Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
troops of them there are in Jamaica, but I expect that before long there will be others as well.
Jamaica has been called “the cradle of the British Navy” from the time of Drake and Raleigh, and Rodney, Benbow and Nelson; and I hope that before long Sea Scouts will have started here, for it is a splendid place for boating and swimming, and will furnish many more good seamen for our nation in the future.
A motor run on the island showed one vast groves of banana plants all ripening for the British market. Everywhere the natives are Negroes, descendants of the slaves brought here in the old days from West Africa to work on the sugar plantations.
Now they are all free men, of course, and are very cheery, friendly people, and very loyal to the King.
Spanish Town, about twelve miles from Kingston, is the old capital of the island, and contains an interesting cathedral and a quaint old central square in which stands a statue of Admiral Lord Rodney.
It was put up as a reminder of his great victory over the French Admiral de Grasse, on April 12, 1782, when he saved Jamaica and the West Indies for Great Britain.
The battle lasted for twelve hours, and the British losses amounted to 1090 seamen killed and wounded, while the French lost 14,000 killed, wounded, and prisoners. Two of the handsome guns of the French flagship Ville de Paris are mounted in front of Lord Rodney’s statue.
Spanish Town is a small town of very picturesque old houses and beautiful gardens, but it is very quiet, hardly a soul to be seen, as the business is now all carried on at Kingston.
There are still a great many ruined walls and houses about, both inside Kingston and out in the country all reminders of the awful earthquake of a few years ago.
Otherwise the island is most beautiful and attractive and full of the spirit which existed when Marryat wrote his novels about it, such as “Midshipman Easy,” and Scott’s “Tom Cringle’s Log.”
Just as one may imagine Port Royal full of swaggering pirates, daring and dangerous, open- handed and reckless, so one can easily imagine the streets of Kingston again filled with dapper midshipmen, rolling jack tars, and puffy admirals, hospitable planters, and beautiful Creoles. It is a delightful place, and I was very, very sorry to leave it.