1929 3rd WORLD SCOUT JAMBOREE
The 3rd World Scout Jamboree was held in 1929 at Arrowe Park in Birkenhead, United Kingdom. As it was commemorating the 21st birthday of Scouting for Boys and the Scouting movement, it is also known as the Coming of Age Jamboree. With about 30,000 Scouts and over 300,000 visitors attending, this Jamboree was the largest Jamboree ever.
The Jamboree on a site of 450 acres was opened by the Duke of Connaught, the president of the Boy Scout Association, and fifty thousand Scouts and Girl Guides of many countries attended. During the first week, the weather was poor, turning the park grass into ankle deep mud, gaining the jamboree its nickname jamboree of mud.
The camp was organized in eight subcamps, around a specially built town in the middle, called Midway, where Scouts could purchase materials. Each subcamp provided pitches for a contingent of Scouts troops. The organization of daily chores such as cooking, campfire collecting, etc were done in turn by the groups.
The Girl Guides in Cheshire were asked to run a hospital under canvas. There were 321 cases admitted and 2,323 out-patient cases during the Jamboree. Only 52 cases had to be sent to other hospitals. Staff dealt with a range of problems from minor cuts, burns and sprains to fractures and head injuries. Two Guiders ran a dispensary providing both prescription and non-prescription medicines.
There was also a dental clinic and an operating theatre. The hospital canteen provided meals for patients and the 50 members of staff, including many special diets, all cooked on open fires. Staff were asked to accommodate lost boys after the Wolf Cub rally. The hospital was also proud to be asked to provide the bedding and equipment for the Prince of Wales' tent. This hospital had the far-reaching effect that many heads of Boy Scout movements from other countries. They saw the excellent work of the Girl Guides and changed their attitudes towards them.
Events During the Jamboree
On Baden-Powell a peerage was to be conferred by King George V, as was announced on 2 August by the Prince of Wales who attended the Jamboree in Scout uniform. The formal title of Baron Baden-Powell, of Gilwell, co. Essex was granted on 1929-09-17, confirming the high notion Baden-Powell had of education and training, after Gilwell Park where the international Scout Leader training in the Wood Badge course took place.
In the morning of Sunday 4 August, an open air thanksgiving service was held, presided by Cosmo Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury, and by Francis Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, for Protestant and Catholic Scouts; and later that day a service was also held in Liverpool Cathedral.
On 10 August, the Chief Scout Sir Robert Baden-Powell was given special attention. On behalf of all Scouts world wide, he was presented with a Rolls-Royce motor car and a caravan trailer. The caravan was nicknamed Eccles and is now on display at Gilwell Park. Also he was given an oil painted portrait by David Jagger, which since has been used as a publicity picture by many Scout organizations. It is on display in the Baden-Powell House. Lastly, Baden-Powell was given a cheque for £2,750 and an illuminated address. These gifts were paid for by penny donations of more than 1 million Scouts worldwide, which earned the Rolls its nickname of Penny Rolls.
Closing Ceremony and Golden Arrow
The farewell ceremony on the last day, 12 August, consisted of a glorious march with flags and banners past the royal box with the Chief Scout and other officers, ending in a Wheel of Friendship formed by the Scouts, with 21 spokes symbolic for the 21 years of Scouting. While burying a hatchet in a cask of gilded wooden arrows, Baden-Powell addressed the gathered Scouts:
"Here is the hatchet of war, of enmity, of bad feeling, which I now bury in Arrowe. From all corners of the world you came to the call of brotherhood and to Arrowe. Now I send you forth to your homelands bearing the sign of peace, good-will and fellowship to all your fellow men. From now on in Scouting the symbol of peace and goodwill is a golden arrow. Carry that arrow on and on, so that all may know of the brotherhood of men."
Then he sent the golden arrows as peace symbols to the North, South, West, and East, through the spokes of the Wheel of Friendship:
"I want you all to go back from here to your countries in different parts of the world with a new idea in your minds of having brothers in every country... Go forth from here as ambassadors of goodwill and friendship. Every one of you Scouts, no matter how young or small, can spread a good word about this country and those whom you have met here. Try to make yourselves better Scouts than ever; try to help other boys, especially the poorer boys, to be happy, healthy, and helpful citizens like yourselves. And now, farewell, goodbye, God Bless you all."
For the event a memorial sculpture by sculptor Edward Carter Preston was erected in 1931 at the entrance to Arrowe Park Hospital. It was commissioned by the Boy Scout Movement, and unveiled by Lord Hampton, the Headquarter's Commissioner. After restoration in the early 1980s, it was re-unveiled in 1983 by the then Chief Scout Major-General Michael Walsh.