Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In Remembrance: Jack Cornwell

Today, on Remembrance Day, I honor Jack Cornwell, a boy who died way too young during World War 1.

Like I was, Jack Cornwell was a Boy Scout living in England during the first war. Scouts back then were actually trained as "battle assistants", scouting out enemy locations, navigating, and basic first aid skills. At the age of 16, Jack volunteered for service aboard a warship. Then the battle of Jutland happened.

Jack's ship was heavily attacked as the Germans tried to advance further into Europe. Jack took over controls at one of the ship's guns after the marine was killed. In a short time later, all of the ship's gunners were dead, except for Jack. He continued to hold his position at the gun for 15 minutes despite being mortally wounded which helped to prevent the Germans from taking control of the waters around Denmark. After the battle, Jack was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery.

Scouts has named one of their highest awards of merit The Jack Cornwell Decoration. It is the highest honors given to a Scouter who has demonstrated great courage and bravery while undergoing great personal suffering and giving back to their community. In the 2013-2014 Scouting year, I was one of the 4 people selected to receive this great honor across all of Canada. I am truly honored to wear this pin, as it reminds me of the amazing thing that 1 young person has done that really did make a difference in this world. It reminds me that strength comes from a complete determination to face your challenges, no matter how frightening, head on.

Thank you Jack for giving your life so that others might have freedom.

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