Scout Leader Jonathan Chamley has become the first Scout in the Bailiwick to receive the Cornwell Scout Badge, which is one of the Scout Associations rarest awards. It is awarded to those under 25 years of age who have demonstrated great heroism or pre-eminently high character and devotion to duty coupled with great courage and endurance.
The award was created by the Scout Association to commemorate the heroism of John ‘Jack’ Travers Cornwell, a Scout from London who at the age of 16 served as a gun sighter on board the Royal Navy’s HMS Chester during the battle of Jutland in World War I. Despite being gravely wounded he stood by his post but sadly died 3 days later. He became a National Hero and was posthumously awarded both the Victoria Cross and the Bronze Cross, Scouting’s highest gallantry award.
Jonathan has been involved with Scouting since he was a Cub and has close affiliation with the Bailiwick’s 4th Air Scouts, where he attended Cubs and Scouts, before taking on a Leadership Role. On moving to Reading University to read archaeology in 2019, Jonathan also joined the 73rd Reading (Park) Scout Group and became Reading’s Youth Commissioner.
Sadly it was shortly afterwards that Jonathan was diagnosed with a brain tumour, which severely affected his vision and turned his life upside down. Putting his study and plans aside Jonathan had various specialist treatments in both Guernsey and the UK. Admitting that his treatment and recovery had been tough, Jonathan said that the one thing that remained constant was being able to help out at Scouts. He praised the Leaders at the 4th who made adjustments for him and thanked the Scouts for their understanding and treating him normally, depite the fact he can't get involved with the more enthusiastic ball games.
Bailiwick Commissioner, Andy Snell, said that Jonathan was an inspiration to all Scouts. Jonathan had shown courage over adversity and remained positive throughout his illness, demonstrating the “Never Give Up” ethos of Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.
Jonathan was presented with the Cornwell Badge at Rue Maingy on Friday evening in front of the 4th Scouts, Leaders and Parents together with 4 current and former Bailiwick Commissioners all of which were involved in his nomination. In a few weeks time, Jonathan and his parents will be heading off to the Scouts’ National Day of Celebration & Recognition at Windsor Castle where he has been invited to meet Bear and other senior members of the Scout Leadership Team at a special reception.
Later in the year Jonathan will join other local volunteers at a adult awards evening where he’ll receive his certificate.
Jonathan has made a successful return to Reading University and is still volunteering at Scouts in both Guernsey and Berkshire.
If you've been inspired by Jonathan's story and would like to join Scouts or volunteering as an adult to help deliver skills for life to as many young people as possible, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.