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Monday
Oct282013

Bk2 THE SOUTH AFRICAN GREENS

This is a brief addition to the references to the Greens - looking at the South African branch of the family. I have put it here so it does not get lost in the Amendments to Book 1 Chapter.

 

Chapter Twenty-four First Post

In this and a number of other chapters the Green family has been mentioned. A branch of the family, which we have only briefly alluded to, went to South Africa. There have been a number of distinguished military men in the family. John Lot Green was born in Ringstead in 1858 and his son was Luke Lot Green DSO, MC. Two of Luke’s sons were also soldiers: Group Captain Charles Llewellyn Green DSO, DFC, and Lieutenant Jack Howard Green who was killed in 1941 at El Alamein

There were other military Greens but we also mentioned Samuel Wells Green, born in Ringstead in 1829, who also went to South Africa and became a florist and Superintendant of the Dutoitspan Cemetery. His son, also Samuel Wells Green, was born in Beaconsfield in South Africa. Lynn Derriman has kindly sent me a photograph of some boys in military uniform which includes Samuel Wells junior.

It is known that Luke Lot Green was a sergeant in Baden Powell’s “cadets” at the Siege of Mafeking. Baden-Powell had decided that boys between the ages of 12 and 15 years should be organised, given a uniform and become dispatch runners. At first they were mounted on donkeys but when necessity caused the donkeys to be eaten they used bicycles. Later, slightly younger boys took part and the cadets took on other duties.

 

Samuel Green is sitting on the left

With the kind permission of Lynn Derriman

There is some argument about who was the first “scout” with Luke probably being at least the second one in line for this title.

We do not know if Samuel Wells Green was also a Mafeking cadet but the photograph does show boys, very young to be in uniform, so it is possible. Certainly it would seem from Samuel’s age that this photograph would have been taken at about the Boer War period. The cadets were often shown with wide brimmed hats but it is known that they also wore caps similar to the ones in the photograph

Samuel Wells Green junior fought in the First World War and was one of the few soldiers to survive the Battle of Delville Wood in 1916. It was the first major engagement on the Western Front by the South African 1st Infantry Brigade which suffered losses of some 80% of its men.

The Mafeking Cadets was the force that convinced Baden-Powell that boys could be organised in groups along military lines to learn discipline, do adventurous activities and be useful in the community. They were not the first Boy Scouts but they were the inspiration for a worldwide movement.

References

My thanks to Lynn Derriman for much of the family information and for permission to use the photograph.

Green Family Tree. My thanks to Robin Griffiths (via Lynn) for sharing this with me.

The Mafeking Cadets (www.scoutingmilestones.co.uk.

Linden Bradfield Webster’s Reminiscences of the Siege of Mafeking www.corvalliscommunitypages.com.

 

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