District Troops

Cambridge District Scout Archive


Between the first allocation of names and numbers in 1910 and the 1935 split of the District there were two numbering systems.

  • Troops inside the Town boundary were for example, 3rd Cambridge.
  • Troops outside the Town boundary were, for example, 3rd Cambridge District (Balsham).

This system was not unique to Cambridge District.

(See Names and Numbers of Groups for further details).

Villages Named

A list of Villages that were named in Troop or Group titles, before and after 1928 when the Group system came into place and the ‘Town/ District system declined.

(See Structure/ Troops & Groups/ First’ s (1st’s) Groups/ Villages named in Group titles)


The Troops listed under Cambridge District numbers often had a very short span. A number lasted into the Great War where the list in 1915 mentioned 17 Troops. Only three or possibly four remain on the next list in 1918. Only two survived the war; from the 1920 magazine Reveille we have –

OUR District Troops mostly had to close down during the war; but half the Villages in the District seem to be clamouring for Troops now. Balsham, of course, had Mr. Slater all through, – what need be said more? Bottisham was kept going by the splendid unselfishness of Mrs. Hinton, and now she has Fuchs to help her. Dry Drayton has had a very happy season, under Mr. de Beaumont, in spite of measles and microbes, and is going really strong: they now have Mr. Hicks’ help. Sawston grew apace under Mr. Stockdale, though the Long Vacation pruned their numbers. New Troops have been recently started at Barton (by our old friend Miss Bickerstaffe). Girton, Castle Camps, Fowlmere and Bartlow. Swavesey and Whittlesford are still running, though we have little up-to-date knowledge of them.

Immediately following the Great War Troops generally remained short lived, but in the mid 1920’s many became better established.

Uniforms of Cambridge District 1910 to 1913 as formed. (Outside the town boundaries)

This list, from pre Great War records, does not give the names of the Groups. Within the date range 1910 – 1913 several of the ‘Numbers’ hosted up to three Troops. Those with only one known Troop in the range are listed below: Scarf and Shirt colour

  • 1st        Dark green                  Dark green
  • 2nd       Black/ white              Navy blue
  • 3rd        Grey                            Dark green
  • 4th        Red                              Khaki
  • 5th        Heliotrope                  Grey Trumpington & Grantchester
  • 6th        Khaki                           Khaki Newmarket
  • 7th        Khaki/ blue                 Khaki                          
  • 8th        Red / grey                   Khaki Shepreth? (a missing earlier Troop may be assumed)
  • 9th        Khaki                           Khaki
  • 10th      Dark blue                    Khaki Cowlinge
  • 11th      Orange                         Khaki Duxford
  • 12th      Khaki                           Khaki   Bottisham
  • 13th      Light blue/crimson   Dark blue Fen Ditton

At this time the colour of shorts was often occasionally listed. This complete list does not supply this detail. It was possibly one of the last items of uniform to be enforced and hence rarely emphasized.

End of ‘District’ system

This dual system appears to have altered in two steps. In 1928 the Group system came into place and many ‘Cambridge District’ Troops and Packs combined and renumbered as ‘Cambridge’. A number, all in the sub division Cambridge South, retained the ‘Cambridge District’ name and number. The very large District was already split into administrative thirds ahead of the formal split into three new Districts. It is not known if this was a local decision. The Four remaining ‘Cambridge District’ Groups moved into South Cambridgeshire and the ‘Cambridge District’ nomenclature ceased.

JWR Archivist Jan 2021