Early University Links

Cambridge District Scout Archive

This is a review of Cambridge University links with Scouting in the first 50 years.  It does not purport to be exhaustive or to include all the Rover links but rather to highlight the involvement by senior members and University institutions. Much of this information is included in other pieces.

List of Colleges Founded before 1914 with Master or Dean involved. The masters are given the title they used in Scout records. For a long time Arthur Gray was not identified as Master of Jesus.

College Master  M Dean  D Troop Role
Christ’s D Rev Valentine – Richards 10th  
Clare D Rev T C P Crick (member 1910) 27th  
Corpus Christi M Col R T Caldwell (member 1910) 16th  
Downing M Col Howard Marsh M  Prof A C Seward M  Admiral H W Richmond    DC President
Emmanuel M   Dr T S Hele  (&  Vice Chancellor)  
Girton   Female college  
Gonville & Caius D  Rev Duncan Jones 29th Chairman
Homerton   See below  
Hughes Hall   Female college  
Jesus M  Arthur Gray       
King’s The Chaplain (President of [Troop] committee) 3rd 4th  
Magdalene A B Ramsay    
Newnham   Female college  
Pembroke D Rev Dewey c 1936 41st  
Peterhouse note Carey Francis  (Senior Bursar)   4th  
Queens’ Rev C T Woods
M Rev & Mrs. B R Fitzpatrick v. supportive from start
Selwyn D  Rev Hennessey (member 1910) See below  
Sidney Sussex D  Rev Dean Smith    
St Catharine’s D The Dean (President of [Troop] committee) 3rd, 20th  
St Edmund’s      
St John’s 26th  
Trinity D Rev F A Simpson with the 7th  
  • In 1920 six College Choirs were listed
  • Homerton in association with Morley Memorial which was a training school.
  • Corpus Christi were specifically involved with Littleton House School which was known as Corpus Christi Special Pack.  The school catered for ‘mentally backwards boys’.
  • Selwyn             Ran the 67th Evacuees pack WW2

Professors (not mentioned above)

Prof J Stanley Gardiner         Professor of Zoology  in 1909  G &Caius                    DC

Prof H F Baker                         Lowndean Professor of Astronomy                             member

Prof J E Marr                           Woodwardian Professor of Geology                           member

Prof Frederick J M Stratton   Professor of Astrophysics                                           Chairman

Professor Duff, Trinity            Regius Professor of Civil Law 1945 – 68,  Dean, Vice Master,

This list is probably not complete – not all Professors used the title.  Some early Scouters who later became professors are not included. 

Short list of other University men

Rev Mgr Barnes                      Chaplin to University at Fisher House

Dr Alexander Wood Esq          Emmanuel        physicist  conscientious objector

Baron Anatole von Hügel        (1854-1928) first curator of Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology  Cambridge opened its doors to Catholics in 1871.  Baron von Hugel led a petition asking the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith to lift the Church ban on entering which was lifted in 1895 .

Dr J M E McTaggart               Trinity              Philosopher, atheist    Exhibited an ‘extremely virulent’ patriotism – he took a leading part in the expulsion of the pacifist Bertrand Russell from Trinity. He became increasingly conservative, even to the extent that, although an atheist, he was a keen supporter of the Church of England; he was a strong feminist.

A F R Wollaston                       Kings    Ornithologist, botanist, climber and explorer.  He took part in the 1921 British Expedition to Mount Everest   10th Cambridge

Professor John E B Mayor, St John’s Kennedy Professor of Latin, died 1910 from the Eagle Lent 1912 ‘evidence of his lasting freshness shewn in his approval of scouting- ” The movement,” he says, ” lays hold of the chivalry innate in the young” ‘.

Rev Fitzpatrick President of Queens’ 1906 – 1931 and Vice Chancellor (twice) and his wife Mrs. R B Fitzpatrick were supporters of Scouting from the outset. Mrs BRF was an examiner and organised Ambulance Competitions. (See C T Wood)


1954    A review of leaders by WTT between the years 1945 and 1953 observed that only 6 of the leaders were senior members of the University.  At this date the movement had less need of support for its own sake and the involvement of a Vice Chancellor was active and not advisory or passive. Professor Cherry was still sending money yearly as was Professor JRM Butler sometime Vice Master Trinity, Professor H A Holland at Trinity and Master at Magdalen, ProfessorA B Ramsay .


Many members of the University have been and remain involved as active members. No university based Troops remain although the Cambridge University Scout and Guide Club is very active in the District.

JWR Archivist Oct 2019