Officers and Members 1908 – 1933

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The Officers and Members of the Cambridge Boy Scouts Association were people who sit on the District Scout Council (Members). Some of these form the Executive Committee (Officers). The Council has oversight of the local Association and provides community feedback and expertise. The members also contributed significantly to funding Scouting in Cambridge.

In the first 25 years Cambridge Boy Scouts Association was well supported by representatives of the Church, schools and others working with boys, the University, the Military, the Council, traditional and new landed rich and those with honorary University and County roles.

The first printed list of he Association

People holding public offices are generally easy to trace.  Those not in the Church or university posts are harder to locate.   Mr E H Church an early and active officer for 27 years leaves little other evidence of his background.  Much of his Scouting work does not bear his name, but his worth was recognised by well attended ‘thank you’ meals.


The first Chairman in 1908 was Dr Rouse Headmaster of the Perse an enthusiastic supporter of the Scouting movement. Like a number of Members his involvement was limited but pivotal, organising an early visit by BP to the Town in March 1908. He was a noted and successful headmaster and his support gave significant educational approval to the ground swell of public opinion.

1912 – 1919

Those Members that can be identified by role in the following Annual Reports are as follows. The 1912 – 13 report was published late in 1913.

19121912 – 191319181919
Members 37374648
Reverends 14161212
University 710
Aldermen 1132
Councillor 152
Boys Brigade 11
Schools 241
Juvenile Employment Bureau 1
Military 3433

The uneven distribution (as in University numbers 1912 – 1912-13) suggests an irregular accounting.

Some forms of address and the attendant addresses in the records are not specific or indicative as to the role.  The address of Masters Lodge did help identifying Arthur Gray Esq. (Master of Jesus) but that of A B Ramsay as Vice President and no address did not (Master of Magdalen).   

The underplaying of the titles may stem from several roots.

  • The reticence of the time or of the institutions
  • brevity in record taking
  • awareness of town/gown sensitivities
  • a belief that ‘Dr’ is not worthy of note in Cambridge
  • a personal step away from the war time military role and a return to ‘Professor’
  • a belief that everyone knew
  • a belief that it is the work done and not the title that is important

Changing names with Germanic roots does not help check military records (for Scharlieb read Shirley, for Schulhof read Vaizey -Hope) and whilst Baron Anatole von Hügel did not change his name nor did he advertise his University connections being involved in a Museum rather than a college.  Conversely two honorary Colonels did continue to use their title.

The overlap between categories is great and despite the appearance of ‘Establishment’ most who served cannot be traced through their wider achievements. This gives a slant to these figures and underplays the role of supporters outside public life.

Nor should ‘establishment’ assume privilege or a single point of view. Many opinions may be detected in the characters of the Officers and Members.  The Hon. Col. Professor F. Howard Marsh, Master of Downing, came from a humble beginning and his two wives were far from conventional Victorian ladies. He, and in particular his first wife, were very active in challenging the established way of the world, working to change the status quo for the good of all.


Many ‘Reverends’ are listed among the Officers and Members.  Some were University based and the presence of Rev Monsignor Barnes, Catholic Chaplain, not so many years after the Catholic Church permitted Catholics to enter Cambridge, supported the town Catholic Churches in joining in Scouting.

Six Deans and two Chaplains to Colleges were involved, and from 1910 Queens’, St Catharine’s, Caius, Christ’s, St John’s, Clare, Peterhouse and finally in 1933 Pembroke College Choirs all started Troops.  Some University clergymen later moved to parishes in which Troops started, if under a village name not a Church name. The Reverend Hennessey, Dean of Selwyn and Scout supporter, becoming Rector at Fulbourn in 1918 and a Scout Troop is recorded there in 1919 under the village not the church name.

Most Troops were formed around an existing sponsoring body, most frequently a church. From the 1919 Annual Report: Presidents of Committee for each Troop where given

  1918 1919
Headmaster/ mistress 6 6
Vicar/ Rector/ Reverend 10 17
Master 1 2
Other 4 6
Total 21 31


One Vice Chancellor of the University and five Masters of College gave their time and money in support.

