Sir Ian’s great gift to Scouting

Sir Ian Boulton, a legend of Stirlingshire Scouting (right) with Chief Scout Charles MacLean at Barrwood in 1961
Sir Ian Boulton, a legend of Stirlingshire Scouting (right) with Chief Scout Charles MacLean at Barrwood in 1961

IN this short series on the story of Barrwood we have reached the last quarter of the 20th century.

While the bike had given way to the car as the favoured form of transport to the campsite and a more permanent concrete-based structure had replaced the storage huts, the man whose gift 70 years before had benefitted hundreds of thousands of young people, died.

Sir Ian Bolton, died on January 12, 1982, a few days before his 93rd birthday.

It was his generous act in 1922 to create the Scout camp and then to gift the site for the benefit of the Scout movement.

A service of thanksgiving took place in Glasgow Cathedral on February 24, 1982, and a memorial service was held at Barrwood two months later in April when a plaque was unveiled near the entrance. Its simple inscription reads: “Thank you Sir Ian.”

Among his honours he was awarded the KBE and OBE for services to Scouting, he was Lord Lieutenant of Stirlingshire and a Freeman of Stirling. He was a partner in McClelland Moores and Co., Chartered Accountants, in Glasgow.

All the more remarkable considering he was badly injured in 1915 in World War One when he was serving with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders which left him disabled.

However, he did not let this stop him from living a full life, portraying the attributes of Scouts throughout the world.

He was only able to walk with the assistance of two crutches but in full swing on crutches he could outpace his contemporaries and regularly set off long distance hiking in the Cairngorms.

Although he lived at the large, spacious West Plean House he was often to be found sleeping in a tent in the grounds throughout the year.

He was County Commissioner for the Stirlingshire Scouts for an astonishing 36 years from 1930 and his influence touched the leadership as well as the grass roots.

And it was at Barrwood with nearly 1000 Scouts in attendance that he stepped down and a special campfire chair was gifted to him.

Without this remarkable man Scouting in this district would be very different and 36 years after his death we still owe him a debt of gratitude.