5th Cambridge District: Outline

Cambridge District Scout Archive


  • Cambridge District troops are those outside Cambridge Town boundaries.  Some troops altered from Cambridge District to Cambridge as the boundaries altered. This system ended in steps between 1928 and 1935 and all roups used Cambridge numbers.
  • Packs were not formally attached to troops until the move to the Group system in 1928.
  • Many of these District troops are poorly recorded.
  • 5th Cambridge District (Trumpington and Grantchester)  1910 – 1919
  • 5th Cambridge District (1st Grantchester) Pack                   1918
  • 5th Cambridge District (Girton)                                             1920
  • 5th Cambridge District (Barton)                                            1920  (Probably an error)
  • 5th Cambridge District (Shepworth)                                     1922 – 1924
  • 5th Cambridge District (Linton)                                            1924 – 1928               
  • 5th Cambridge District (Linton) Pack                                   1927 – 1928


5th Cambridge District (Trumpington and Grantchester)  1910 – 1919

The Scout magazine mentions the 5th Cambridge District in February 1911 providing a guard of Honour for the Mayor alongside eight other troops.

Pre WW1 secretary’s note gives


  • SM                   P R Robinson

Oct 1914

  • Hon SM           P R Robinson
  • SM                   A T Westlake   St John’s
  • ASM                 R T Parker       Downing

Percy Robinson was said to have been a Scoutmaster alongside his role as Headmaster (1908 – 1943). He recorded village life on slides. Nothing is yet known about his Scout role other than being listed as Hon SM in 1912 of the 5th Cambridge Troop. This is very likely to be the 5th Cambridge District (Trumpington). His address was Trumpington School of which he was head. He is likely to have had a continuing involvement; on his death in 1943 he was remembered as a Scouter, perhaps unlikely if his previous contact had stopped in WW1.

1914 – 1916 The 5th Cambridge District were run by Aubrey Westlake a Quaker and Medical student who left Scouting to start Order of Woodcraft Chivalry.  R T Parker was another founder member of the OWC.  John Murrish of the 12th, perhaps the driving force of the OWC, took up some passing responsibility when AW left.  A letter from the DC remains inviting him to pick up awards for Scouts at the 5th. Murrish was to leave for the war later in 1916.

The Trumpington Local History Group publication of 2000, 20th Century Trumpington, gives suggests dates of 1910/11 until 1914/15. Other lists suggest 1919.  It states they had two patrols, paraded four times in the first year and participated in the 1911 Rally.

The Parish Magazine first mentions Scouts in December 1910 when a ‘very large number of Scouts attended from Cambridge, Trumpington and Grantchester’.

A Scout from the 5th is known to have joined the Friends (Quaker) Ambulance Unit in Dunkirk via the Red Cross VAD scheme in 1915.


5th Cambridge District (1st Grantchester) Pack       1918                            IHQ923

1918 Grantchester Pack (1st Grantchester) was known as ‘P Pack’ and registered locally from 1916. The letter system was used for Packs although quickly packs attached to troops used the troop number.   They were listed as 5th Cambridge District in 1918. The first on the local records for the National Census with IHQ Pack number of 923. Closed on in abeyance 1st Oct 1920

(see overlap with 17th District 1919 – 1920  from H Q records)

(see Grantchester Cub pack  1st Oct 1919 – 25/Jan 1922 [first registered locally 1916])

(Cambridge 1st Grantchester ‘P’ Cub Pack 13th Apr 1922 – 1st Oct 1928 reg 5054)


5th Cambridge District (Girton)                                 1920

Two entries in 1920 record this troop, bracketing a listing as the 6th.  This ‘6th’ was almost certainly an error from an error filled list in a newspaper report.  No other details from this 5th Cambridge District (Girton) troop remain.


5th Cambridge District (Barton)                                1920                (Probably an error)

This ‘5th’ was almost certainly an error from an error filled list in a newspaper report, which also mislabelled Girton as the 6th (above)


5th Cambridge District (Shepworth)                         1922 – 1924                            IHQ 9952

Registered 30th May 1922 with one leaders and 12 Scouts this troop was based in Shepworth High Street and Open   IHQ number 9952

  • Act ASM          Audrey V Swain (Miss)            (Resigned)
  • SM                   Rev Hislop
  • ASM                 M A Carter

Noted on the form ‘Troop packed up (11?) May 1924’  Listed in 1924 Gazette as having a yellow scarf meeting under M A Carter


5th Cambridge District (1st Linton)                            1924 – 1928                IHQ 13265 + 7575

Registered on form and unusually not altered by the District Secretary as1st Linton (5th Cambridge District).  Dated 18th December 1924 and given IHQ number 13265.

  • SM       Miss Felicia G L Purkis             of Barham Hall

One leader and 13 Scouts, and the note ‘Scouts have come up from the 1st Linton Pack’.

Listed in 1926 as meeting in Balsham Road under Miss Purkis.

 The second IHQ number 7575 suggests that the Linton Cub Pack N, later 5th Cambridge District Pack (Linton)  and 5th Cambridge District were collectively re registered as a Group in the 1928 move to Group system but census returns stop in 1928.

See also Structure/Troops and Groups/Villages named in titles/ Linton Scouts Outline


5th Cambridge District Pack (Linton)                                    1927 – 1928                IHQ 4797

Registered on 4th May 1927 as IHQ 4797 this was an alteration of title from N Pack 4797 which had been registered on 31st January 1922.  The letter system was used for Packs although quickly packs attached to troops used the troop number.  This pack appears to have been founded ahead of the troop and the troop formed to take Scout aged boys.

The names was altered by the District Secretary from 1st Linton (5th Cambridge District Pack to 5th Cambridge District Pack (Linton).

  • CM      F G L Purkis
  • ACM    E A Whiffin

The pack was Open and had two leaders and 21 Wolf Cubs.  They met at The Den, Balsham Road

JWR Archivist Feb 2023