1st Cambridge District: Outline

Cambridge District Scout Archive


  • Cambridge District troops are those outside Cambridge Town boundaries.  Some troops altered from Cambridge District to Cambridge as the boundaries altered. This system ended in steps between 1928 and 1935 and all Groups used Cambridge numbers.
  • Packs were not formally attached to troops until the move to the Group system in 1928.
  • Many of these District troops are poorly recorded.
  • 1st Cambridge District (Cherry Hinton) Col. Howard Marsh’s Own                 1910
  • 1st Cambridge District (Balsham)                                          December 1913
  • WW1
  • 1919
  • 1st Cambridge District (Balsham and West Wratting)        September 1921     906
  • 1st Cambridge District (Balsham and West Wratting)        October      1925      8447
  • 1st Cambridge District           (Balsham)                   Controlled                         1929      10557

1st Cambridge District (Cherry Hinton) Col. Howard Marsh’s Own          1910 – 1912

Formed in St John the Evangelists’ on Hills Road having previously hosted a Church Lads Brigade which stuttered and failed.

  • Rev A E Love (1903 – 1914)  Chaplain to 1st Cambridge District Troop (1910 – 1912)         Warranted 26/6/1911 

They met at Blinco Grove.  The Church is in Cherry Hinton parish and the area was known as New Cherry Hinton.   Rev C E Love of St John’s was a member of the Local Association for many years.

 This troop was named Col Howard Marsh’s Own.  Professor Howard was Master of Downing and an Honourary Colonel of RAMC.  He was particularly interested in ways of improving health and education of young people.  It is not known why this troop failed.

The troop absorbed patrols of the 2nd Cambridge (Newnham) which met in a separate HQ and eventually re established as a distinct troop.

They had a dark green shirt and scarf.

Cpl (Corporal) Herbert Stone of the 1st Cambridge District received a ‘life saving award’ at the 1911 District  rally which Baden-Powell attended.  He saved his siblings from a fire.  This was listed as a medal of merit in the HQ gazette of June 1911 being awarded by BP on 12th May 1911.


1st Cambridge District           (Balsham)                                                       December 1913

  • ASM                 M Slater          (SM by October 1914)
  • Chaplain          Rev H J E Burrell

Headquarters  Church Institute, Troop colour – Dark red, Shirt Khaki.   This was a local registration, national registration did not occur until 1919.


Two members are known to have died in WW1one from the first 1st Cambridge District the second from the Balsham troop.

  • Sidney John Stone   Cpt   (Lance Sgt)       1st Cambridge (Cherry Hinton) Col. Howard Marsh’s Own                                                                                              1917
  • William Keepin         2nd Lt                          1st Cambridge (Balsham)    1918



Balsham troop registered at HQ in October 1919 as 906 as quoted in the letter of 1926 (below).  It was not re registered in 1920 and lapsed at which point became an unregistered troop. 


From Reveille! the single issue magazine of January 1920 we have:

‘OUR District Troops mostly had to close down during the war; but half the Villages in the District seem to be clamouring for Troops now. Balsham, of course, had Mr. Slater all through, – what need be said more?’

 ‘COAST-GUARDING CYCLE-CORPS. ….  The Balsham, troop also may be proud of its record, for six members won the Coast-guarding decoration. ‘


1st Cambridge District (Balsham and West Wratting)        September 1921        8447

The troop was registered with one leader and 30 Scouts

  • A/DC    Martin Slater              The Grange Balsham
  • ASM     George Harold Hart    The Stores West Wratting

Meeting at Old Malting Ho., later The Grange Balsham.                 Open 

‘and West Wratting’ was added in different hand which suggests a late change of title.


1st Cambridge District (Balsham and West Wratting)                    October 1925            8447

Undated amendments to this re-registration change the name to Balsham and cross out Boy Scout Headquarters.  Colours are “‘Maroon” really a dark red’.  It was an Open troop and met on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 7p.m.

  • SM       M Slater                      The Grange
  • ASM     G H Hart                      The Stores West Wratting
  • ASM Rev W H Springham       The Manse or Manor (unclear handwriting)
  • Chaplain The Rev L C Jones    The Rectory Weston Colville

30 Scouts and 3 leaders, they camped for 15 days at St Osyth’s.  42 Scouts are recorded as camping.  12 of the Scouts were 1st Class and 12 Second class


1st District       (Balsham)                               Controlled                  1926                8447

Registered 20th July 1921 copy of 1926 Open

  • Martin Slater

This copy was sent by HQ with regard to an inquiry


There is no record of a Cub Pack in 1928 when the Group system was initiated and troops re registered as Groups.  The new registration number is not known.  If they were re registered it is interesting that they did not drop the Cambridge District at that date as most but not all new Groups did.


1st Cambridge District           (Balsham)                   Controlled                  1929                10557

  • SM       Arthur J Parr
  • ASM     John Gray

Meeting at The Maltings with 2 Officers and 6 Scouts

Controlled CoE by J M E Burrell, Rector of Balsham



In 1934 the 1st Cambridge District Balsham moved to the newly formed South Cambridgeshire District, one of four that were created from the very large Cambridge District.   In line with other transferring Groups they dropped the ‘1st Cambridge District’ element and used the name Balsham.  At this date the records of teh group did not come to the remaining Cambridge District.

JWR Archivist Feb 2023