6th Cambridge

Cambridge District Scout Archive

In November 1915 it is noted that the Worshipful Mayor (of Cambridge) elect ‘has given the Higher Grade School Troop permission to bear the above title during his year in office.’ It existed before this date and after – possibly becoming fixed. Further reference is made to the activities of the 6th in August 1916, also in the ‘Scout News’ column of the Cambridge Journal.

Rosemary Gardiner, in ‘An Epoch making school’, records S M Copplestone as being the driving force of the Troop with the aid of Gordon Nelder (died WW1). Mr Pepper and Dunkerley are also named as SMs. When William R J Copplestone left the school soon after war was declared ‘the Scout Troop did not long survive’. He was active in Cambridge as one of the founders of the local Scout Defence Corps. ‘Mr Martin tried to revive its flagging fortune but the Scouts didn’t revive.’ No date is given for this second opening, from context probably 1919 – 1923.

The Troop met on Saturday morning for wide games, often at Cherry Hinton chalk pit. By 1910 could muster a choir and camped at Houghton, had a cricket team and a band. At the start of the war the troop activities intensified many scouts winning their National Service awards, some by acting as orderlies at the First Eastern Hospital situated where the University Library now stands. They are also recorded as practising with Martini rifles at the Old Spring range, probably as part of the Scout Defence Corps which W Copplestone helped found.

With the raising of the school entrance age to 11 in 1919 Mr Martin found that new boys were already members of other troops and recruiting was difficult. He closed down the troop. District wide debates on membership of school troops is recorded in the archives.

Reference is made in ‘Travellers on the trail’ column in Cambridge Journal 3/5/22, of an attempt to restart the troop. The author of the column had been the SM of the 6th for a time before stepping out of a leadership role around the date of the March 1922 closure.

District Directory 1968 list scarf colour as Emerald Green

JWR Archivist Mar 2019 Nov 2019