Scout Master skills for the Home Guard

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Map Reading and Field Training for Home Defence  London and Essex Guardian Newspapers Ltd, Walthamstowe

This booklet is not specifically aimed at Boy Scouts and whilst undated is probably before the formation of War Service Scouts (March 1942) and clearly after July 1940 when The Home Guard, previously the  Local Defence Volunteers, were named.

It is described as ‘An invaluable aid to Home Guards and Scouts’ – a phrase which omits the usual ‘Boy’ Scouts and links with army scouts. In addition the author claims experience with the South African Lovat Scouts.

The author is, however, “The Scout” (A.S.M.) without further elaboration and the contents are a mix of advanced Boy Scout training and nature studies alongside very martial observations on the placing of observation points, lines of sight and distances between objects. 

The pages on camouflage were pertinent to Boy Scouts at this time when it was a requirement, and wise, to disguise any tents.  Enemy aircraft would drop their bombs at any target if they could not find their first intent.

The ambiguous front page may have been a knowing attempt to expand the readership.  This is more so now because we are accustomed to read ‘Scout’ not ‘Boy Scout’.  What is clear is that the author is labelled as a Scout Master and not ‘ex Lovat Scout’ on the front page.  It is his Scoutmaster credentials that carry the worth and imply knowledge.

JWR Archivist May 2020