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Stories of Scouts during the first world war: Jack Cornwell

Stories of Scouts during the first world war: Jack Cornwell

On the 31 May 1916, the actions of an ordinary boy in extraordinary circumstances led to the development of The Cornwell Badge. The badge is still awarded to honour Scouts under 25 years of age who show a ‘pre-eminently high character and devotion to duty, together with great courage and endurance’.

‘The instance of devotion to duty by Boy (1st Class) John Travers Cornwell who was mortally wounded early in the action, but nevertheless remained standing alone at a most exposed post, quietly awaiting orders till the end of the action, with the gun’s crew dead and wounded around him. He was under 16 and a half years old. I regret that he has since died, but I recommend his case for special recognition in justice to his memory and as an acknowledgement of the high example set by him.’

Vice Admiral Beatty


A photograph of Jack Cornwell in his Scout uniform.