Hook councillors refuse to support Scout event marking First World War anniversary

Councillors refuse to support event marking First World War anniversary

Councillors refuse to support event marking First World War anniversary

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

A SCOUT group which is planning to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War with a fun event featuring fairgrounds rides and cream teas have suffered a cash snub after councillors branded the idea as “inappropriate”.

Councillors voted by a majority to turn down a request for £500 to help fund the event being held by 7th Bramshill (Hook) Scout Group.

The Scout group are holding The Village Gathering at their base, in Raven Road, on Saturday, August 30.

According to the group’s website, it wants children attending to dress up in “clothes representing 1914-1918”. The day will also include stalls, games, arena displays, fairground rides and bouncy castles.

The website states: “The Village Gathering wants YOU to come along and have an afternoon of fun.”

The group asked Hook Parish Council for £500 – but some members questioned the tone of the event and were unwilling to support the cash request.

Councillor Anthony Hawkins said: “I do not think it’s appropriate to commemorate the beginning of the war – it should be done at the end of the war. I just think the whole thing should not be an absolute jollity.”

Cllr Martin Whittaker agreed. He said: “I do not think it’s appropriate to commemorate the outbreak of a war, and I do not think it’s appropriate to have cream teas and a band.

“Are funfair rides, a barbecue, cream teas and an act of music appropriate? Not in my world.”

The vote to give money to the Scout group was tight, with five members voting against, four in favour and one abstaining.

Chairman Cllr Iain Chalmers said the parish council should write to the Scout group with the result of the vote, saying that the council felt “it was inappropriate to commemorate, in this way, the start of the First World War.”

The Scout group declined to comment when contacted by The Gazette.

The First World War claimed the lives of 700,000 British men and a total of nine million soldiers.

Comments (6)

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7:36pm Thu 24 Apr 14

R Applin says...

The Hook Councillors are right in not supporting this event. The reported planned events are inappropriate for an event commemorating the start of war ( any war). Whoever advised the Scout Group on this should be censured.
R Applin
The Hook Councillors are right in not supporting this event. The reported planned events are inappropriate for an event commemorating the start of war ( any war). Whoever advised the Scout Group on this should be censured. R Applin R Applin
  • Score: -4

7:48pm Thu 24 Apr 14

ELLIS17 says...

Given Nationally we are being asked to commemorate the start of the Great War and remember those who died and the millions left seriously injured or maimed I am not offended by the Scout Group wishing to mark the occasion with a day of light entertainment. I have taken a look at their website and do not find them trying to glamourize the terrible events which took place between 1914-1918. Hopefully, the Scout`s leaders are using the event as providing an educational tool for their troop and give them an insight in to the horrors of war and the terrible conditions endured by the soldiers on all sides who fought in the war. As for Hook Parish Councillors whilst respecting their right to express an opinion on the event, many could be left with the impression they have over reacted in the tone of their response, however, they were duly elected by the people of Hook and will in due course be answerable to them again come the time of their re-election.
Given Nationally we are being asked to commemorate the start of the Great War and remember those who died and the millions left seriously injured or maimed I am not offended by the Scout Group wishing to mark the occasion with a day of light entertainment. I have taken a look at their website and do not find them trying to glamourize the terrible events which took place between 1914-1918. Hopefully, the Scout`s leaders are using the event as providing an educational tool for their troop and give them an insight in to the horrors of war and the terrible conditions endured by the soldiers on all sides who fought in the war. As for Hook Parish Councillors whilst respecting their right to express an opinion on the event, many could be left with the impression they have over reacted in the tone of their response, however, they were duly elected by the people of Hook and will in due course be answerable to them again come the time of their re-election. ELLIS17
  • Score: 6

1:18pm Fri 25 Apr 14

JJ38JJ says...

The time to remember the sacrifices made during any war is the anniversary of the end of the war not the outbreak. And generally in the UK that is what happens and it is well supported by the majority of the population. Even the annual remembrance celebration is on the 11th November. I'm a huge believer in the scouting movement as a force for good. However I believe the council have come up with the right decision on this occasion. 2014 should be used as an opportunity to learn the lessons from history, 2018 is the time to remember and celebrate the end of the war.
The time to remember the sacrifices made during any war is the anniversary of the end of the war not the outbreak. And generally in the UK that is what happens and it is well supported by the majority of the population. Even the annual remembrance celebration is on the 11th November. I'm a huge believer in the scouting movement as a force for good. However I believe the council have come up with the right decision on this occasion. 2014 should be used as an opportunity to learn the lessons from history, 2018 is the time to remember and celebrate the end of the war. JJ38JJ
  • Score: -2

3:51pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Sam_Walker123456 says...