List of Colleges Founded before 1914 and their involvement in Scouting

  • Christ’s College                       (Dean involved 10th)         Troop
  • Clare College                                                                          Troop
  • Corpus Christi College            (Master involved)       Corpus Christi special pack    
  • Downing College                     (Masters involved)
  • Emmanuel College                 (Master involved – later Vice chancellor)
  • Fitzwilliam College
  • Gonville & Caius College         (Dean involved)                 Troop
  • Homerton College
  • Jesus College                           (Master involved)
  • King’s College                                                                         Troop
  • Magdalene College                (Master involved)
  • Pembroke College                                                                  Troop
  • Peterhouse                                                                              Troop
  • Queens’ College                      (Dean involved)                   Troop
  • Selwyn College                       (Dean involved)
  • Sidney Sussex College           (Dean involved)
  • St Catharine’s College                                                             Troop
  • St Edmund’s College
  • St John’s College                                                                     Troop
  • Trinity College                     (Dean & Chaplains)               Troop (with 7th)
  • Trinity Hall
  • Girton College             (Female)
  • Hughes Hall                 (Female)
  • Newnham College      (Female)

Of the 21 men’s colleges only five were not involved at the highest level        

  • 10 with Troops
  • 1 consistently supported a Troop based in a special school
  • 5 with Masters involved (5 masters and 3 Deans involved)
  • 5 others with Dean involved


Councillors, Mayors and Aldermen were represented, often holding other roles such as Justice of the Peace (JPs).  The Mayor George Stace JP stayed on beyond his Mayoral year reverting to Alderman.  The 6th Cambridge (Higher Grade School) was named Mayor of Cambridge’s Own, presumably after his involvement.

Boys Brigade

Initial involvement by E O Brown of the Boys Brigade in 1912 and 1913.  E O Brown Councillor remained in 1918 and 1919, without the Boys Brigade affiliation being noted. In 1908 a sub committee was formed to enquire into the opinion ‘that some of the Boy Scout Patrols were doing harm to certain companies of Boys (Brigades).  At a later meeting a report on Boy Scouts belonging to Boys Brigade and Boys Brigade belonging to Boy scouts was received and regulations upon transfers made.


Relatively few schools have had Masters as members; the notable exception was the Headmaster of the Perse School Dr Rouse and other Persean masters.  Milton Road School and the Higher Grade School were also represented and they too hosted Troops for many years.  Maybe then as now children morning and evening was too much, or the Masters or the boys found the shift in styles and approach too difficult to negotiate.   Harvey Goodwin Home for Boys ran a Troop for many years.

Juvenile Employment Bureau

Alongside schools was the early involvement of a representative of the Juvenile Employment Bureau.  The Bureau was set up for youth work for Boys and Girls.  Boy Scouts could work for many badges in preparation for specific jobs and the presence of Miss Keynes, Hon. Sec of the Bureau may have influenced other unspecified work focused objectives. (See Cambridge in the Great War: Glynis Cooper.)  The Bureau was represented again in the 1930’s.


The Military (largely Army) component of the Officers and Members is significant in the number of roles they filled as Officers, but the total of Military men is distorted by the overlap of roles. 

Two of the Colonels held Honourary titles.  One ‘Colonel’ having been active in the Territorial Forces whilst a full time business man.  The other ‘Colonel’ was Master of Downing, an MD and a Honourary Col. in the RAMC.   Conversely Charles Robert Whorwood Adeane, Vice President and an Honorary Colonel of the Cambridgeshire Volunteer Regiment, did not use his title in the records.

Most of the military men do not come from the Infantry or Cavalry but rather the supporting Corps such as Inspector of Signalling, RAOC, or Medical Corps. Maj. Gen Hendley was a Medical man, Brig Gen P A Bainbridge (District Commissioner 1924 – 34) CB CMG was in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

Both Lt Col W K Scharlieb, Director of Military Studies, (by 1918 he had changed his name to Shirley) and Capt Thornton (CUOTC) were lecturers at the University, on Military matters.

