Boys’ Brigade Camp, 1904

On Friday 15th July 1904, the 2nd Blantyre Boys Brigade Company left their HQ at Livingstone Memorial U.F. Church and travelled to Largs for their summer camp.

It was to be a week long excursion, by officers and the boys with between 40 and 50 boys attending. For many, it was an exciting, adventurous time away from parents and family. These photos from that year show another company (not Blantyre) at a similar summer camp, though these boys look dressed rather formally.

The officers looking after the Blantyre boys were Captain James Murdoch, Lieuts Murdoch, Lockhart and Duncan. Interestingly, Wednesday of that following week, the boys were permitted visitors into the camp, where family could come along to Largs and see what the boys had been doing.

The Boys’ Brigade as conceived by founder Scottish Sir William Smith in 1883 was to instill discipline and provide religious instruction to the Boys of his day. As such closer order drill was an important early activity, which may explain the adoption of military style uniforms. The Boys’ Brigade saw close order martial drill as good discipline for the boys.

Looking at these photos however, I can’t help but feel that these youngsters a decade later would all be of fighting age and off the front during WW1. It made me wonder how many survived their 20s.

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