10th Cambridge: Outline History

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The early records for his Troop are unclear and go by a number of names.  It is not clear to what extent this reflects changes in membership, new troops or shortened names.

The late records of this number are equally unclear, the history explaining the many changes not having come down to us.  The reason for the 1984 switch of allegiances is not recorded.

  • Victoria Road Congregational Church                        1910
  • Victoria Road Congregational Church and Harvey Goodwin 1912
  • New Chesterton                                              1912
  • Harvey Goodwin Home                                   1913
  • Christ s College Choir                                     1921
  • Girton                                                              1947
  • 10th Cambridge                                               1955 – 1956
  • Girton                                                              1957 – 1984/2018

Victoria Road Congregational Church                                            1910

Howard Mallett OBE, ‘The Scouting Mayor’ and Silver Wolf was the founder of the troop in April 1910, gaining his SM warrant in October 1910. The troop was well enough established to share members with other troops.

  • Howard Mallett SM See separate entry under People/ Scout leaders
  • R T Alderton was at 2nd Cambridge as SM He remained as 10th SM in 1913
  • John Morrish (later Murrish)

The 12th Cambridge budded from the 10th with John Morrish as SM in 1911.

Victoria Road Congregational Church and Harvey Goodwin       1912

  • 4th Cambridge (Victoria Road Congregational Church and Harvey Goodwin)  1912/1913 – ?
  • 10th Cambridge (Victoria Road Congregational Church and Harvey Goodwin)   

It is not clear what was happening at this point.  Two Troops, both comprising elements of VRCC and HGH appear to have been run simultaneously.  It is possible that this was arranged to provide support to one of the troops.  The home for waifs and strays numbered about 30 and the troop that ran for many years from the school was always around 30 strong.  If they required support from an established troop whose leaders were in place it may have been a reasonable response to create two troops whilst leaders were trained for the new troop.  1912 is also the year that locally the Peace Scouts were assimilated into the B. P. Scout association although no direct link has been found.

The troop was a composite based around two institutions.  It is not entirely clear if it was founded in this manner or one joined another ahead of the later split.  Such temporary joining of a proposed troop with an existing one is known to have occurred on other occasions. The only meeting place listed is at the Harvey Goodwin Home (for Waifs and Strays).

The Harvey Goodwin Home portion became 10th Cambridge early in 1913 (from the AGM report) and Victoria Road Congregational Church remained briefly as the 4th

10th Cambridge (New Chesterton)                                                  1912

First recorded in 1910 at the first District registration it is likely that the troop was based at Victoria Road Congregational Church.  At some date between 1910 and 1912 some or all of the Harvey Goodwin Home patrols joined, if they had not been in place from the start. By 1912 half of the Harvey Goodwin patrols were listed as the 4th Cambridge.

The name New Chesterton is likely to be the same troop but with a location rather than by name.  Perhaps uncertainty about just which part of the troop was active lead to this new title.

The 10th was recorded as being present at the 1911 BP Rally in Cambridge, demonstrating the Missioners badge. It is of note that they were referred to as the 10th without a name whereas all the other troops were named alongside their number.   The 12th Cambridge (Milton Road School) was formed from the 10th in 1911 and formally registered in May 1912.  The reason for the division is unclear.

10th Cambridge (Harvey Goodwin Home)                                       1913

It is again not clear that this was a new troop or the shortened name of the existing.  Certainly they had closed by 1917 and probably before.  The Harvey Goodwin Home was for ‘Waifs and Strays’ and catered for about 30 boys.

10th Cambridge Christ College                                  1917 / 1921 – 1935                 908    7559

First mentioned in 1917 they were registered in September 1921.  Such late post Great War registrations are usual.  It took the title Christ’s College but was limited ‘to boys past and present of Christ’s College Choir.  The SM was the very active Rev A V Valentine – Richards (Christ’s)

  • Alfred Valentine Valentine-Richards  SM       1921
  • R M Armitage                                     ASM
  • F H Warrington                                   ASM

It was part of the first national registration and was given the IHQ number 908 (Cambridge ran from 900).  Little is recorded about this troop but we have from Reveille! the single issue District magazine of 1919 ‘10th (Christ’s Choir). Unfortunately Mr. Valentine-Richards will be away for most of the Spring. But the Troop is fortunate in finding an experienced A.S.M., in Mr. Armstrong, the College Organist; and T.L. F. Disbury of the goldcords is six feet of usefulness’ and reference to their active presence at the 1917 BP Rally in Cambridge.  It is the success of the 10th at the rally which suggests a start date of before 1917.  They were also present at the 1922 Medieval Fair ‘Glee singing’.

At the 1928 move to the group system it gained the new number 7559

  • Alfred Valentine Valentine-Richards  GSM    1930
  • W R Lane                                             SM
  • A M Watson                                        ASM
  • C Denton Smith                                   ASM

The troop returned figures for Scouts between the first census of 1921 and 1934.  In 1930 they listed 17 Scouts but they are not included in the 1934 list of Group details.

Alfred V Valentine –Richards died in 1933 and the troop closed in April 1935.  The remaining patrols joined the 36th Cambridge (St Andrew the Great) which in turn became part of the 9th in 1947.  The District recommendation was that ‘the committee could not recommend dual registration to preserve the 10th but might suggest the GSM consider the formation of Christ College patrols within the Group’.

10th Cambridge (Girton)                                            1947                            ?19499

This short lived iteration of the 10th did not return any census figures.  The HQ number is unclear.  Girton was formed within Mid Cambridgeshire District which separated from Cambridge District in1935; the Girton group closed in 1944.  The 1947 listing appears to have been a very short lived attempt at a restart, perhaps ahead of the formal decision to issue ex Mid Cambridgeshire Groups with Cambridge District numbers in the 50’s.  It is not clear that it was ever an active group, it is not mentioned as starting or listed as an active group in the AGMs of 1946 – 1949. Girton restarted in 1948 as the 51st Cambridge. 

10th Cambridge at ‘Central York Street Youth Club’          1955 – 1956                31845 

This short lived group was based at the York Street Youth Club.  Census returns give

  • Scouts  1955

It is unlikely to have been called Girton and its catchment was close enough to 29th (East Barnwell) to be absorbed into that group.  The AGMs of 1955 and 1956 name it by number only and any listing as Girton is probably erroneous.

10th Cambridge (Girton)                                            1957 – 1983                33242

It opened again as the 10th Cambridge (Girton) on 27th May 1957 with a new HQ number.

Census returns give

  • Cubs                1958 – 1983
  • Scouts              1958 – 1983
  • Ventures          1968– 1972, 1976 – 1977, 1979,  1983


FSE 1st/2nd Cambridgeshire (Girton)                         1984 – c 2018

 In 1984 the Group became members of the FSE (now ESF) Iceni Province.  They were one of 14 ESF Groups in England (numbers post 2010). The group prospered for a number of years eventually stopping around the start of the Covid lockdown.  At the 1084 change of association the warrant holders were deemed to have resigned and other leaders asked about their intentions.  Written details are lacking for this event.


10th Cambridge (Girton) 2022 – date

On 6th October 2022 after several weeks of discussion and with the enthusiastic support of the a number of parents a ‘taster’ session was run and the following week a Cub pack re-opened under the auspices of The Scout Association. The Group adopted the old Girton number of 10th and the previous scarf of Grey and Emerald green halves. A Scout troop is planned for 2023.

JWR Archivist Aug 2022