More Early Scouting Photos from WW1

copyright: ScoutingWidegamesforthetabletop photo collection

copyright: ScoutingWidegamesforthetabletop photo collection

I posted these early Scout photographs on Man of TIN blog, believed by the seller from the vague album page titles to be WW1 era Scouts from the Ewell area, c. 1915. Surrey?

I hope one day someone will recognise the local shops and house lines from 100 years ago. Francis Frith had no contenders. I contacted the Ewell and Ewhurst local History Society website team who helpfully pointed out:

What lovely photos, but unfortunately they are not our Ewhurst. We are Ewhurst in Surrey, but there is also a Ewhurst in Sussex (a parish of three villages – Ewhurst Green, Staplecross and Cripps Corner) and one in Hampshire near Basingstoke.

The Ewhurst in Sussex has strong links with the scouting movement as Baden Powell lived at Ewhurst Place, so that is the more likely place, but I have a book on the area and could not see anything resembling those buildings. A look at local trade directories [Kellys etc] might help pinpoint Philpots Tea Rooms. 

Sorry not to have been of more help. Janet Balchin

These additional photographs come from the same broken up photo album from an eBay dealer, from pages marked Ewell or Ewhurst.

copyright: ScoutingWidegamesforthetabletop photo collection

A gathering of scoutmasters and local VIPs.

On BP’s own basis (and drawing) in Scouting for Boys 1908, I wonder what you can read of character from each of these men?

Scouting for Boys 1908
Ewell? Surrey based scoutmaster WW1 era copyright: ScoutingWidegamesforthetabletop photo collection

This scoutmaster cuts a fine figure, interesting to see the Scouts full of cheeky character in the background! Sadly, with the sun in the right hand corner, it is hard to read the posters on the telegraph poles.

The Edwardian era haircuts are interesting here as such occur in this photo are shown in a pejorative way in Scouting for Boys.

Bell Tent camping WW1 era, copyright: ScoutingWidegamesforthetabletop photo collection

Sorting out the scout tent with very Edwardian haircuts.

An interesting informal scout camp photograph – I remember sleeping in camp in one of these bell tents mid 1980s. We slept with heads toward the centre Pole, feet by the canvas, like petals of a flower, impractically trampling over everyone to get out early in the morning.

The left hand Boy Scout with quiff in the tent photo above looks a little like the left hand slouch in BP’s sketch.

Scouting for Boys 1908

BP drew these Boy types in Scouting for Boys, presumably the suitably British (blond Anglo-Saxon?) middle character is the Aryan poster boy one we are invited to admire? Dodgy ‘colonial attitude’ ground here!

There were several comments on my last photo post about the boy shorts – in Scouting for Boys (1908 whole and instalments) BP suggests “Trousers cut short at knee, a kilt if you are a Scotsman” along with “Flat brimmed hat if possible, or wide-awake hat”.

Scouting for Boys 1908

From a different unnnamed album, this fine early Scoutmaster with cockade in the side of the BP hat, Patrol flash on the shoulder and first aid badge, sitting on his stylish rustic looking log seat.

Scoutmaster? Edwardian WW1 era, copyright: ScoutingWidegamesforthetabletop photo collection

I bought from an online source on EBay (sainty87) of what turned out to be afforadable reprint photos, one of a Cornish scout troop near Newquay 1911 and the other here of Basingstoke Girl Scouts 1909. I have zoomed in on a couple of details from the picture for research or historic reference to the fabulous improvised Edwardian Girl Scout outfits.

A big shiny cup on the table, tea cups, billy cans, biscuits – not sure what the 1909 occasion was in Basingstoke but amid the blurry figures of people still unused to photography and having their portrait taken are these three Girls Scouts in their improvised costumes with scout staffs.

Clothing detail of Basingstoke Girl Scouts 1909 (EBay source Sainty87 / JB Archive image)

If Sainty87 objects I will remove these images but here is some free advertising in return:

Worth buying the whole photo (about £3 plus Postage) for yourself from EBay seller sainty87

Also available here—girl-scouts-with-lady-baden-powell-basingstoke-hampshire-c1909-photo-12960-p.asp

Peewit or Owl? Detail of Patrol Flag Basingstoke Girls Scouts 1909 (origin: reprint Sainty87 eBay)

The winning Patrol? Not sure what the occasion is – there are big tins of Huntley Nad Planers biscuits under the table in the main photo. One caption suggests Lady Baden Powell is present but this looks unlikely for 1909 – Olive Soames only married BP in 1912. Even BP’s sister Agnes does not appear present.

Supposedly this is an Owl or a Peewit Patrol flag, depending on the sources you look at – Owl (Ogden’s Scouting cigarette cards) but more like the Peewit in the Ogden’s cigarette cards and in Part VI Scouting for Boys.

Patrol signs animals in two different sections of Scouting For Boys 1908

I’m sure there was lots of confusion of Patrol flags. Scouting for Boys 1908 already adverstised in a footnote that

Patrol flags can be got on payment of fourpence each from the Manager, Boy Scouts, Gosche Buildings, Henrietta Street, London W.C.

(Scouting for Boys Part 1)

Such spirited Edwardian girls would be able to knock up or turn out a home made Patrol flag or two, no problem at all. Needlework? Dressmaking? All part of the work skills or feminine accomplishments that I’m sure many tomboyish Early Girl Scouts joined to avoid being restricted to.

Each patrol leader has a small white flag on his [or her!] staff with the head of his Patrol animal shown in green cloth stitched on to it on both sides …

Scouting for Boys Part 1, 1908

The design would be a green animal head stitched onto a white background? Elsewhere on Ogdens Cigarette Cards of Scouting or my Edwardian coloured scrap book Scouts (probably printed in Germany), the Patrol design is usually shown in red.

More of these paper scouts shown here:

By the time Girl Scouts became Girl Guides in 1911, Patrol flags for them featured the distinctively different flower or plant patriots, not animals.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout – Bronze Arrow, retired) 20/21 February 2020

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