41st Cambridge: Pembroke College Choir

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The following was recorded in the Emmanuel College Gazette Volume 58 (1984), recalling ‘PEMBROKE CHOIR FIFTY YEARS AGO’. Written by Cyril Phillips of Newnham

In 1930 a Scout troop was formed, the 41st Cambridge. Maurice Banting the Chaplain was the leader helped by Vernon Lippiett, David Booth and Massingberd Mundy. The first Choir Camp as a Scout Group was at Bucklers Hard near Beaulie, Hants. Choirboys were entitled to go to Camp whether Scouts or not. Looking back at Bucklers Hard it was too much of a training camp and not enough of a holiday, for most of us it was the only holiday of the year. Banting was over-keen on the scouting aspect. Camps followed at Ventnor, Isle of White ’31, Aldeburgh ’32 and Alcester in ’33; this was my last Camp, I was no longer entitled to attend Choir Camps and only did so in ’33 as a troop member.

The choir camped yearly before being a Scout Troop and the shift to scouting and the focus on training is echoed in the piece.

Summer Camp was the event of the year. A collection towards the Camp was made in Chapel on our behalf. My very first Camp was at Sheringham. I enjoyed it tremendously. Apart from duties as Camp orderly we had complete freedom to do as we liked. Then followed Camps at Trimingham in ’26, Grange over Sands ’27, Brancaster ’28, Bacton ’29.

Cyril did not overlap with Malcolm Clow who started in 1933. No other members of the choir are clearly named from he Troop era. Harold appears to have failed to get in.

I joined Pembroke choir in 1924 or 1925. I went to camp with the choir in ’25 but may have joined in the previous year. I heard there was a vacancy through an old choirboy called Cyril Allgood, the eldest of three brothers who lived in Merton Street, Newnham. I lived at 36 Eltisley Avenue so the Allgoods were only a short distance away. The two younger boys became pilots in the 1939-45 war and both were killed. They lie in St Mark’s cemetery on Barton Road. They were Edwin and Harold.

Vernon Lippiett married my wife and me in 1942. He became a Canon of Chichester and sadly died in 1980. I still keep in touch with Mrs Lippiett. David Booth and I have kept in touch. He became Archdeacon of Lewes, I spent a weekend with him at his cottage in Kent in August, he’s a marvelous 77. Lippiett and Booth were both naval Chaplains in the ’39-’45 war.

The above was provided by Elizabeth Ennion-Smith, Archivist Pembroke College

The Choir was disbanded in 1940 ‘during the war’ and the troop abolished.


  • The choir camping holidays were a yearly holiday ahead of the formation of the Scout Troop.

JWR Archivist Sept 2020