Shirt sleeves

Cambridge District Scout Archives

This short page is based on the observation that often, but by no means always, the sleeves of Scout shirts and jerseys were rolled inwards with the bulky roll bulging underneath the material next to the skin.

Scouting for Boys

‘The Scout shirt (or jersey) is a free-and-easy thing, and nothing could be more comfortable when the sleeves are rolled up. All Scout shave them rolled up because this tends to give them greater freedom but also as a sign that they are ready to carry out their Motto. They only roll them down when it is very cold or when their arms may become sunburnt. In cold weather the shirt can be supplemented with warmer garments over, or better, under it.’

The following clips from photos from before 1930 show many examples of sleeves rolled inward.  This appears in situations where it may be deemed useful to reduce mess, as in cooking, but also every other situation; group photo’s, parades and general camp wear.

C T Wood from C T Wood’s album

It can be seen clearly when badges are on the sleeves.  Whilst these pictures are all from Cambridge it has been seen elsewhere.

I have not yet been able to find a reference for this practice.

All the photographs above are from C T Wood’s album

In 1921 in the ‘Our Scouts Column’ in the local newspaper, the Cambridgeshire Chronicle, a Scouter wrote of having his sleeves cut short for comfort.

     JWR Archivist Feb 2019