Boys Brigade look back on war effort

The first Enfield Boys Brigade air raider buglers

The first Enfield Boys Brigade air raider buglers

First published in News
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Enfield Boys Brigade took a look back at their role in the First World War on the centenary of the outbreak of hostilities.

Hundreds of Enfield boys who were too young to join the army signed up to help with the war effort.

Jobs on the home front included tending to wounded soldiers, sounding the alarm and assisting local authorities.

Members of 1st and 3rd Enfield Companies were employed by the local authority, with boys taken in council vehicles to selected points to sound the alarm and to return with them when the danger had passed to sound the all clear.

Enfield was a popular target with the Germans due to the important small arms factory which produced the famous Lee-Enfield Rifles.

Zeppelin air ships would make their way to Enfield following the river Thames and the River Lee.

In 1919 the bugle team was recognised by the district douncil and each bugler presented with an engraved bugle.

The brigade, who currently has 350 members across eight groups in Enfield, has been going since 1888.

There is also a celebration of Harry Rook, member and later a staff sergeant in the second Enfield Company, who was finally accepted for service on his seventh attempt and was named the ‘great sacrifice’ by The Boys Brigade magazine.

It was not just the boys who stayed in Enfield that were commended.

Two brothers from Enfield, one aged 17 and the other aged 15, joined the army, although the young boys did not, of course, give their true age.

Both were accepted and eventually posted to Egypt, but they were recognised by an officer who arranged for the youngest to become a drummer in the army, removing him from the immediate danger facing a line solider.

Information on the Boys Brigades' effort during World War One can also be found at the ‘Enfield at War’ exhibition in the Dugdale Centre, London Road, which is open to the public until January 11, 2015.

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