West Cambridgeshire 1935

Cambridge District Scout Archive

On 5th June 1935 Cambridge District split into four Districts. It had been working as three sub districts for a year before the split.

The West Cambridgeshire District was a short lived division with four Groups drawn from Cambridge and South Cambs sub districts.
Geographically ‘West Cambridge is a line between the Cambridge to Huntingdon Road on the north, to the Cambridge to Barton Road on the South West’

Four Groups:

  • 39th Cambridge Madingley                                                     10558
  • 62nd Cambridge Grantchester                                                15889
  • 50th Cambridge Papworth Everard                                         (unregistered)
  • 17th Cambridge District Barton                                              7579

New and renamed Groups from the warrant lists in The Scouter

  • 1st Wimpole
  • 1st Grantchester
  • 1st Caldecote
  • 1st Madingley
  • 1st Papworth 1939


  • Bassingbourn 1937
  • 1st Harlton 1939
  • 1st Coton 1939
  • 1st Hardwick 1939 – 1942..

This District appears to have effectively disappeared very soon after formation. Three of the Groups ceased and the fourth, 17th Cambridge District (Barton), was reabsorbed into South Cambs. It is not mentioned in 1935 and is recalled by W T Thurbon in ‘Archaeology’ but not Ken North in ’70 years’. 

Captain Edward Henry Lee-Warner was DC from 1935; his wife Iris Beryl Cornwallis was, before their marriage, Lady SM for Otford Scout Troop (c. 1914 – 16). Appearing in The Tatler she was described as ‘a fair blonde with very vivacious manners’.

She was made GSM and ADC Cubs for the District in 1937. They later moved to Norfolk and it appears a significant part of the District leadership team was lost.

P Edwards is listed as DC in 1941.

Later groups are registered as West Cambridge: 2nd Bassingbourne in 1948 has been identified. A 1st Hardwick is also named in a warrant record of 1942 with F H Keating as A/DSM.

On 18th Feb. 1952 D A Winter…. wrote “I am sorry to have to report that the Troop at Bassingbourn did not develop and so W Camb. is now entirely dormant”.

It was not formally closed by County or IHQ and in 1960 was nominally managed by Professor Patrick Duff, County Secretary, although it contained no groups or DC. When Papworth Everard proposed reforming in 1960 it came back from Gilwell as being in West Cambridge, to the surprise of Professor Duff.

In 1963 attempts to revive the District are noted in Cambridgeshire Scout County records. Someone was found willing to take this on but it appears to have faded once again. In 1970 £200 was still held in trust for the District and was loaned out on at least one occasion to a Group within the original area of West Cambridge.

JWR Archivist Mar 2019