WW1 Scout War Service

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The following reports have been collated by Mike Petty and shared through Cambridgeshire History Facebook page.


1912 07 26

“Expect 40 wounded men 3 o’clock” read the telegram received by Croxton detachment of the British Red Cross Society. It appeared the army had been engaged with a force of the enemy near St Neots and as a result 40 men were wounded. When they arrived at Croxton Park the hospital camp had been pitched and everything was in readiness – stores, a kitchen and operating tent. The sufferers – members of the Croxton and Eltisley Boy Scouts – were treated by 80 men and women who had turned up. There was only one real casualty during the exercise – a child was bitten by a dog.12 07 26b & c

1914 07 10

Cambridge Voluntary Aid Detachments and Red Cross held an exercise at Newnham College. It assumed severe fighting had been going on in Norfolk and a large number of casualties had been sent to the First Eastern General Hospital. When another train load of wounded arrived they received orders to convert Sidgwick Hall into a temporary hospital where eleven beds were provided and patients were treated for crushed hands and fractured tibia Other nurses were prepared splints and bandages and a sceptic ward was set up

Red Cross Field Day: a hostile force had landed at Cromer and much fighting was taking place, forcing the First Eastern General Hospital, normally stationed here to transfer to Bedford. Wounded from a make-believe battle near Duxford … were taken by field ambulances to a field hospital at Whittlesford Station where he platform was used for refreshment and for re-bandaging the less serious wounded. Temporary wards were erected in the station yard to be filled with the ‘wounded’, represented by Perse School Boy Scouts who arrived in railway goods van. 14 07 10

1914 08 14

Cambridge scouts guard telephone exchange – 14 08 14 p2

1914 08 16

Boy Scouts allowed to shoot on miniature rifle range, aid VAD – 14 08

1914 09 11

Battle of Mons report, p2

All troops departed from Cambridge, p4

Cambridge as a training centre, p4

German barbarities – letter from Cambridge Hospital, p6

Cambridge recruits, p8

When the war began Cambridge Scouts were anxious to help and a committee was formed. Requests came from every quarter. For the first fortnight Scout patrols, aided by members of the C.U.O.T.C., guarded by day and night the important telegraph wires on the Newmarket to London road. Some were sent to Ramsgate and Sandwich to do coastguard work until replaced by military authorities. Others assisted in the recreation and refreshment tents for the military camps on Midsummer Common, Coldham’s Common, Coe Fen, Parker’s Piece, Huntingdon Road and Stourbridge Common. They have provided a secretary and bugler for Major Comber at Pembroke College and at Corpus the Board of Military Studies has used them as messengers. They have collected large quantities of magazines and papers for the military hospitals at the Leys School and Trinity College. Now they are returning to school

With so many regular troops abroad any man trained to defend the homeland in as emergency will be invaluable, the Chief Scout says. We are driven to be on our defence lest we come under the heel of the Prussian bully and it is the duty of every patriot to take up arms in a good cause. If Scouts can supply a few thousand 16-year-old boys, trained to discipline and marksmanship will be worth a dozen men trained to nothing in particular. It will not be a permanent policy for the scout movement. 14 12 04  (Note fear of invasion)

1916 12 13

Scouts night attack on Coton – details – 16 12 13g

JWR Archivist Dec 2020