A remarkable achievement, A remarkable family, A remarkable man

Lancelot Rudd earned himself a prestigious medal in the Boy Scouts for saving thelife of a small child, sustaining injury to himself in the process. He had rushed in frontof a moving train, grabbed the child off the track and received an injury to his headfrom the train as a result. This was somewhat a passing story to the Rudd Familywho didn’t know the intricate details of the bravery and courage of Lancelot until afew years back. Ina Jones is a Cub (pictured as a Beaver) at the 2nd Squirrels HeathScout Group, and is pictured here with the Bronze Medal that her great greatgrandfather received over 100 years ago. Here is his story.

Ina’s grandfather, Stephen Rudd, came across a wooden picture frame containing an old looking certificate with Scouting images on it which was awarded to L, Rudd of the 2nd Leigh Troop, Bronze Medal for saving life, (Leigh On Sea, Southend). After Lance Rudd’s death in 1939, aged 43, some of his possessions were shared out amongst his four children, Stephen’s father took care of the certificate while the medal went with one of his dad’s sisters. The family later learned that she had donated the medal to the Scouting Museum in Kensington.

Although Stephen has had the certificate for nearly thirty years, he had not until very recently appreciated its true significance; they had always held the opinion that a Bronze medal, rather like an Olympic medal, would be of third-rate status behind a Silver and Gold. A few months back, the family rediscovered the certificate tucked away in a dusty corner of a spare room; the frame was in a sorry state, so Ina’s grandad decided to take it apart, give it a clean and repair the frame etc. As he had never seen the medal either, he went online to see if he could find an image and during the process he discovered that far from being third rate, the Bronze medal is actually the highest level bravery award in Scouting, rated above Silver and there being no Gold at all, at the same time he also discovered that the signature on the certificate is that of none other than Lord Baden Powell himself.

This knowledge reignited his interest, so he thought he would take a trip to the museum to go and see the medal, only to discover the Kensington museum closed its doors over twenty years ago. After a bit of digging, he found that most of the museum’s exhibits were now housed at Heritage Scouts, Gilwell Park, so he contacted them. They were very helpful in tracking down the actual medal and very kindly sent him some images across. Unfortunately, their own museum has also been closed for some time due to various funding and covid-related issues etc, so with the medal not being on display and just sitting in a storeroom, he asked if there was any way they could have it returned to the family. They weren’t very keen on the idea, but after a bit of wrangling they reluctantly agreed to release it back to the Rudd’s and in April, Ina and Stephen went to Gilwell to collect her Great Great Grandfather’s medal. They were very good to the pair and allowed them to see inside the storerooms and some of the wonderful historical scouting memorabilia they hold, including many of Baden Powell’s own personal belongings. As a result, Stephen offered to make a donation to Heritage Scouts and they in turn have agreed A remarkable achievement, A remarkable family, A remarkable man to place a dedication to Lance and his heroic deed attached to one of the Scouting pictures “A Good Turn” that hangs in the White House at Gilwell Park. In the meantime, the family have done some online research and unearthed a couple of old newspaper articles that relate to the event, including one in particular that covers the actual award ceremony which took place at the old Queens Hotel, opposite Westcliff Station.

The family’s now better understanding of the story is that: Sometime during October1909, Lance was on Scout camp somewhere in the Shoeburyness area when heand some other lads noticed a small girl on the railway track in the path of anapproaching Garrison train, Lance without hesitation scaled a fence between themand the railway, ran over and just in the nick of time, plucked the child out of the pathof the train and in doing so was himself struck by the moving train and received ablow to the head leaving him in a concussed and confused state for some time. If itwere not for Lance’s swift and courageous actions the child would almost certainlyhave been killed.

There is mention that Lance was the 1st Boy Scout to be awarded the Bronze Medal, however Stephen’s deep research suggests that his was actually the second, we think this reference might be to the fact that he was the first who held the rank of “Boy Scout” as the first ever medal was awarded to an individual with the rank of PL, which we assume stands for Patrol Leader, but it isn’t entirely clear.

Lance was born in 1896 and would have been thirteen at the time. He was still a member of the Scouts at the end of 1911 and had by then joined the 1st Brentwood Troop after the family moved to Warley at some point, soon after that in early 1912, at the age of 15yr 10mths he joined up to the Territorial Army.

Lance went on to have a distinguished career with the Army throughout the First World War rising to the rank of Sergeant, married in February 1918 while still serving, and remained with the Army even after the war in some kind of military training capacity until 1920. The Rudd family like to think that Lance’s early Scoutcraft training might have helped in some way towards pre arming him with the necessary skills to have come through that terrible time relatively unscathed.

Needless to say, the Rudd family are all very proud of Lance’s achievements during his younger life, and it was amazing that Ina and her family have been able to sharetheir Scouting history with our scout group and district. The pride, interest, and joy demonstrated by Ina, her lovely mum Sian, her grandfather Stephen, and the rest oftheir fantastic family has been inspiring to see. The story is such a wonderful reflection of bravery and courage, and the traits certainly live on within Ina – who was a fantastic Beaver, now Cub, and a true credit to our scout group, that is truly second to no other.

January 18, 2024
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