Lt Colonel F M J Stratton DSO OBE TD DL FRS PRAS (1881-1960), Professor of Astrophysics and a decorated British Army officer was active in both World Wars and District Commissioner. 

Dr J M E McTaggart was not a military man but had an ‘extremely virulent’ patriotism, expressed during the First World War when, as well as working in a munitions factory and as a special constable, he took a leading part in the expulsion of the pacifist Bertrand Russell from Trinity.  An atheist he supported the Church of England.

In contrast to this is the long involvement of Dr A Wood, a Pacifist and a Conscientious Objector during the Great War. Aubrey Westlake, co founder of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry was a leader in Cambridge whilst a student, a Quaker and a CO. The OWC was a breakaway Woodcraft movement which objected to the military aspect of Scouting. John Murrish, founder of the 12th Cambridge, was significantly involved in the early years of the OWC but on return from his time in the army (from 1916, the start of conscription) was welcomed back. Other student leaders in Cambridge at this time joined the OWC suggesting that they were also pacifists.


Aside from unidentified smaller local businessmen Colonel Thomas Walter Harding is the most notable industrialist and civic figure.  Retiring from manufacturing in Leeds he purchased Madingley Hall which he renovated and was appointed High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire and deputy lieutenant of Cambridgeshire in March 1901  (see also below).

Ernest de la Rue, JP later K.C.V.O., designed electric starting gates and papier-mâché surgical splints and boots.  He kept a stud farm at Lower Hare Park, Newmarket from 1898.


Capt Bendyshe (pronounced Bendish) of Bendyshe Manor in Barrington (owned by the family since 1325). Barrington did not have a Troop in residence at that the time of his involvement.

Charles Robert Whorwood Adeane (1863-1943) – owners of Babraham Hall 1770 – 1948.  He received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Cambridge. He served in the British Army and was lieutenant of the 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.  After his retirement he became Honorary Colonel of the Cambridgeshire Volunteer Regiment. Adeane was Justice of the Peace and Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire from 1915.

Colonel Thomas Walter Harding (1843–1927) See above but here as landowner. 

Others that may have been or considered themselves to be in the role of Squire of the Manor are not advertised by their addresses, but long support has been given by some that were not members.  The Pemberton’s of Trumpington are and have been noteworthy supporters for many decades. The Huddleston’s of Sawston were similarly long standing local family although Mrs. Huddleston was actively and practically involved in improving education ahead of the foundation of Scouting.


In the 1920s the Press were represented by Morley Stewart who gave his address as the Cambridge Evening News.  During this time regular Scouting Columns were published by the local press, notably the ‘Cambridge Chronicle and University Journal’.


A Police representative, R J Pearson, was a member in the 1920’s.  His address was given as the District Police. See also Police Support for a fuller list of involvement.

Ceremonial Positions

After the Great War (later known as the World War or World War 1) holders of Ceremonial positions in the University, Town, County or Region became Officers and Members of the Association.  As with other Officers and Members the extent of the involvement of some is unclear but their sponsorship and willingness or desire to be seen as associated with the movement is evidenced by the seeking or acceptance of the roles.

Lords Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire

  • 6th Viscount Clifden                 from 1921-22 onwards (Viscount Clifden Own)
  • Hon. Gerald Agar- Robartes   from 1921-22 onwards           later 7th Viscount Clifden
  • C Adeane                                 from 1921-22 report

Sheriff of Suffolk 

  • Lord Queensborough              from 1921-22 report

High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire/ Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire

  • Col T W Harding

Chancellor Cambridge University

  • Duke of Devonshire                (gave his name to Duke of Devonshire’s Own)

Mayor of Cambridge

  • Alderman G Stace                   (6th Cambridge known as Mayor of Cambridge’s Own

JWR Archivist Feb 2019