... excerpt from Father Emmanuel Hanquet's "Mémoires de Chine" ...
Well now, one Sunday in springtime Father Palmers and I were sitting on a seat by the central alley. The protestant service had just finished and we were chatting with some others from the kitchen and the bakery. Cockburn and MacChesney Clark, both old British teachers, were, like us, regretting the lack of educational activity for the young. All four of us were former scouts and it seemed to us to be a good idea to use scouting methods to bring into being something educational despite the limitations of our imprisonment. We decided to think about it and to ask the opinions of others. Ideas were exchanged, and the contacts developed quickly.
We shouldn’t try to recruit everyone. Let us begin at the beginning! First we needed to establish a nucleus of scouting life, a patrol seven or eight strong. Junior Chan, a 14 year-old Chinese Canadian catholic, could make a good patrol leader; Zandy, a Eurasian; the de Zutter brothers, who were Belgians aged 12 and 14; and finally three or four British lads. There was a good mixture of catholics and protestants, with one orthodox element for good measure. It was decided that Cockburn should be in charge; the rest of us would be assistants.
We have to invent everything and cannot mention scouting as such. The motto is to be "All for one and one for all". The badges - the fleur-de-lys on a clover leaf – are to be embroidered by mothers and sisters. The necktie is a white handkerchief dyed in blue ink. Everything else falls into place thanks to scouting skills, and all goes well. When we were liberated we even manage to get ourselves photographed by friends from outside the camp.
Boy Scout Group, Weihsien - 1945
Standing: (from left to right)
Eddy Cooke // David ???//Richard Jones//George Wats (Porky)//John de Zutter//Gui Chan//Mickey Marques//Johnny Beaten-Georgiles.
Peter Turner//Alby de Zutter//Father Palmer//Cockburn//Father E. Hanquet//Sotolongo??//???.
Jacky Campbell//Michael Turner//???//Eddy Chan//Vova Bonner.
Mrs. deZutter's Weihsien badge ... to be worn at all times ...
Norman Cliff's book:
An important feature of camp life was the Rollcall, which was usually held twice a day. In some camps this entailed the internees numbering off in Japanese. If someone in the group was on work duty, a person who was normally number 57 now became number 56; and not all could adjust to this change linguistically. The guard on duty would give a report in front of the prisoners to his superior, which went something like this: "There should be 149 people in this section. There are 139 present, 6 are on work duty and 4 are sick.