District Commissioners

Cambridge District Scout Archive

In the beginning there was no District.  And those who had supported Scouting in Cambridge saw that it was chaos and came together and the first committee was formed.  And the chairs of the committee were Dr W H D Rouse Headmaster of the Perse school and Rev A S Duncan Jones, Dean of Caius College.

And the first DC was

Col. Professor Howard Marsh Master of Downing 1910 – 1915
Professor Stanley GardinerProfessor of Zoology 1915 – 1919 *
Rev. C T Wood Dean of Queens’ College1919 – 1922*
Brigadier BainbridgeCB CMG 1923 – 1934 
R P Richards 1935
CT Wood    (acting)  1936 – 1938 *
H R Mallett OBE  Silver Wolf    ‘The Scouting Mayor’ 1939 – 1952
P Randall ArthurCounty Surveyor    1952 – 1957
W O Bell Silver WolfHQ Commissioner 1958 – 1963
F A J McKenzie   Silver Wolf1964 – 1966*
W O Bell  (acting)  1967
Lt Col Mainwaring MC Silver Wolf1968 – 1970 *
Geoffrey G Datson     1971 – 1980

In 1973 the District divided into three administrative sub districts, Cambridge North, Cambridge South and Cambridge: Crafts Hill.  Geoffrey Datson was DC City, an over seeing role, and separate DC’s were in place for each new sub-district.  This arrangement continued until the final division into three fully independent Districts in 1983.

Separate Districts 1983 – 2001(currently incomplete)

DC City           Geoffrey Datson1973 – 1982
Cambridge SouthF A J (Alan) McKenzie1973 – 1978* 
 Vic Barnes1979
 Terry Izzard    1980 – 1982
Cambridge North       Tony Fowler1974 – 1981
 Rob Farrington1982 –
Cambridge Crafts HillFred Brown1974 – 1975
 Colin Taylor1976 – 1977 
 Fred Brown1978   
 Colin Taylor1979 – 1981
 Tony Fowler1982

New Cambridge District

In 2001 Cambridge North and Cambridge South re-combined as Cambridge District.  Cambridge: Craft Hill remains a separate District.

Chris Ward 2001 – 2007 *
Simon Gates  2008 – 2009
Pam Butler    2010 – 2013
Steve Harrison    2014 – 2016 
William Holliday and Simon Wilson/May  2017 – 2019
William Holliday 2022 – date


Those who were County Commissioner *

Col. Professor Howard Marsh                     Master of Downing                 1910 – 1915

The Honourary Colonel RAMC (T), Professor of Surgery, Master of Downing and very active in improving the health and education of the poor and needy.  Well engaged in these activities ahead of 1908 but very impressed with B.P. whom he hosted.  Engaged in HQ committees.  Died in post and c. 400 Boy Scouts lined the quadrangle at Downing on the day of his funeral; a school day at that.

Professor Stanley Gardiner*                          Professor of Zoology               1915 – 1919

A well travelled man Stanley Gardiner was CC and DC at the same time.  His resignation in 1919 as DC was through over work. He was still acting as Badge examiner in 1925.

Rev. C T Wood*                                 Dean of Queens’ College        1919 – 1922

He was an early convert to Scouting and an active SM of several troops during the war, DSM and DC.  He initiated and largely funded the purchase of Abington Campsite for the County.  He acted as a temporary DC to Cambridge 1936 – 1938 and was active with 9th Cambridge throughout his time as DC and CC.

Brigadier Bainbridge CB CMG                                                           1923 – 1934 

Percy Agnew Bainbridge, career soldier, mentioned in Dispatches five times and awarded Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for his work at the front , Companion of the Order of the Bath.  Died in 1934.

Richards                                                                                              1935

Possibly Rivelin P Richards of The Lodge, Whittlesford.   ADC in charge of South Cambridgeshire sub district ahead of the division of Cambridge District into four in 1935.   He was a wood importer.

CT Wood*                  (acting)   See above                                        1936 – 1938

H R Mallett OBE         Silver Wolf      ‘The Scouting Mayor’              1939 – 1952

A SM from 1910 and very active at District level for many years he was one of the major forces in maintaining Scouting during WW2.  He was involved in local politics and became an enthusiast for wider youth services.  A major new Youth Centre was named after him.

P Randall Arthur                                County Surveyor                       1952 – 1957

His tenure was in a period of minimal records and few stories and little is known. A Mallets resignation in 1952 he wrote that Peter had been acting for him for the previous year. He was present during the move of HQ from Grafton Street to Perne Road.   He was ASM and SM 51st Birmingham from 1933 – 1946 (less war service), SM 23rd Shrewsbury 1947 – 1949, ADC Cambridge May 1950 – date (1952).

W O Bell*                   Silver Wolf      HQ Commissioner                   1958 – 1963

Professionally an Educationalist he was for 20 years Headquarters Commissioner for Universities and Colleges, chair of HQ Education board and worked on European Scouting committees.  He gave professional thought to the role and interaction of Scouting within the changing society.

F A J McKenzie*         Silver Wolf                                                      1964 – 1966

A Scout from 1932 and engaged with the 11th, later 11th/9th, eventually acting as GSM alongside his roles as DC and CC. Later DC South Cambridge 1973 – 1978 and then CC.

W O Bell*                    Silver Wolf      (acting)                                   1967

Lt Col Mainwaring* MC Silver Wolf                                                1968 – 1970

Retired from the Army 1950 and worked at Cambridge Institute of Education.  Previous Scout involvement ahead of resignation is unclear.  Joined 11th/9th and was briefly DC before becoming CC.  Worked on Advance Report Committee which lead to the 1966/67 review of Scouting.

Geoffrey G Datson                                                                             1971 – 1980

He oversaw the administrative subdivision of the District ahead of the formal division into three independent Districts.

JWR Archivist Aug 2022