Patrol Names: Cambridge Connections

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Senior Patrols                        1949

The Boy Scout association published two books of Patrol names for Senior Scouts in 1949.  Each listed six names.  These have all been seen to have been used in Cambridge from the 40’s and 50’s.  Five more were later added.  The Crew using each title have been are sample groups only.

1 Francis Drake 12th
2 David Livingstone 26th
3 Charles Darwin 5th
4 Orde Wingate 26th
5 Gino Watkins  54th
6 George Leigh Mallory 60th
7 Walter Raleigh   12th
8 James Cook tbc
9 George Stevenson 7th
10 Wilfred Grenfell  12th, 7th
11 Robert Falcon Scott 1st Histon
12 R J Mitchell 7th, 23rd
13Eric Liddell
14Guy Gibson 54th
15Lord Somers
16Hon Roland Philips
17Edward Wilson  54th

Several of these have notable Cambridge University connections

3          Charles Darwin:                                  Christ’s College, Cambridge.  A statue of Darwin as a young man is situated in the grounds of Christ’s College. Darwin College, a postgraduate college at Cambridge University, is named after the Darwin family

5          Gino Watkins:  H G ‘Gino’ Watkins      Trinity College, Cambridge      Leader of inter-war journeys to the Arctic.  Members of his parties learnt to roll their canoes in the Cam, ‘a very difficult skill, previously known only to the Eskimos’. I have been unable to find that Gino Watkins or any of expedition members were Scouts at school. In J M Scotts biography Gino is quoted as writing to his father from school ‘we play at scouting often’, but this is not specifically a Troop. Only one member of his expeditions, Col Freddie Spencer Chapman is listed as being a member of the Cambridge University Rovers 1926 -29. Col Chapman was later a GSM and Land Commissioner Schleswig Holstein. Details from ‘The Scouter’ Jan 1950.

6          George Mallory          Magdalene College, Cambridge,       studied History and stayed in Cambridge for a year writing Boswell the Biographer (1912).   In 1923, he took a job as lecturer with the Cambridge University Extramural Studies Department. He was given temporary leave so that he could join the 1924 Everest attempt.

8          James Cook                 There is also a monument to Cook in the church of St Andrew the GreatSt Andrew’s Street, Cambridge, where his sons Hugh, a student at Christ’s College, and James were buried. Cook’s widow Elizabeth was also buried in the church and in her will left money for the memorial’s upkeep.

11       Robert Falcon Scott     The Scott Polar Institute was founded as a memorial.

17        Edward Wilson            Gonville and Caius College He took a copy of Scouting for Boys on the voyage to Antarctica. This is now held by the Scout Heritage collection.

7          Walter Raleigh            The piece in ‘Senior Scout Patrol Names’ Pt II was written by the Rover Scout Leader of the Cambridge University Crew, John Parry PhD. 

Many of these names have fallen from the collective memory.  That they were not always so is evidenced by the Arctic weather clothing named after Wilfred.

Of the two new names selected by the 60th Cambridge (Leys School), Dr Somerville, Everest climber went to Gonville and Caius; Ernest Shackleton has no such associations but a replica of the James Caird sits outside the Scott Polar Institute.

Venture Scout Units

Sir John Cockcroft Venture Scout Unit opened 1967/8 The new Venture Scout Unit gained permission from Sir John’s widow to use the name and met with her several times a year to report on the events of the unit.  They designed a scarf with a representation of a hydrogen atom ont he back.

Sir John Douglas Cockcroft, OM, KCB, CBE, FRS was a British physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1951 for the first artificial splitting the atomic nucleus with Ernest Walton, and was instrumental in the development of nuclear power.  A student at St John’s College and later worked at Cavendish Laboratories under Rutherford.  He was the first Master of Churchill College.  Died 18th September 1967 Cambridge.

No other Cambridge Venture Scout Unit took the name of a person.  In Granta (South Cambridgeshire) Bodica was usedA queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in AD 60 or 61 she died shortly after its failure.       This spelling is one of many used.

Explorer Scout Units

Flamsteed Explorer Unit. This is the only Explorer Scout Unit in Cambridge using a name associated with Cambridge. John Flamsteed was at Jesus College Cambridge and the first Astronomer Royal.

JWR Archivist Feb 2019