21st Cambridge (St. Faith’s): Outline History

Cambridge District Scout Archive

St Faith’s School is the only Troop to have the number of 21st Cambridge. 

1917 – 1926

First mentioned on lists in 1917, the year before they were registered, it is not unlikely that they were formed ahead of this date.  Many troops formed during the Great War were not registered until after the war and the Troop was given the IHQ number 917.

1917 – 1926

Registered in September 1921 with the IHQ number 917 with two officers and sixteen Scouts it was based at St Faith’s School.  It was a ‘Controlled’ Troop, Controlled by the school.

The leaders on the original document are

  • Rev A Valentine – Richards    Christ’s College           SM      (also SM of the 10th)
  • W O Chantter ? Chantler        Queens’ College          ASM
  • J A G Bruce                              Christ’s College           ASM

From Reveille! a single issue District magazine from January 1920 we have:

21st (St Faith’s)  The departure of Sims for Winchester School is a real loss to us all, as well as to his Troop: his silence spoke so loudly! During Mr. Valentine-Richard’s absence, we understand that S.M. R. J. Stockdale is going to look after the Troop. We hope to see them back in their old form as one of our best Troops. They camped with the Perse last August, but unfortunately a good many of the Troop could not go.

They were also mentioned

BRIEF DIARY OF THE LAST TWO YEARS.  The Chief Scout’s Visit for our Rally of June 13, 1917, still stands out in our memories as a red-letter-day.  Many had told us that it was hopeless to expect the Troops to give a decent show in war-time; but they did, -especially the 10th and 21st with their Telegraphy, …

It may be assumed that this level of skills required more than a couple of months to achieve.

  • Sims                 Scout or Scoutmaster is not known                                       
  • Rev. Alfred Valentine Valentine-Richards      See separate page.  Dean of Christ’s College
  • Robert John Stockdale MC                  SM       Later Rev.          Selwyn College

It is probable that teachers were part of the leadership team.  Being a school with both day boys and borders it is likely that most of the activities were in house.  There is no evidence of participating in many District events other than the 1917 BP rally.

They camped in 1919.

The Group sent in Census figures to Cambridge District for Scouts.  No pack was registered.

  • Scouts 1921 – 1926
  • The Group is listed as closed in 1926.


St Faith’s was an independent Preparatory school.  It was to become the Prep School for the Leys School in the 1930’s, after the start of the Leys troop, the 60th Cambridge.  Despite the strength of the troop and investment in time and resources by the school the 60th St. Faith’s did not restart a pack or troop.  They were based directly over the road from the very good facilities of the 60th.

1946 +

St Faith’s later employed Derrick Pearce as Bursar and House Master.  He was a Sea Scout leader from Ipswich who was also very involved in Cambridgeshire Sea Scouts.  It was during his involvement that troop meetings were held at the school.  It is clear that the 1st Cambridge Sea Scouts had formal meetings at the school.  It may be that District and County level management meetings were also held on site.  The many references to St Faith’s do not clearly have any connection with a St Faith’s based Pack or Troop but the 1st Cambridge was occasionally known as St Faith’s.

JWR Archivist July 2022