43rd Cambridge (Fen Ditton): Outline History

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The 43rd Cambridge has only been used for Fen Ditton.  It was, however, briefly earmarked for West Wratting.

A previous Fen Ditton Troop was formed in 1913 as 13th Cambridge District

  • 13th Cambridge District                                  1912 – by 1918

  • 43rd West Wratting    
  • 43rd Cambridge (Fen Ditton)   St Mary           1931 – 1934                 12364
  • 43rd Cambridge (Fen Ditton)                           1943 – 1945                 22574

13th Cambridge District                                 1912 – by 1918

Nothing more is known of this troop.  Like most out of town it ended during the Great War.

43rd West Wratting

In the AGM report of 1928/1929 (printed 1930) 43rd West Wratting appears in the list of Groups.  It has no named leaders, no IHQ number, no address and no census numbers.    The year previously 1st Cambridge District had been named Balsham and West Wratting, in 1928/29 report it had become just Balsham.

43rd Cambridge (Fen Ditton) St Mary           1931 – 1934                 12364

Listed as meeting at ‘The Barn near River Cottage, Fen Ditton it listed Cubs on foundation in 1931,  11 Scouts and 10 Cubs in 1932 and 14 and 10 in 1933.

  • A A E Chenery             GSM
  • H G F Cann                  SM
  • KPG North                   CM and ASM
  • T C Germany               CM

KPG North, very long term worker at the Scout Shop and T C Germany, Scout Boat Club and 23rd Rovers, were both participants of the Evercircular letters.  Ken recalls cycling out to the meeting along the unlit, unmade path, carrying a Scout on his handlebars.  The Group closed ahead of the 1935 division of the very large Cambridge District into initially three then four Districts. 

Horace Cann (Skip) was born in 1902 and was an early member of the Scout association. He had been associated with the 30th Town Rovers and went on to join the 26th in 1935 as GSM from 1947 until 1965.

The original registration document has not survived.  It does receive a mention in the January 1935 AGM report but without any leaders.  Numbers (presumably for 1934) are 8 Scouts and 10 Cubs. It is recorded as amalgamating with the 26th in 1935, however, the 43rd number disappears and the 26th remains. The ‘dominant’ name is often to do with the building in which they meet, certainly the 26th had a fair turnover of leaders and the need may have been mutual.

26th August 1932 A stack fire which broke out near Coldham’s Lane attracted a crowd several hundred strong. It is believed to have been started by one of the many courting couples who frequent the place. Mr A.H. Doggett of Rectory Farm, Cherry Hinton said: “The fire was not caused by internal combustion, nor by lightning. Couples come here and lie about. I don’t mind so much as long as they don’t damage my property”. Boy scouts from Fen Ditton worked with police and farm hands to prevent the flames spreading. 

43rd Cambridge (Fen Ditton)                         1943 – 1945                 22574

Started on 29th October 1943 it is recorded that the registration was cancelled on 18h June 1945.  It did not submit census returns for any year.  The Secretaries note book calls the Group ‘Ditton Field’ and notes that it was run by the Brunswick Youth Centre.  The meeting place was labelled as ‘The Shack, the Rectory (Fen Ditton).  All of which is very unclear.

JWR Archivist Aug 2022