The Falkirk area was not slow to react to the great innovation of 1883 – the foundation of the Boys’ Brigade in Glasgow by William Alexander Smith.
In those early years a number of local companies were formed, the first of which was 1st Polmont (1886 – Brightons Church). Many early companies later closed down but most were reinstated later. Such units with common interests wanted to band together and so a local Eastern Stirlingshire District Council of officers was created and during the darkest days of WWI it applied to the northern committee of the Boys’ Brigade for permission to form a Battalion council.
Two of the main sources of inspiration were Festus Moffat of 5th Falkirk and Bessie Wilson, the driving force behind 1st Camelon. They became the Battalion secretary and honorary president respectively, for at that time there was no provision for lady officers!
On December 20, 1917, the northern committee agreed “that sanctions be granted for the formation of a Battalion”.
Our friends in Ayr Battalion will, in October this year, be celebrating their 130th anniversary with good food and fellowship at a celebration dinner. In congratulating them we also wish them well for the future. Ayr Battalion has a close association with the Smith Memorial Museum in Thurso where they have donated many exhibits. Well worth a visit during the holiday season if you are in that vicinity.
On May 7 boys from 1st Grangemouth travelled to Belfast with two officers to defend their national BB table tennis title. They qualified top of their group beating companies from Manchester and Ballyclaire and then dispatched the team from Port Glasgow. As last year, they met 1st Kempston from Befordshire in the final, unfortunately going down 6-3.