When Shields scouts were quizzed by US home guard

Members of the 22nd South Shields Cub Scouts who left Brownsea Hall for the Whit camp held at Moorhouse, Co Durham.
Members of the 22nd South Shields Cub Scouts who left Brownsea Hall for the Whit camp held at Moorhouse, Co Durham.

The recent scouting features brought a wonderful response from John T Korn, who got in touch from the United States.

John writes: “Peter, greetings from across the pond.

“Your recent articles on scouting brought back some very fond memories.

“In the summer of 1941, before the US entered the Second World War, I spent two weeks at a scout camp in Northern Connecticut, it was quite an adventure.

“I went back 50 years later to visit my grandson who was spending a couple of weeks there, my oh my how things had changed.

“However I was still able to recognise some of the older buildings.

“Perhaps the most interesting camping experience I had was in December 1943, during a school holiday, when a few of us thought we would try winter camping out in a tent.

“To get to the woods we had to pass over a railway tunnel on the main line from New York to Boston which was then guarded by the home guard, all old fellows who were veterans of the First World War.

“Going strictly by their orders they took us into custody, questioned us on what were doing, where were we going and finally let us go. I can’t image a group of 13 or 14-year-olds looking like German spies!

“On the other hand it might have been the knapsacks we were carrying with our tent and a four-day food supply that made us look suspicious. Thanks for the memories.”