Cambridge District Scout Archives
The archives are largely formal and records eschew such frivolity as nicknames. It is in memoirs that we find nicknames; invoking the camaraderie, introducing the characters, acting as a recall mechanism for the author and generally adding colour. Such written recollections are few. Robert Baden Powell was known as the Chief (at the 1917 Cambridge Rally, his arrival delayed by an air raid, the messenger ran up calling The Chiefs here, The Chiefs here’) and elsewhere as The Founder. In some older records in the Gilwell Archives this is denoted by a capital F.
The only the most active have nicknames that are sufficiently well known to be clear for publication across a district.
‘Scouts have a great gift for deflating their leaders. When in the late 1920’s William Wolfe received a warrant as A.S.M. (Assistant Scoutmaster to you moderns) I was at the 23rd H.Q. and wishing to speak to William, said to one of our younger scouts “Will you ask Mr. Wolfe if he can come and see me for a moment”. Alas for my efforts to maintain William’s new dignity. The scout walked to the connecting door and shouted at the top of his voice “Clacker, Bill wants, you.” W T Thurbon The Archaeology of Scouting 1978
|T G Room||Grafton St Gazette, Rovers||Ruffingham|
|‘Bunny’ Bennett||13th Cambridge||Bunny|
|H W ‘Corbeau’ Rook||9th and Balsham (French for Raven) By 1951 it had become Corbo of the 51st, although at the same date he signed his letters Corbeau||Corbeau |
|E H Church||District Chairman ‘known to the irreverent as’||Daisy|
|W A Mackrow||12th (aboard the Adventurer)||Skipper|
|(elsewhere) In a 2020 interview he was called ‘Uncle Mac’ throughout. He signed himself Mac in informal letters. Pronounced ‘Mac’ +’Crow’|| Mac or Mack |
or Uncle Mac
|A Hutchinson||SM 13th (1919 – 20) 11th and 6th (1921 -22)||Hutch|
|Miss F E Isaacson||28th CM 1930 – 1970’s (Leader name Iki [not Ikki])||Ikey|
|Miss Irene (Rene) Long||42nd CM 1930 – 1960’s||Longey or Longy, |
|G MacFarlane Grieve||5th SM GSM Dist Treasurer||Uncle Mac|
|Malcolm MacFarlane||5th SL / SSM Overlapped with MacFarlane Grieve (above)||Max or MaxiFarlane|
|Brigadier Duchesne||CC c.1955 – 1969||Dutch|
|H G F Cann||43rd and 26th||Skip|
|T. S. Hele, (Thomas Shirley)||CC or C President pre ’53 and Vice Chancellor of the University 1943 – 1945||Timmy|
|W L Wheeler||14th||Chiefy|
|‘Happy’ Davis||Named in CSG and elsewhere (Initialls H A P)||Happy|
|S W Edwards||first worker at Scout shop||Waggles|
|George Westcott Martin||7th Cambridge Sec of L A||Georgey*|
|Arthur Oliver||23rd, 28th, Fellowship (possessed grey white hair very young)||Snowy|
|John Wolfenden||7th Cambridge||Flea|
|Sidney Elwood (or Ellwood)||Cambridge Scouts’ Boat Club||Squid|
|John Holmes||As listed in District directory||Smokey|
|Colin Taylor||As listed in District directory||Ding|
|Tony Fowler||Crafts Hill DC 1981||Chick|
|Ivor Meadows||23rd and 44th SM, later GSL||Flywheel|
|F A J McKenzie||DC 11th Signed himself Mac c 1952 for District letters||Mac|
|W D Stokes||Field Commissioner signed himself ‘Bill the field’ 1975||Bill the field|
|Colin Taylor||MM in 1982||Ding|
*C T Wood (CC) wrote ‘To all of us he was ‘Georgey’ (Not to his face, no fear!)’ . Mackrow signed himself Mac, and Happy was the name signed to an article.
In a communication to District reference was made to ‘the two Macs’, reflecting their very significant place outside their Groups.
The following transition from Scout to Scouter was recorded on 1931 by the 13th Cambridge.
Florence Issacson was always known as Ikey, and signed herself as Iki in the very early list of Seeonee Pack members. This was clearly pronounced as I-key, and neither spelt or pronounced Ik- ki as is perhaps more usual. Whether it was picked for an association with her surname is unknown.
This selection of Cambridge nicknames are generally shorn of explanation, however, from the Evercircular of the 23rd Rover crew on Active Service come the following standard nicknames. The Evercircular were for a small known readership and these common nicknames were not likely to be confused with others.
- Gnr W H Miller Dusty
- Clark Nobby (‘Nobby found a Rover Crew in Aden‘)
Similarly within (the 7th) photo albums we find ‘Ginger’ and ‘Dicky’, neither yet sufficiently distinct District personalities to stand outside the troop by that name.
These names are used in National literature and the individuals widely known because of their prominent rolls
- John Colquhon (HQ) Koko
- ‘Tiny’ Chamberlain Travelling Commissioner Tiny
Nicknames in youth are not often recorded by the adult reporters of events. The following have survived.
- ‘Snake’ Davis 2nd Cambridge Morley Trophy winner 1933 Snake
- Brian (Cabbage) Greenwood 13th Cambridge 1931 Cabbage
John Wolfenden is still known as ‘Flea’, a name bequeathed in his youth.
JWR Archivist Mar 2019