me because it is the 75th year after the end of WW2, and we should respect the people who fought in the war. They fought and gave their lives for our freedom and with the current global pandemic, this makes it even more meaningful, and we should learn from our veterans to live in a better and safer world”.
A Luton Scout spokesperson said of the day: “Scouts in Luton were very much involved in WW2 at home and abroad, some paying the ultimate price, so we should remember those who served then for us and in true Scouting style. Leagrave Scout Group and the Luton ‘Mad Hatters’ Network Unit worked very hard with the build up to the final day over many days which made it such a success. We thank them most heartily for a job well done”.
Written by Gary Sturrock, Scout Leader, Leagrave Scout Group

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls