Pair make special trip to celebrate Scout leader relative
A woman and her mother who are related to the late female Scout leader, Vera Barclay had a recent special trip to Westminster.
Angela Browne, 56, of Brooklyn Avenue, Worthing and her mother, Vera’s niece, Mary-Rose Barclay Willis, 84, of Alinora Crescent, Worthing, were invited to the House of Commons (HOC) on December 13 to celebrate the work of their late relative and the 100th anniversary of the Scout movement.
The pair met bafta-winning naturalist and TV presenter, Steve Backshall and his wife, Helen Glover, an MBE triple world champion rower and many MPs at the special event.
Mary-Rose also delivered a six-minute speech to guests.
Angela said it felt ‘fantastic’ for her great-aunt, known as ‘Aunt Bay,’ who lived in Felpham in her later life, to be finally recognised.
She said: “We are very proud of her and so pleased she has been recognised.
“She lived in a man’s world and I hope this shows women should be recognised and not stripped of their identity.”
December marked the 100th anniversary of the Cub Scouts and the pair have been to a string of celebratory events, to celebrate the life of the British pioneer of Scouting, who they said received ‘no credit for the work she did’.
As the first female Scout leader, Vera joined the movement in 1912 when she was 19, and started working with the Scout troop in her village.
She received calls from younger children, which led her to form the first Hertford Heath Wolf Cub Pack.
She later became the first woman to hold a leading role in the Scouting headquarters.
The Scout mistress also wrote up to 50 books and was an enthusiastic tobogganist – being one of the few females to tackle the Cresta Run in the Swiss Alps, at a time when it was unusual for women to wear anything but long dresses.
Mrs Browne was looking for her great-aunt’s Silver Wolf award and was put through to the Scouts Archive and from there was invited to the celebrations.
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