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|
|‘Corbeau’ Rook||9th and Balsham (French for Raven)||Corbeau|
|E H Church||District Chairman ‘known to the irreverent as’||Daisy|
|W A Mackrow||12th (aboard the Adventurer)||Skipper|
|(elsewhere)||Mac or Mack|
|A Hutchinson||SM 13th(1919 – 20) 11th and 6th (1921 -22)||Hutch|
|Miss F E Isaacson||28th CM 1930 – 1970’s||Ikey|
|Miss Irene (Rene) Long||42nd CM 1930 – 1960’s||Longey or Longy, Miss Akela|
|G MacFarlane Grieve||5th SM GSM Dist Treasurer||Uncle Mac|
|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||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||Snowy|
|John Wolfenden||7th Cambridge||Flea|
|Sidney Elwood||Cambridge Scouts’ Boat Club||Squid|
|John Holmes||As listed in District directory||Smokey|
|Colin Taylor||As listed in District directory||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.
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 known.
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
JWR Archivist Mar 2019