Cambridge District Scout Archive
Following a line of research concerning Scouts with the Friends Ambulance Unit in the Great War a loosely phrased question got the response ‘Historically, Quakers tended not to be involved with scouts due to their military connection’.
This was an interesting starting point as I knew, but had neglected to say, of two Cambridge Scouts listed on the Friends Ambulance Unit database of WW1 volunteers. Three other Cambridge scouts are named as working with the British Red Cross in Dunkirk alongside Basebe and Wallis. If they also worked with the FAU their records no longer exist. A third Cambridge Scout, Cousins, has been located working with the FAU but not the Red Cross.
A full review of Scouts in the FAU database, searched by scanning each entry, gave a total of thirteen (13) Scouts. Some entries were without photographs, dates of birth or the designation ‘Scout’ and could not be identified. All but two had photographs and all photographed were in Scout uniform.
|Cambridge||6th Cambridge||John Bertram Basebe|
|6th Cambridge||Charles Wallis|
|5th Cambridge Distric||Charles Hubert Cousins|
|Manchester||15th Manchester BLB Scout||Edmund Markham|
|23rd Manchester BLB Scouts||Thomas Williamson|
|23rd Manchester BLB Scouts||John Dunn|
|Liverpool||1st Liverpool BLB Scouts||Harry Stamper|
|15th Liverpool BLB Scouts||Frederick McKittrick|
|Chichester||Harold James Knight|
|Herne Hill||Leonard Charles Leach|
|Beckenham||7th Beckenham||Gordon Robinson|
|Poole||Sea Scout PL||Edward James Way|
BLB = Boys Life Brigade Scouts They ran until 1927 and then merged with the Boys Brigade. They ran Scout Patrols or Troops and were part of the Peace Scout movement
Of these thirteen, nine went out on 5th June 1915, five returned on 5th February 1916. None are recorded as having died. No other common dates are recorded.
Ten are recorded as having Certificates as Scouts working for the Red Cross. The numbering is unlike any other military format being ‘cert. 3665’. The designation Scout as an Army rank does occur very occasionally c 1900; I have not located one during the Great War. The numbers sit within the range 3529 to 3564 with two others, 6392 and 6868, attached to later starting dates in October and November of 1915. It is not known what other roles these Cert. numbers denote, if any.
None of the record cards completed the line ‘Connection with Friends’ (that is the Society of Friends or Quakers) although this was frequently filled. A variety of religions and connections were entered for older members.
Order of Woodcraft Chivalry
Charles Cousins was a Scout with the 5th Cambridge District based in Trumpington. A leader, possibly the active leader, of this troop during WW1 was Aubrey Westlake, a Quaker who was one of the founders of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry(c 1916), an alternative Woodcraft movement.
JWR Archivist Oct 2021