In the Gilbert Road, Scout Headquarters is a war memorial to remember 12th Cambridge Scouts who have fallen in conflict. The Scouts are not entirely sure who they all are but as in the 1940s, 12th Cambridge was the home of the Woodsmoke Rover Crew, they are assuming that they are a mixture of Rover Scouts and Leaders, all aged between 20 and 22.
Scout Leader, Graham Steed was interested to find out what had happened to the names on the memorial and so did a bit of searching through the Common Wealth War Graves Commission. Whilst some of them have no known grave, Graham found that one of them, Flight Sergeant Leslie Jaggard, 407 Squadron, Royal Canadian Airforce, was buried in Amsterdam. It looked within striking distance so 14 Scouts and Leaders decided to pay their respects on a long weekend in Amsterdam, during half term and as close to Remembrance Sunday as possible.
Before the trip, one of the Scouts wrote to the squadron that Leslie
Jaggard was part of, 407 squadron Royal Canadian Air Force which still exists From them they found out that Lesley was actually British but serving with a Canadian squadron; he was shot down in January 1942 over the North Sea. Despite having only been with the Squadron around 6 months he was one of their most experienced pilots. A few weeks later, the Scouts received a wreath to lay from the Chief of the Canadian Air Staff.
In Amsterdam, a short ceremony saw wreaths laid at the grave of Leslie Jaggard and the grave of an unidentified airman where the wreath was dedicated to those on the 12th Cambridge Memorial with no known resting place.
Scout Leader, Graham Steed said: "As a leader with a Troop of 32 lively, enthusiastic Scouts it is rare to go more than a few minutes without needing to get the young people quiet again. However faced with the graves of 323 young men, some as young as 18, the silence was over whelming. The most noise was when one Scout found another Scout grave, that of a Leader from the 84th Glasgow Scout Group."
Although the Scouts know little about Leslie they all agreed that the chances are that he went to the same Cambridge schools and lived, played and worked in the same places as they did today. It is a tragedy that he is no longer with us to see in the 12th Cambridge Centenary next year.
"For a short while the sun shone on a special moment for the 12th
Cambridge Scout Group, a moment that will live long in the memory."
Alice, Matt, Jacob, Charlie, Franky, Will, Jack, Rosa, Lily, Guy, Graham, Alexis, Nick and Theresa
12th Cambridge Scout Group