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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Boy Scouts prepare for outbreak of World War I

Capt. W. W. MacKenzie, reportedly the Duke of Dunsmuir Downs, married Ethel Haller, The Spokesman-Review reported on Feb. 16, 1917. (Jonathan Brunt / Spokesman-Review archives)
Capt. W. W. MacKenzie, reportedly the Duke of Dunsmuir Downs, married Ethel Haller, The Spokesman-Review reported on Feb. 16, 1917. (Jonathan Brunt / Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane was making preparations for war as tensions grew with Germany.

Even Spokane’s Boy Scouts announced that they were ready for “active service.”

They were, of course, too young for the military. But they were ready to serve at home in other ways.

Local scout leaders said that 25 local scouts were competent to enter the signal service and “send receive signals either with flags, heliograph or wireless instruments.” Several boys had wireless outfits off their own.

About 150 local scouts had passed the first aid tests and “are efficient in this line of work.”

Scouts also could be used to “patrol the railroad tracks and and highways near the city.

In no event would the Boy Scouts “be armed nor will they enter the military service,” but they will be available for “civilian relief.”

Also from the war beat: Spokane’s Spanish War Veterans organization also was ready to step in and help. They were seeking the establishment in Spokane of an officer’s school, in which they could “assist in the training and drilling of raw army recruits.”

“We are not looking for war,” said the commander of the Spokane chapter. “But we believe in the doctrine of preparedness and we want to be in a position to serve our nation if it needs us. All of us have had our military training.”

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