Scouts Pay Respects to Fallen Founder

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Masonic Lodge Helps with Cost of Visit

A history project by a Scout group in Newcastle has established links with a local freemasons lodge and cumulated with a visit to Belgium and Northern France to pay their respects to the group’s founder who fell in the Great War.

Explorer Scout Leader Ross McDonald has taken a party of Explorer Scouts and leaders to the continent on an expedition part of which, was used to pay their respects to their founder. 

In 1910 Walter Winkworth formed the 19th Newcastle Scout Group at St Gabriel’s Church in Heaton where the thriving group still meets. As well as being an active Scoutmaster and Divisional Scoutmaster for the East End Division of the Newcastle Upon Tyne Association, Walter was also an active freemason in Lodge Temperance which is now based at Byker. Because of these links, the lodge was asked if they would like to support the group’s visit and a donation of £200 was made.

Peter Walker, the historian of Lodge Temperance said: “During World War One Walter became Second Lieutenant Winkworth of the 5th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers and was sent to France to fight for King and Country.

“On the evening of August 25,1915, he was directed to carry out a night reconnaissance in the neighbourhood of Houplines, and accordingly led his Platoon out of the trenches into No Man’s Land to accomplish the duty assigned to him.  As he was feeling his way forward, the enemy put up flare lights and his position was compromised. The Germans then suddenly opened a heavy machine-gun fire on his detachment and he was hit in the abdomen and the right arm. He was conveyed at once to the Military Hospital at Bailleul, where he succumbed to his wounds the following day.”

“Walter is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord and members of our Explorer Scout Unit and our Leaders, visited Walter’s grave to pay our respects. We owe him, and the many others who gave their lives, a great debt of gratitude. We are delighted to have made links with Lodge Temperance and thank them for their generous support.”

Explorer Scout Leader, Ross McDonald

While the group were at the grave they placed a Northumberland Freemasons flag temporarily on his final resting place.

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