Cambridge District Scout Archive
Imperial Head Quarters (I.H.Q.) first started registering Troops and Packs and issuing numbers in 1921. Before that time the Troops and Packs were registered with the local District.
IHQ numbers are useful in researching Groups and District events.
- Gilwell searches for Groups are based on I.H.Q. numbers.
- They can link dates where several Groups are registered together: 900 numbers in 1921, 1990 numbers in 1928.
- Indicate a change in registration, even when no other information is available
- Indicate that no change in registration has occurred as with the 28th and 29th Cambridge
Some changes of IHQ number do not indicate a significant change in the Group. Numbers changed when Troops and Packs became Groups but internal arrangements were probably not affected. These may be seen to be purely administrative changes. All the remaining 900 numbers from the first registration shifted to 7500 numbers around the start of the Group system in 1928. The registration of 27th, 28th, 29th Cambridge in 1928 all occurred ahead of the Group system renumbering but in the same year.
Packs had a separate IHQ numbering system before 1928, whether they were connected to a Troop or not. Packs not directly attached to a Troop also had a local letter code.
I.H.Q. Numbers were not issued consecutively and gaps or defunct numbers were used.
A single instance of a number with a letter has been found. It appears to be an intended pen stroke, clear and deliberate. Whether it remained unfinished, linked to a now lost footnote or an error in reading or recording from another source is not known.
The IHQ numbers are not an infallible source of information. They rely on Districts informing IHQ of changes. This did not always occur.
New numbers were not always given for small changes. The shift from Controlled to Open, often did not result in a new number; the removal of a sponsor’s name from a title usually did.
JWR Archivist Feb 2019