I am in two minds about this story.
War is a dreadful thing and WW1 is amongst the worst on most levels, so any celebration can too easily cause offence to some people.
However, the government has planned commemorations which will mark the hundredth anniversary of all major events of WW1. If all of these are going to be sombre and reflective affairs then I for one will have had enough by Xmas. Which brings me to the spirit of the country at the outbreak of WW1 - the men went off to war, and their families and friends waved goodbye to them, expecting it all to be over by Xmas and that they would come back unharmed. At that time the full scale and horror was not something anyone expected. Many men enlisted because they did not want to miss out on the glory of seeing off the Kaiser. A commemoration should reflect the mood at the time - there will be too many opportunities in the next four years for sombre reflection on the awful side of war.
On balance I support the Scout Group's plans and think the council are being oversensitive and as a result have made the wrong decision.
I am in two minds about this story. War is a dreadful thing and WW1 is amongst the worst on most levels, so any celebration can too easily cause offence to some people. However, the government has planned commemorations which will mark the hundredth anniversary of all major events of WW1. If all of these are going to be sombre and reflective affairs then I for one will have had enough by Xmas. Which brings me to the spirit of the country at the outbreak of WW1 - the men went off to war, and their families and friends waved goodbye to them, expecting it all to be over by Xmas and that they would come back unharmed. At that time the full scale and horror was not something anyone expected. Many men enlisted because they did not want to miss out on the glory of seeing off the Kaiser. A commemoration should reflect the mood at the time - there will be too many opportunities in the next four years for sombre reflection on the awful side of war. On balance I support the Scout Group's plans and think the council are being oversensitive and as a result have made the wrong decision. Sam_Walker123456
  • Score: 3

8:04am Sat 26 Apr 14

witchfinder666 says...

This is a rather difficult one. sam_walker is not wrong to remember the almost festive air to the first few months of the war. However we have the benefit of hindsight to this matter. As someone who can remember victims of this awful conflict I do not think it appropriate to have a celebratory theme for such an event. I definitely do not think that Council money should be spent on this. Sorry Scouts. Please rethink the the event.
This is a rather difficult one. sam_walker is not wrong to remember the almost festive air to the first few months of the war. However we have the benefit of hindsight to this matter. As someone who can remember victims of this awful conflict I do not think it appropriate to have a celebratory theme for such an event. I definitely do not think that Council money should be spent on this. Sorry Scouts. Please rethink the the event. witchfinder666
  • Score: -5

6:54pm Sun 27 Apr 14

purple-ferret says...

Sam_Walker123456 wrote:
I am in two minds about this story.
War is a dreadful thing and WW1 is amongst the worst on most levels, so any celebration can too easily cause offence to some people.
However, the government has planned commemorations which will mark the hundredth anniversary of all major events of WW1. If all of these are going to be sombre and reflective affairs then I for one will have had enough by Xmas. Which brings me to the spirit of the country at the outbreak of WW1 - the men went off to war, and their families and friends waved goodbye to them, expecting it all to be over by Xmas and that they would come back unharmed. At that time the full scale and horror was not something anyone expected. Many men enlisted because they did not want to miss out on the glory of seeing off the Kaiser. A commemoration should reflect the mood at the time - there will be too many opportunities in the next four years for sombre reflection on the awful side of war.
On balance I support the Scout Group's plans and think the council are being oversensitive and as a result have made the wrong decision.
The anniversary of the start of the First World War is not something to be treated in a light hearted manner, if you have had enough by Xmas, then avoid it, it has not been organized for your personnel entertainment, as for the council being oversensitive, it makes a nice change to see the authorities doing the right thing for once.
[quote][p][bold]Sam_Walker123456[/bold] wrote: I am in two minds about this story. War is a dreadful thing and WW1 is amongst the worst on most levels, so any celebration can too easily cause offence to some people. However, the government has planned commemorations which will mark the hundredth anniversary of all major events of WW1. If all of these are going to be sombre and reflective affairs then I for one will have had enough by Xmas. Which brings me to the spirit of the country at the outbreak of WW1 - the men went off to war, and their families and friends waved goodbye to them, expecting it all to be over by Xmas and that they would come back unharmed. At that time the full scale and horror was not something anyone expected. Many men enlisted because they did not want to miss out on the glory of seeing off the Kaiser. A commemoration should reflect the mood at the time - there will be too many opportunities in the next four years for sombre reflection on the awful side of war. On balance I support the Scout Group's plans and think the council are being oversensitive and as a result have made the wrong decision.[/p][/quote]The anniversary of the start of the First World War is not something to be treated in a light hearted manner, if you have had enough by Xmas, then avoid it, it has not been organized for your personnel entertainment, as for the council being oversensitive, it makes a nice change to see the authorities doing the right thing for once. purple-ferret
  • Score: -5

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