3rd Cambridge: Outline History

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Used by seven or eight Troops and Groups the number is greatly underrepresented in District histories.  None of the Troops lasted for any significant period other than the last which was largely contained within the school.

  • 3rd Cambridge (St Andrew the Great)                                    …      – 1910
  • 3rd Cambridge (St Catherine’s College Choir)                        1912 – 1913
  • 3rd Cambridge (Morley Memorial)                            1913 – 1918
  • 3rd Cambridge (New Cherry Hinton)                          1919 – 1919  
  • 3rd Cambridge (St John’ Wellington Street Mission)  1922 – 1924
  • 3rd Cambridge (Kings College Mission)                      1927 – 1931
  • 3rd Cambridge (Salvation Army)                                 1948 – 1951   
  • 3rd Cambridge (Kings College)                                                1967 – 2004

3rd Cambridge (St Andrew the Great)                                  …      – 1910 / 1911

Given the very early number it is likely that this was a 1908 Troop.   The District did not exist or start to formally register troops until 1910.  An end date of November 1910 is given in the pre WW1 notes, however, the 3rd Cambridge (St Andrew the Great) was registered at the 1911 Rally (demonstrating camping) and at the 1911 Windsor Rally.  They also gained a reference in ‘The Scout’ of Feb 1911 as part of the Guard of Honour for the Mayor.

The Rev J Morgan, Vicar of S Andrew the Great, was one of the earliest members of the local District.

3rd Cambridge (St Catharine’s College Choir)                     1912 – 1914

Held a summer camp at Chatsworth in 1913 and took the title Duke of Devonshire’s Own.  The Duke was Chancellor of the University.   In 1913 they had three leaders and 14 Scouts.  The Troop, which sported a pink scarf or later pink and dark blue, has a date of disbanding as December 1913.  However, the troop as ‘St Catharine’s College Choir’ is recorded elsewhere as disbanding early 1914 (probably Dec 1913 as before) and restarting in October 1914.  It clearly restarted as the 20th Cambridge, the later reference to it as the 3rd being an error at the time.  The 20th retained the title Duke of Devonshire’s Own.

  • H C J Davies                SM                   (See separate page)
  • B P Luscombe              ASM                 (See separate page)
  • Rev A D Henwood       Chaplain

See separate page Structure/ Troops and Groups/ 1st – 10th/ 3rd/ St Catherine’s

The record for the 20th Cambridge says   ‘Previously 3rd Cambridge: disbanded early in 1914 and re registered Oct 1914. (As the 20th)  Mr Southward s interested in troop SM – R H Norby ?, St Catharine’s’.


St Catharine’s College Choir / Morley Memorial overlap

Two anomalies exist, at the start and at the end.

Apparently contemporaneous notes give the following

  • St Catharine’s College Choir   3rd 1912 – 1914 + 1918           20th 1918 – 1924
  • Morley Memorial School        3rd 1913 – 1918                      
  • New Cherry Hinton/ Cherry Hinton    3rd 1919 – 1919           28th 1919 – 1921

Start:  Even allowing for the misremembering of 3rd for 20th in 1918 the overlap of dates for 1913 is not explained.    Morley Memorial troop started in July 1913.  This would suggest that the ‘disbanded’ date of St Catharine’s Choir, given above in the same record as the start date of Morley Memorial, was a formal end not the actual end which is therefore likely to have been at the end of the summer camp, possibly shortly after the end of the University term.  However, this is not clear two sources giving late 1913 or early 1914 for the closure of St Catherine’s College Choir troop.  

End:  It is easy to imagine that, with names not numbers being used for identification it was forgotten that the 3rd became the 20th and the later 3rd became the 28th.  It is odd that they should both have stepped away from being the 3rd, one could have retained or continued as the 3rd. No other troop picked up the number until 1924. 


3rd Cambridge (Morley Memorial)                           1913 – 1918

A start date of July 1913 at Morley Memorial School, Blinco Grove with a total strength 15

  • E H Selwood                SM

In September 11th 1913 ‘Scout John Kilner … called to ask for assistance in starting the Cherryhinton Troop again’.  John was 13 years old.  The school is based in ‘New Cherry Hinton’, not the village.  Meetings were held with the Ernest H Selwood and Headmaster W H Rain.  The Rev Buttle, curate at St John’s, Hills Road, also wished to help.  It was noted that the old flag is with SM Coombes, at a Middlesex address.  A ‘Coombes’ was working with the 1st Cambridge and unless this is an error for 1st Cambridge District which had been based at St John’s Church the connection is not clear.

Dark Green scarf, khaki shirt, blue shorts

In February 1914 a C J Cornwell (P.L.) was again asking DC for help.  The District ‘recommended a varsity man [Duthie] in mind,’ and later ‘Duthie helping‘.  This was probably L Duthie of Trinity, a warranted SM from 1912. 

In October 1914

  • E H Selwood                SM
  • W Hamilton Rain        Hon SM          
  • Duthie
  • G Mothersole              ASM

3rd Morley Memorial is recorded in the 1917 BP Cambridge Rally with a display of wood and leather work.  W H Rain offered to resign from the Executive committee as the troop went into abeyance in 1918. It is not known why it went into abeyance.

