Chief Scouts in Cambridge (shire)

Cambridge District Scout Archives

This is a growing list of Chief Scout visits to Cambridge and Cambridgeshire. 

The Boy Scouts Association’s Chief Scouts of the British Empire and Commonwealth

The Scout Association’s Chief Scouts of the United Kingdom and Overseas Territories

  • Sir William Gladstone,                                         July 1972                 – 1982
  • Major-General Michael J. H. Walsh,                February 1982         – 1988
  • Sir Garth Morrison,                                              May 1988                  – 1996
  • George Purdy,                                                      March 1996              – 2004
  • Peter Duncan,                                                    5 September 2004     – 2009
  • Bear Grylls,                                                        11 July 2009                – 2020

Cambridge Archives

Baden Powell See separate pages  d 1941

Lord Somers                                       d 1944

1941/42 University Scouting records state the Chief Scout was due to visit 9th March 1943, but was unable to come owing to ?throat? trouble.

From the District AGM Plans had been made for Lord Somers to visit Cambridge on the 1st and 2nd of May 1942, to have a communal meal in the Dorothy cafe and review a County Rally in Cambridge on the 2nd. It was cancelled in April due to his illness.

(1943               ‘Several Cubs and Scouts from Cambridge had attended a meeting in Haverhill at which the Chief Scout was present.’                 District Minutes) 22nd May 1943

1944                Proposed visit of Chief Scout 13/5/1944        Cancelled Ill health

1944                Deputy Chief Scout Sir Percy Everett attended Perse Field Day

Lord Rowallan

26/2/1946       Town Crews were guests of the University Rover Scout Club at a meeting in Trinity Old Combination Room where they met the Chief Scout.  Scouters welcome. Both the 12th and the 60th record the event, although Scarlet Fever prevented the 60th attending.

23/03/1946     Lord Rowallan, Chief Scout, at Guildhall Cambridge rally 23/3/1946           5th records       Three Counties Rally

            Cambridgeshire Rally  23/3/46 Guildhall, 24/3/46  Drill Hall East Road

Professor Duff ‘won a stuffed elephant (the word toy inserted) at the 11th/9th Group Fair and it had been presented to the Chief Scout for his daughter’. Mackrow of the 12th received congratulations from the Chief Scout, and remarked on the Spirit of the occasion and that he had enjoyed it.

And Drill Hall East Road? 5/46

1948    40th Anniversary rally and Camp on Midsummer Common (plus Chief?)

Mike Petty

1951 Visited 12th Cambridge ‘Adventurer’ on the occasion of the Royal Cambridge Show 3/ 2/ 1951

1952    Degree of Doctorate of Scouting bestowed on Lord Rowallan by University RSL  10th November following his appearance at Union.                                                 Sky blue

It was recordedthat he was presented with a camp blanket edged in light blue.

1953 Was present at the Sandringham Coronation Camp at which Cambridge Troops were present alongside other local County contingents.

1954 In attendance at Leys School Speech Day the year of 21st anniversary of the troop

1957 In attendance at the 16th International Conference held in Cambridge. Presented all the delegates with a commemorative medal.

Lord Maclean

Implied visit 1962

From Cambridge District Archive

The planned visit of the Chief Scout to Cambridge University Scout and Guide Club on 21st March 1966 is noted in the County archives. At the same time a proposed visit to Suffolk was recorded as cancelled.

Here inspecting the 44th Cambridge in 1968 at the Norfolk Jamboree.

Sir William Gladstone   

1974                    Signed visitors book 20/6/1974

1976    On the occasion of the Chief Scout visiting Longstowe Hall and Abington in the afternoon to open the new building. The District occupied the campsite and the adjacent playing field.  20/6/1976

1978 Croxton Park Cam Jam ‘First visit by a Chief Scout for many years’   CC

1980 CUSAGC debate in Trinity Hall OCR. John Sweet proposed ‘Every Scout should be able to tie knots’. Sir William opposed the motion.

Major-General Michael J. H. Walsh

1983 Michael Walsh Arbury School 22nd September ‘1st visit to County’

1986 Michael Walsh Presented Queens Scout Awards at Senate House July 12th. A service was later held at Great St Mary’s. 12th July

1986    Michael Walsh            County visit Arbury School The Cambridge South District Bulletin gives the Chief Scout Visit as 27th September 1986 and the Village College Chatteris as a venue.

Sir Garth Morrison                                       

1989    Garth Morrison           County visit Witchford Village College 12th February (recorded as 1st visit to the County at the time)

1991 Mid Anglia visit

Garth is also recorded in the 2000 programme as having visited the Cambridge Gang Show. By implication pre 1995 I have not yet located a date.

George Purdy                                                            

Peter Duncan                                                            

Bear Grylls     

2013 Littleport Leisure Centre 2013

2019 Cam Jam, Huntingdon Race course

JWR Archivist Jan 2019