The Joy of Account Books

There is a little recognised pleasure in old account books – the deciphering of handwriting and interpretation of the minimalist phraseology and terms. These of the 7th Cambridge, from 1922 to 191940 and on in part to 1945, give a clear picture of the steady worth of the troop (County School).

Throughout this period Subs remained at 2/6 a term, possibly higher than other troops, and they subsidised these with money making enterprises. The strength of the Troop can be identified by the 16/- (sixteen shillings) spent on the 300th Anniversary of the Court of Honour.

Many existing pages are being extended by the details in this book. Such items have morphed into batches of receipts and what will become equally obscure electronic versions – if they survive.

Early Scout Bands

If, as the borrowing of the Cymbals by the 13th, all band instruments were borrowed then the apparently short life of many troop bands is understandable. The band comprised 8 or 9 instruments, a significant proportion of the Troop.

The current review of the 13th Cambridge archives suggests that it did not extend much beyond three or four years from its inception on the 1st December 1914. Certainly by 1923 the drums were being offered for sale to the District.

No photograph has yet emerged of the 13th band during this time, but very few records between 1914 and 1918 exist at all. They are particularly valuable telling of this early and formative period of Scouting.

See Activities/ Cambridge Scout Bands


Victorian Scouts

Having recently got around to accessing the 13th Cambridge (Notts Own) archives I have the great pleasure of opening their original Troop Register.

The first Scout listed, George Clarence Austin of Sedgewick Street, was born in June 1895 – and would remain under Victoria’s reign for over five years. He joined the Troop on its opening on the 1st June 1910 aged 14’11”, the oldest of the first seven scouts. The youngest was 12′ 9”

The well rounded 3 in the 13th reads as an 8 – a function of handwriting style, the quality of the cardboard and the ink nib combination.

It should be remembered that the vast majority of British scouts are now Elizabethans.

The archive contains elements of the 7th, 7th/23rd, which amalgamated with the 13th around 2005 and the references to the 67th Cambridge which amalgamated with the 13th in 1944. The information from this register and the rest of the archive will feed existing pages and create new.


Sitting Wolf

The following indistinct pictures of a seated Wolf (Cub?) are the only example that I have come across from Cambridge. Taken from the Cambridgeshire Collection it appears to be the original flag for the 23rd Cambridge St Matthew’s pack.

For pictures of other Cambridge based flag variants see General History/ Equipment/ Flags, poles and finials.


Lost woggle?

How to tie a scarf from The Scouter March 1924.

Not strictly a ‘Cambridge’ item but from the Cambridgeshire Collection and of use if you haven’t mastered the friendship knot.

Along with a gentle reminder for those who still wear a square scarf.

See Scout Scarves. A Cambridge History and the continuation piece Scout Scarves under General History/ Uniform.


Plums from the Cambridgeshire Collection

A most fruitful morning at the Library. Hidden in general scrapbooks are a fine set of photographs of camp gateways, but unfortunately not from Cambridge but Arrowe Park Jamboree. For this reason I have not reproduced them here.

Again not quite Cambridge central but letters concerning the earliest days of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry, John Morrish/ Murrish, Aubrey Westlake and John Thompson Seton. A topic of ongoing interest to some and possibly new to the field.

A number of photographs that will be added to illustrate existing pieces and small pieces of information to add to the existing sets; though I am not quite sure where to include this one.



A growing list of those Cambridge Scouts who spent some time as prisoners of war Has been added to the Local History/ WW1 WW2 pages.

It included the two known escapees.

The letter below records the movement of Leslie John Collis who was reported Missing in Action in the Far East theatre.