3rd Cambridge (New Cherry Hinton)                                    1919 – 1919  

It is not clear if this is a new troop or a ‘location’ name for the existing Morley Memorial.  The records for the Great War are very poor but the 1918 ‘Abeyance’ is a clear date.  Morley Memorial is in New Cherry Hinton and the name had been used for the earlier troop at St John’s Church.

From the single issue District magazine of January 1920, Reveille!, has two references to the 3rd:

  • The 3rd. Is it true that, when you went out carol-singing the inhabitants were so delighted that they threw you into the holly-bushes?  and
  • 3rd (Morley Memorial) Mr. Morris has been too busy to carry on as S.M. His departure is a great loss, followed soon after by T.L. C. Turner’s leaving Cambridge. The other P.L.’s were so overcome that they also left. But the Troop seems to be reviving after the shook.

Clearly the second refers to Morley Memorial and it is likely that the 1919 troop was based at the school or over the road at the Church Hall and possibly of effectively unbroken line since 1913.  The loss of SM and TL may have broken the link to the school and this listing reflects this fact.

The nearby St John (the Evangelist) Troop was started in 1919 as the 28th Cambridge.  With the links between the school and the church it is possible that as the school stepped away from acting as host the church stepped in.  The Parish Hall was directly opposite the School and a change in ‘Control’ would not have meant a significant St John’s change in meeting place.  It is likely that this 1919 ‘3rd’ became the 28th.

No Cub pack is known associated with any early 3rd Cambridge.

3rd Cambridge (St John’s Wellington Street Mission)        1922 – 1924                11270

A provisional registration of 24th April 1922 exists, with Christchurch crossed through and St John’s added.  This Church is not connected with St John the Evangelist in New Cherry Hinton (directly above)

St. John the Evangelist’s mission church in Wellington Street, erected in 1874, was a large plain edifice of brick, consisting only of nave and a belfry with one bell: there were 200 sittings: the services were conducted by the vicar and curates of Christ Church. Wellington Street came onto East Road at what is now the exit point of Grafton Centre car park.

  • Rev E Green    SM
  • J G Parr           ASM
  • Greenleaf (Possibly)    Sept 1922

We have two surviving registration documents from 1923, May 11th 1923 and September 30th 1923 and it was controlled by St John’s Church, Wellington Street, Cambridge.   It named a full uniform scheme of Grey shirts, Navy blue shorts and Royal blue and yellow scarf.  On registration it had one leader and 10 Scouts.

  • J G Parr           SM

This short lived Troop returned Census

  • Scouts 1923 – 1924

It was not listed in the AGM lists of 1924/25 (printed early 1926).  It is recorded that on closure ‘a patrol of the keenest were attached to the 9th Cambridge (Queens’ College Choir).

3rd Cambridge (Kings College Mission)                    1927 – 1931                16249/ 7553

Registered in 1926 as Kings College it was a Mission based in Occupation Road the same part of town as the previous 3rd, St John’s Mission in Wellington Street.  The troop was ‘open’ and had a purple scarf

  • Rev. W S Baker                        SM  GSM on start of Group system
  • Rev. J R C Laughton                        ASM

It was first registered with 10 Scouts and numbers fluctuated between 4 and 14 over the next four years. Census returns were given

  • Scouts 1927 – 1930

The Troop, later Group was usually called ‘Kings College’ but at ‘Kings College Club’ and known by a number of names.  It closed 30th October 1931.

An earlier Kings College Mission had been registered as 4th Cambridge between 1921 to 1924.  There is no clear overlap of leaders and the troop met in another building (Theatre Royal, Newmarket Road) in the same part of town.

3rd Cambridge (Salvation Army)                               1948 – 1950                            26639

 A Controlled group it opened 7th October 1948 with a troop it met in the Salvation Army Hall in Tenison Road.  The scarf was brown with a gold border.  It opened with one scouter and 10 Cubs CM Len Sizer. It is reported to have closed through lack of leaders.

Census returns were given

  • Scouts 1949 only

3rd Cambridge (Kings College)                                  1967 – c. 2004                                    38551

Two registration dates exist 1st April 1967 and 22nd January 1968.  This Group was a school based at Kings College School, West Road and not a Kings College Mission or Boys Club.  It does not appear often in District records.  Scarf purple with white border.

Census returns were given

  • Cubs    1968 – 1976
  • Scouts  1976 – 1983 (end of records)

Little is retained by the school.

  • Bill Morgan                 CL        ?         – 1975
  • Robert Henderson       SL         1976 – 2002
  • Andrew Saunders        SL         2002 – 2004

The Cub pack folded in 1975 (census returns are a year in arrears) and a Link Scout Troop with ages 10 to 13initiated by a new schoolmaster.  They met Monday evening after school meetings in term time 1630-1815 and a couple of camps per year, occasionally joining in District events too. 

Initially placed in Cambridge South at the administrative division of Cambridge District in 1973 but moved with two others to Cambridge North after a year.

JWR Archivist Aug 2022