2nd Cambridge: Newnham

Cambridge District Scout Archive

As yet no written records of the 2nd Cambridge have been located. Clearly a very early troop founded in 1908 and photographs exist of them camping in the summer of that year. The troop lost leadership or a meeting place and is recorded as meeting for a winter on Silver Street bridge. They were attached to the 1st District (Cherry Hinton) as separate patrols in 1910 but listed as individual troop in the 1911 BP Rally.

They survived as a separate entity whilst part of the 1st District and re-emerged, meeting at the Old Vestry, St Mark’s Church, in Newnham certainly by 1912. The connection with St Mark’s continued but it appears that they remained an open Troop and Group and never took the church name, always remaining ‘Newnham’. The Church has a long history of opening its facilities to local groups.

2nd (Newnham). The Second is going strong, though we should like to see them grow in numbers. A.S.M. Hullick’s brother has painted a beautiful memorial tablet to the two members who fell in the war (Tabor and King). Their outdoor stunts seem good: their indoor knowledge of Scoutcraft needs pushing home.      Reveille 1920

A Wolf Cub pack was started at some point by 1923, and registered in 1924. An earlier B Pack, the original Wolf Cub pack ‘numbering’ system, existed briefly in 1918. It may have become the 2nd in 1919 but this is not indicated by any facts. Some suggestion of a closure (possibly of the Troop) in 1925, but at this time a missed yearly re registration readily resulted in being placed in abeyance. The links with St Mark’s continued throughout.

A report of the Group (Pack and Troop) exists in the Cambridgeshire Collection from 1931- 1932. All the participant leaders were in role from later 1928 at the earliest with the exceptions of L H Armstrong, Treasurer, who had been involved since 1916 and P Chapman acting CM from 1921. At this point they had 13 Scouts and 15 Cubs, were camping three times a year, participating in District events, holding fundraising concerts for hall funds and troop funds and gaining badges and the first cords. The Summer Camp was near Gatehouse of Fleet, a confident journey for a youngish pack. It is noted that they were able to expand to these numbers because they were permitted the use of the ‘Old Church’ which was larger (than the Old Vestry named above?).

Report from a Summer camp at Gate House of Fleet

A second closure occurred in 1943, to reopen as Cubs in 1944 and fully in 1945. The Group reported Rovers, Scouts and Cubs but diminished. They survived until 1968 when as a remnant Wolf Cub pack they were absorbed by the 11th/9th – a troop with no pack. (The 11th/9th opened their HQ in Newnham in 1975 but the date of their first association with the area is unclear.)

T G Room

In around 1930 they had as GSM T G Room, later Professor of Mathematics in Australia. A meticulous planner, involved in Rovers in the University and in the Town, Editor of the District Newsletter; it is very likely that they flourished under his guidance. Reports of Summer camps in The Gatehouse of Fleet, The Lake District and in County Antrim from a 2020 a correspondent, John Wilson, recalls his father, Alan, (b 1914) recalling his high regard for a Mr. Room. (Alan and TG Room photographed below)

Alan Wilson and T G Room Cairnmoor, Gatehouse of Fleet, 1934 (A Wilson Album)

They reported Rovers from 1934 – 1938, suggesting that they were active as Rovers from a year or two ahead of these Census returns. In the absence of a Rover Crew the Scouts would remain until 18 and then become leaders, move into a Crew elsewhere, or leave. T G Room was active in Cambridge from 1920 to 1935. It is not clear how long T G Room was involved in the Troop.

Unknown camp c 1930 – 34 (A Wilson album)

1930 leaders

  • GSM T. G Room, 55, Newnham Baud.
  • SM A. Stanhope Dixon. Muirlea, Stretten Avenue
  • ACM P. Chapman, 3, Church Rate Walk
  • Hon SM L. H. Armstrong, (and Treasurer)

Photographs exist of camps after WW1, but hold little written information.

1932 leaders

  • T G Room GSM
  • CE Hitchcock ASM
  • WD Kerr ASM Ridley Hall
  • A Perry ASM Ridley Hall
  • G H Kuzio
  • Dorothy H Wolfe ACM
  • DR Chapple

Amongst the Cubs at this point was a J Cornwell – the family was local although the family of the more famous Jack had moved before he was Scout age. His name was knowingly perpetuated within the family.

See also

  • Activities/ Camps/ First Cambridge Camp
  • People/ Individuals/ Cambridge Scouters/ T G Room

JWR Archivist Nov 2020