About This Website

The website originally started as a way to remember Frank Davis, the 17 year old Scout who was killed in World War Two whilst serving in the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) in the Dockhead area of Bermondsey close to Tower Bridge in London.

The site has since been expanded to cover the local history of Bermondsey in wartime and the experience of children who served in war as combatants.

It is a collection of content and links to more detailed resources for finding out more.


I had thought this was going to be really easy, researching what happened to a recipient of Scouting’s highest award. In the end, I ended up talking with people in the local area and across the world who are listed below in no particular order

The memories of local people
16th Bermondsey Scout Group
1st Facebook Scout Group
Southwark Local History Library and John Hook’s air raid documentation
London Metropolitan Archives
National Archives
Scout Archives
Scout Association Awards Committee
British Library sound archive
Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Local History Society, notably Stephen Humphrey
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Deceased Online
Vicar of St James’ Church Bermondsey
The Most Holy Trinity Church Dockhead
Southwark News
London Screen Archives – Nothing found
British Movietone News on YouTube
Neil Bright who found newspaper articles at Southwark Local History Library

“Bermondsey at War” by James D. Stewart
“They Were Prepared” published by the Scout Association in 1941
“The Left Handshake” (1949) – Book about the work of Scouts in WW2

The Left Handshake
The Left Handshake, a book published after World War Two about the contribution of Scouts to the war effort.

Southwark News published an article on 2nd January 2015 which outlined the story as it was known at the time.

Image: Picture of Southwark News article which was published on 2nd January 2015


Frank would still recognise Scouting today, but that is not to say we are stuck in the past – Scouting continues to evolve teaching a mixture of skills for the Internet age mixed in with traditional Scout skills.

Scouting provides a stimulating environment where children from all backgrounds join together in a life of adventure, discovery and learning.

The skills they learn will serve them well in their adult life.

If you are in Southwark go to http://www.southwarkscouts.org.uk/join-us/ and find out about the sections, all of which take boys and girls. If you are anywhere else in the UK, go to http://www.scouts.org.uk