21st August 1969

Funeral for a scout killed in Jersey

A visiting scout was hit by a car at Saint Ouen, and later died in hospital. Yet, despite the tragedy, the scouts declared their camping trip would continue for another 10 days.

The victim was 14-year-old Jeffrey Birch, who’d come to Jersey with the rest of his troupe from Coventry, and while his 15-year-old friend was also injured in the collision, the friend had suffered only bruising to his head and was expected to make a full recovery.

Father’s arrival

Jeffrey’s father came to Jersey to attend the inquest, then took the body home for burial on 21 August – a full four days before his friends and leaders returned. More than 200 people attended the ceremony, including 70 other scouts and guides who saluted his passing coffin.

The only person present who had been on Jersey with Jeffrey was the group leader, who had flown over for the funeral and flew back to Jersey as soon as it was over.

The following day, the 19-year-old driver of the car that had hit him faced charges of driving without due care and attention, as well as driving a defective vehicle.


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