Baden Powell Cambridge 1908

Cambridge District Scout Archive

1908       Lieut.-General R.S. Baden-Powell, the famous defender of Mafeking, propounded his ‘fad’ – peace scouting for boys as a means of instruction in good citizenship – before a large audience at the Perse School Hall. The Vice Chancellor gave apologies from the Bishop of Ely and various college Masters, all of whom were most heartily in sympathy with the objects of the meeting.  08 02 22

1908       Following Lieut.-General Baden-Powell’s recent visit, a meeting was held to consider forming a branch of the scheme of boy-scouts, perhaps as a development of the present Boys’ Brigade. But Capt Norton-Fagge thought there were a large number of boys not eligible for the Boys’ or Church Lads’ Brigades who would be just the lads for this scheme. A number of men might take three boys each and teach them a few of the elementary principles.  08 03 06c

1908       In the St Matthew’s area of Cambridge are many public houses and the poverty of small homes threw the young people into the streets in search of amusement. There were thirteen different buildings in which social evenings and gymnastic clubs were continually held throughout the week., but some young men find infinitely more pleasure in racing through the streets and hooliganism. A boys’ club at the Barnwell Theatre Mission or the Coffee Tavern on Newmarket Road would be worth trying.   08 03 12b & c

All quotes from Mike Petty

The following are from Cambridge Chronicle of Jan 31st (1 No.) and February 28th 1908 (9 No.)

The report below clarifies the meeting as one event, organised by the YMCA held at the Perse. Some reports lack this clarity and cumulatively suggest a YMCA then a Perse meeting. The presence by invitation of the Boys Brigade is noteworthy, as is the that of the Cadet Corps, who did not appear to have developed Troops within their organisations.

Of those invited by the YMCA organizers Captains Tebbutt (certainly) and Bowes (possibly) were officers of the Cambridgeshire Regiment Territorials. Capt. Stevens was probably William Richard Stevens, retired RN. His connection with other youth organisations is unclear.

P C Fitzgerald was later concerned with the Cambridge Rambling Club and Honourary Rotarian. W G Collins was director of Cambridge and Paul Instrument Company. Both were part of the YMCA organizing committee along with Captain Norton Fagge who was later directly involved in setting up the Scout District.

The Vice Chancellor was Ernest Stewart Roberts, Master of Gonville and Caius.

The Legion of Frontiersmen is a civil organization founded in 1905 to protect Britain and the Empire.

Amongst those who sent their apologies were Col. A P Humphry, the Col. of Suffolk Regiment, 4th (Cambridge University) Volunteer Battalion and Bursar at Selwyn, a Barrister; Ebenezer Bird Foster, banker and inhabitant of Anstey Hall; Rev Charles Francis Townley, Deputy Lieutenant and resident Fulbourn Manor.

JWR Archivist Mar 2019