Courts of Honour

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Courts of Honour comprised Patrol Leaders, Troop Leaders and possibly Assistant Patrol Leaders and were the organising body for the Troop.  The Scout Masters oversaw the running of the Courts of Honour and supported the Patrol Leaders.  The shift of responsibility from SM to PL’s was an ideal.  Successful Troops were able to achieve this shift and it may be seen that in doing so the Troops became stronger.

It is likely that the strength of a Court of Honour fluctuated with the individuals in the Troop at the time.  A Troop can be influenced by the behaviour of one Scout, witness Eric Curwain of whom it was said in 1920 ‘the 14th owe everything to Eric’.   

Decisions on hats, the requirements concerning patrol boxes, libraries and lanyards were all made by the Court of Honour.  Expectations of Patrol Leaders in training individuals and the behaviour of Patrol Leaders within the Court of Honour were part of the review of the Troop.

We know about Courts of Honour from the few whose records are in the archives.  Where these survive they tend to depict a successful Troop or a Troop during a successful period.

1923                7th Cambridge             Records of the Courts of Honour No.s 36 – 127 ending in 1928.  A record of P/L decisions which altered marginally with a change of SM.

Summary of 7th CoH decisions 1922 – 1924

1950                5th Cambridge             The 5th Court of Honour possibly became prominent after the formation of a Senior Scout Troop.  Previously a strong PLs leadership was evident.  They did much of the planning of scout events.  They published Arrowhead starting March 1951.  Each new intake had a training camp and held separate camps for the PLs who constituted this body.

1956                54th Cambridge           Initiated a Court of Honour initially attended by A/PLs, Skipper and Bosun and within two years by TL, PLs x 4, Skipper and Bosun.

During this period the troop was very active, camping, entering competitions and setting targets for individual members.

Decisions on hats, the requirements concerning patrol boxes, libraries and lanyards were all made by the Court of Honour.  Expectations of Patrol Leaders in training individuals and the behaviour of Patrol Leaders within the Court of Honour were part of the review of the Troop.

            ‘At the Sandringham Jamboree we held a Court of Honour nearly every day to arrange routine matters of programme’

19                    13th Cambridge           Reached their 300th Court of Honour and celebrated with a small party.

Patrol Leaders Council

The Advance Report altered the name if not the intent.  As with many of the Advance Report recommendations the terminology became clearer.

1966    Advance Report          recommended           

  • That the Court of Honour be renamed the Patrol Leaders Council
  • That Troop Leaders be renamed Senior Patrol Leaders
  • That Patrol Seconds be renamed Assistant Patrol Leaders
  • That the present system of Patrol names be continued but that the inappropriate be avoided’

2nd Cam Some of the  Court of Honour  1928  Coton