The Lowestoft Journal published an article on 29th March 2022 covering the story of a unique photographic collection with historical connections to a tragic drowning of a number of Sea Scouts that had "come home" to a local Air Scout troop that had won bidding when the photos went to auction.
Photgraphic postcard remembering the victims of the Sea Scout Tragedy, including Stanley Wood
The tragic events of June 1, 1914 saw three Sea Scouts, their two Scout Masters and a naval instructor drown when their boat capsized on the river Waveney at Somerleyton.
The Carlton Colville Sea Scouts troop were returning from a week’s camping on the Duke’s Head hills and were rowing back to Oulton Broad when their boat capsized.
They were scoutmaster Thornton Lory, a Lowestoft solicitor, James Lewington, 34, an ex-naval instructor, assistant scoutmaster Sydney Scarle, 18, and scouts Reginald Middleton, 14, Arthur Beare, 14, and Sydney Thrower, 16. Another Sea Scout, 17-year-old Stanley Wood, was the only survivor.
But what does all this have to do with Oxfordshire military history?
The Stanley Wood who survived later served with the 2nd Bucks Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in the Great War, apparently as part of a draft from the Suffolk Regiment (see the number of Lowestoft/Oulton Broad men on the list of Bucks Battalion casualties below).
List of Bucks Battalion casualties at Fromelles, July 1916.
He became one of many casualties at the 'diversionary' Battle of Fromelles in July 1916 and is remembered on the Loos Memorial among many other men with no known grave.
As such he and the other men became possible candidates when bodies were recovered from burial pits before burial at Pheasant Wood CWG a few years ago. We were seeking DNA to assist in the identification procedure, but without success.
As a regular visitor to Lowestoft and reader of the Lowestoft Journal, I recognised his name when reading both this article and a previous report when the postcard sale had been proposed.
He was perhaps fortunate to survive one tragedy, only to lose his life just 2 years later, aged 19.