Annual Scout Numbers

Cambridge District Scout Archive

These are the number of Scouts in Cambridge District between 1910 and 1981.  The gaps are during WWI, 1929 and 1939.

Two sets of figures have been used to compile the following, Census Returns and Annual Report returns.  I have put both sets in for completeness sake.  The discrepancies are probably attributable to the thoroughness of the Secretary who updated the figures between the official Census date and the AGM.

Not all annual reports are available.  The Census returns altered the questions asked.

 Tardy responses and closure of groups or sections occurred more frequently in the first quarter century.

The AGM figures are in red in the table, but confusingly blue on the chart above.

  • The major drop 1934 – 1935 is the point at which the District split into three.  Cambridge retained ⅔ of the Scouts.  Numbers were picking up when…
  • The 1939 drop is clearly the consequence of WWII.  Numbers rose steadily through and after the war.
  • Numbers declined in the mid 1950’s to rise again strongly 1957 to 1960
  • Numbers rose again following the Advance Party changes of 1966/67

The following is presented without further commentary on the changing figures.   Influences on trends are discussed in ‘Demographics’, individual Sections under ‘Sections’.

The numbers are as given in the Census returns. Totals are those given in the returns.  I can add up but have not done so because what is being totaled is unclear.  Between 1920 and 1927 the numbers of Cubs are not given but presumably included.  In 1933 the discrepancy may include District Officials not affiliated to a Group.  The 1933 total noted ‘up 94’, so we can assume 1501 for 1932.

The District split into four parts in 1933 and only that part which remained as Cambridge is detailed below – the Census figures for the other Districts are not available in Cambridge Archives.  See Structure/ District for details of the changing District.

Sea scout numbers were not requested in many years, although Sea Scout Troops were active in the District. They were first given at the foundation of Air Scouts in 1941.

AS – Air Scouts, SS – Sea Scouts, WSS – War Service Scouts, Sen S – Senior Scouts   See separate pages in “Sections’ for details.

Additional figures were given for Old Scouts in 1947 (44) and 1949 (116).  The ‘Exec’ was given as 50 in 1949.

Senior Scout Patrol numbers were given from 1948 to 1951 as 10, 7, 7, 13.

As is often seen the point of change in Sections causes confusion in returns.  The figures for 1947 (when Senior Scouts were added) have the totals for Senior Scouts ‘included’ in total Scout figures. The ‘56+40’ is unclear. 

The figures are not so distorted that general trends cannot be read.

The Districts split again in 1983 into Cambridge North, Cambridge South and Crafts Hill. Cambridge North and Cambridge South later rejoined in 2000. The two Districts, Cambridge and Crafts Hill, along with a small part of the former Granta District (South Cambridgeshire) are equivalent to a slightly larger District than that of 1982. (See Cambridge District: Changes)


JWR Archivist May 2019