Baden Powell in Cambridge

Cambridge District Scout Archives

‘The Chief’s here, the Chief’s here’

1908    1911    1917    1920    1921    1922    1928    1931

All the above dates in bold are also covered in the Gilwell BP archive letters except 1911.  The more limited events of 1920 and the possible 1921 are not recorded.

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

1910                            Owing to the rapid increase of the Boy Scout movement in Cambridge a meeting was held at the Perse School to inaugurate a Boy Scouts Association. It will nominate suitable persons to act as scoutmasters, register troops and patrols, encourage the movement and work in co-operation with other boys’ organisations. The Chief Scout, Sir Robert Baden-Powell will be invited to inspect the Cambridge scouts in the autumn. 10 06 10

1911                          Sir Robert Baden-Powell is to inspect Cambridge boy scouts in May when troops will give demonstrations of their work. Cambridgeshire is a county in which the movement has made little progress and it is hoped his visit will arouse greater enthusiasm. A prize of a regulation B flat bugle will be awarded to the best patrol raised in a new centre. There are already twelve troops in Cambridge, which is now one of the best organised scout centres in the kingdom but more men are needed to volunteer as scoutmasters 11 02 17a

1911  20th May          Sir Robert Baden-Powell inspected 500 Boy Scouts at a grand rally in Grange Road. The assembly was one of the most remarkable that has ever taken place in Cambridge, certainly nothing like it has ever been seen in the locality before. ‘B.P.’ has set in motion a mighty engine. Like an electric train it has gathered way with amazing swiftness and desolate is the place that has not heard the call of the Boy Scout engaged in an errand such seeking some lost child or succouring someone in danger or distress. 11 05 26b-e

            1911    Miss Baden Powell attended Perse Scout display

1917                         Chief Scout at Rally — Although some   disappointment   was felt   at  the non-appearance at the appointed time of General  Baden-Powell, the Chief Scout, the rally of Cambridge, Newmarket and Ely Boy Scouts on  Sheep’s Green, Cambridge last Wednesday was carried through with great success. “The Chief,” after being delayed several hours through an air raid over London, turned up later in the afternoon, accompanied by the Member for the Borough (Mr. Almeric Paget 17 06 20 CIPof           (at Sheep’s Green and later addressed PLs in the evening June 13th)

at the CU OTC ground

In the midst of it all a breathless Boy Scout dashed up to Prof. Gardiner (the DC), who was conversing with some press men.  ‘The Chief’s here, the Chief’s here’ he announced.

C T Wood album

            1919                Girl Guides inspected –  the rally of the Cambridge and Dist­rict Girl Guides in the grounds of Homerton College (Cambridge) and the inspection by Lady Baden-Powell, proved a highly attractive and successful venture.  After the inspection the Guides sang, “For ‘she’s a jolly good Fellow,” 19 04 16 CIPof [1.7] Dated elsewhere as 3rd April 1919.

Proposed visit 28th Oct 1920 see District Minutes

1922 The Chief Scout, Lieut.-General Sir R.S.S. Baden-Powell is on a visit to Cambridge and yesterday witnessed a Scout rally by the Cambridge & District Boys Scouts in Queens’ College Grove. On entering the Grove the Chief was surrounded by Scouts, who had been in ambush. They cried his Zulu name as they gathered around him and then sang him a chorus of welcome called “Ingonyama”. Translated the worlds sung mean “He is a lion. He is a lion. He is greater than a lion. He is an hippopotamus c22 06 27                  26th June 1922

C T Wood album

1928 Over 1,000 Scouts raised their voices in a Zulu chorus when their Chief, Sir Robert Baden-Powell attended their mammoth rally at Cambridge Guildhall. They packed the hall nearly to the point of solidity including Sea Scouts and University Rovers and some 600 Wolf Cubs. The Chief Scout was accompanied by Dr Eastman, the Great Chief of the Sioux Indians, who is commissioner of the Scouts of America. He wore complete Redskin garb with the traditional head-dress of eagles’ feathers. The scouts were very interested in his tomahawk. c28 03 13 [1.10]

1931 Scouters and Rovers mingled with grave dons in academic dress at the Senate House when a degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa was conferred upon Lord Baden-Powell. The Chief Scout wore his accustomed uniform with his scarlet doctor’s robe above it. The Public Orator said his soldiership in Mafeking made him so famous and popular that the boys of Britain chose him as their exemplar in many virtues and patriotism.31 11 13f g h [1.5, 1.11]

All as taken from Cambridge News by Mike Petty

Cambridge Scout Archives

1911                            See Archaeology

1920                            District Minutes          Chief Scout Visit Th 28th Oct.  Meet at the Scoutmaster Club.

1921    Chief Scout was made honourary (elsewhere Official) SM of University Rover Crew

1923    Conference held March (23rd – 25th?) Lord Hampton and other officials attended (the chief was away in Canada).                      Ken North 70 years

1928    Ken North called over by C T Woods on the railway station platform and asked to get papers for BP to read on the train (the day after)  A great honour

1932                June     BP unable to attend Cambridgeshire rally at Park Ely Cathedral

BP attended University Rover AGM as Guest of Honour.

1935 August Ingaro Sweden. BP aboard Moronel, University Rover Scout yacht at Rover Moot in Sweden.

Family in Cambridge

1944                Miss Baden Powell (Sister)     At Battle of Britain service in Gt St Mary’s.  Meet Scouts

1944 Chief Guide at Rally Friday19th May in Downing College Fellows garden and Ely Cathedral 21st May. ‘Ten years since she had been in Cambridge.’ The Guides and Ranges attended Miss Gaskall’s at Millicent Road for Marching practice ahead of the event.

1946                Lady B-P at District Guide rally          5th Cambridge Scouts acting as Guard of Honour

1950/51           Anticipated Chief Guide in Cambridge

1954                Lady BP appeared at the Union Club later at St Luke’s.  She was awarded the Doctorate in Scouting and Guiding and attired in Drs robes and bonnet with light blue facing 18/ October 1954                                                                                     Skyblue

1957                Lady BP attended 17th International Conference and gave the closing speech

1965                Lady BP opened new Guide Hut Perne Road  26/3/1965

1976                Cub Scouts 50th Anniversary   County Weekend camp visited by Lord Baden Powell (Grandson) a full account can be found in Cambridge Scout Gazette of August 1976.

1979                John Chambers met Lord Robert Baden Powell (once again) in 1978 at Gilwell and sent him a print of BP on the Senate House steps.

JWR Archivist Mar 2019