A tale of two centenaries

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When this Battalion is celebrating the session 100 years after its foundation, it is coincidental to receive mementos from someone from Paisley who attended a BB centenary celebration in 1954. The event was the Founder’s Camp, 100 years after the birth of William Smith, held on the playing fields of Eton College. One item was the souvenir handbook given to everyone which gives details of the camp routine along with pictures of ‘‘everyone who was anyone’’ in the BB at the time. The young man had taken the trouble of seeking out most of the people photographed to sign his book including the two sons of the founder, G. Stanley Smith and D. Pearson Smith, who were all their lives very much involved with the BB nationally as well as with 1st Glasgow particularly. Camping were around 2000 UK BB members as well as approaching 1000 others from more than 12 countries. The whole set-up involving canvas, with one marquee alone able to accommodate the whole 3000; the cooking arrangements; the ablutions; the medical arrangements; the locally produced magazine; shops; bank and post office to name only a few, were a credit, no doubt to years of hard work by many people whose work would have done justice to many a military campaign. The book was completed with an accumulation of autographs of boys from around the world together with contact addresses with a view no doubt to their keeping in touch. I wonder how many did? Other pieces given to me to hopefully find a suitable repository were a full set of monogrammed crockery which no doubt was well used during the camp along with a captain’s walking stick, as the ‘‘boy’’ later became the captain of his Paisley Company. I am aware of a boy from my former Company of 1st Larbert who also attended the event. No doubt there are others?