Public School Appeal c.1927

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Public schools : For a definition of the terms Public School and Private School see Wikipedia.

In the latter half of the 1920’s an appeal was made by the Boy Scout Association to Public schools ‘to put some of their senior boys in such a position that on leaving school they could do useful work as Scoutmasters’. Some schools had already started Troops, notably Eton College which started in 1921.

This stands in direct contrast to the fee paying Perse School, Cambridge whose headmaster in 1908, Dr Rouse, invited BP to the school to speak and invited other interested bodies in Cambridge to attend. The Perse had a Troop later that year which ran for 100 years before altering to the very successful, in house, Perse Exploration Society. Dr W.H.D. Rouse (1902-28) introduced experimental teaching methods, notably the Direct Method of teaching foreign languages and attracted attention and talented teachers. The school flourished.

The other large fee paying school in Cambridge, The Leys, opened a Troop in 1933, registered through the District in 1937. It is possible that an independent troop not attached to the District Association was in existence in 1909/1910. The Stephen Perse Foundation, larger than the Leys, was for many years the Perse Girls School.

In following threads concerning individuals named in the Cambridge Scout Archives the archivists of the following schools have provided information about the Troops in their schools. This list will be extended should we receive information from other schools.

  • Radley College                  Troop started April 1928
  • Charterhouse                    Troop started 1927         
  • Winchester                        Troop started 1927
  • Fettes                                  No troop
  • Lancing College Group started 1933
  • Eton College               Troop started 1921. This date was located whilst researching this page. No direct links to Cambridge Scouts have yet been located.

Radley College The digital records of Radley College contain the proposal by a student in 1909 that a Troop be formed for members of the OTC too small to carry a weapon. In 1913 it was proposed by another, unnamed, student that Air scouts be formed.

Winchester College Professor Patrick Duff, County Secretary, is not recorded as returning to his school in 1927 to support the foundation of the Troop. His brother J F Duff did on at least two occasions. Born in 1901 Professor Duff was no longer at school when the troop was in existence.

Many of these schools have placed some or all of their school magazines online.

JWR Archivist Jan 2020