Isle of Ely / Ely

Cambridge District Scout Archive

1911 – date

Cumulative notes

 The Beginning

Ely District appears to have been formed in 1911.

Two troops are known to have stepped out of the very large Cambridge District at this date:

  • 2nd Cambridge District            (1st Ely)
  • 7th Cambridge District             (Sutton)

Oddly one troop and pack was formed in 1914 but is recorded as having transferred to Ely District in 1916.  This is Little Downham north of Ely

  • 19th Cambridge District          (Downham, St Leonard’s)

Reports about the 1911 Cambridge Rally mention

  • Soham Troop
  • 1st Wisbech

But it is not known if they were part of Cambridge District or became part of Ely District at this date.  A Wisbech District started at an unknown date but Wisbech St Mary and Wisbech St Paul were Ely Parish’s alongside March, Chatteris, Wilburton and Littleport.   A move to Ely District before Wisbech District is possible.

  • 6th Cambridge District is assumed but no name has been attached to this number nor is it clear that it was a troop near Ely.


The 10th Ely (Kings School) started in 1916 with Headmaster T J Kirkland as SM.  They were active in 1921 acting as Guard of Honour to the Crown Prince of Japan.  See ‘The Elean’ for details.

The following is taken from letters to County Secretary (Prof.) Patrick Duff.  He was County Sec from 1945/6 to 1974 and details of these Cambridge Districts have not been retained by other Cambridgeshire Secretaries within Cambridge District Archives.

In 1948 it was confirmed or agreed that warrants be passed directly to Cambridge and Newmarket Districts and those of  South Cambs., West Cambs., March, Wisbech and Ely go through PD.  There is some peripheral mention of Cambridge or County material, and a few about Newmarket.

The dates do not suggest the founding date for each group but the dates in which they were mentioned.  All they give is a date at which it was active.

Isle of Ely / Ely           Founded 1911

Rechristened Ely c 1947.  Note 1950 HQ wanting someone ‘helping to Revive Ely District’ (re someone living in Ely but ASM 1st March)

  • Sutton in the Isle founded 18/11/1943, 22616 Ely & District Open.  All three leaders were based at RAF Mepal, Ely, all of 75 (NZ) Sqd. RAF.  Base closed 1963
  • Sutton in the Isle                                             1951 (renewed scouting)  ‘54, ‘55, ‘56
  • 1st Ely                                                               CSM School Gp  1954  1955    1965 ‘73
  • 1st Littleport                                                    1956
  • 2nd Ely                                                              1956
  • 3rd Ely                                                              1965
  • 4th Ely                                                              1965
  • 5th Ely                                                              1965
  • 10th Ely (Kings School                                      1965    ‘73
  • 1st St Leonard Little Downham                       1958    1973
  • 1st Little Downham                  1973
  • 1st Soham                                                        1963    Lionel R Hart
  • 1st Haddenham                                                1967    1968    1971    1974(restarted ’74 after a lapse of 1 or 2 years)
  • Ely District Rover Crew                                   1956
  • 1st Witchford                                                   1960
  • Stretham Gp                                                    1961
  • 2nd Soham                                                        1974
  • 1st Mepal                                                         6/1973 Pack (Initial title 2/73 Mepal & Witcham – not reg as such)
  • 1st Sutton                                                         1972    1974
  • 1st Stuntney (pack)                                          1974
  • Ely VSU                                                            1974    (ADC VS Newmarket & Ely same person)


  • No DC 1956
  • DC       Ernest Wimpenny                   19/6/1958
  • DC       Lionel Hart      ?          (Soham)           1968
  • DC       Rev Edward de Toësny Wingfield Longford ex DC of Ely (no dates)

JWR Archivist Mar 2023