Salvation Army Life Saving Guards Guides and Boy Scouts

Another interesting variation on the Girl Scouts / Guides and Boy Scouts are the Salvation Army versions.

Scouting was intended by Baden Powell that it could be slotted into existing youth movements such as Boys Brigade, YMCA and Church Lads Brigade.

In the 1910s the Life Saving Guards were established by the Salvation Army for boys and girls.

Unknown area or group of Life Saving Guards and the next generation with their hat bands in this unposted unused photograph postcard in my collection

This unposted photograph postcard one in my collection came from Barrow in Cumbria. The girls in front may be new girls who not have acquired or achieved uniform.

The group leaders or Salvation Army officers are in their traditional Black and Red uniform.

Difficult with black and white or sepia images to note uniform colours but the overall colour scheme for Scouts and Guides (Guards) appears to have been light grey with red collar, epaulettes and cuffs. Other sites suggest grey khaki or forest green.

Elsewhere online, you can find several Salvation Army museum collections: including the Salvation Army doughnut girls of WW1 in grey and red / maroon:

The white sash could be an Ambulance sling worn over the shoulder like the (Baden Powell) Girl Guides

Salvationist Magazine available on Issuu

An odd 1970s mannequin but a possible Netherlands Girl Guard uniform in colour.

Useful uniform information from NDV / NPG Netherlands Scouts Museum Archive.

1953 refers to grey and maroon uniforms in America.

Kingsport Sullivan County Tennessee from the excellent website resource for vintage youth organisations

Some fabulous images on Salvation Army West online museum

The grey and maroon / red facings can be seen on this later uniform.

Bible study and quiet times on Camp …. wearing that wonderful doughboy / Mountie hat!

And from the same archive, Girl Guards cooking in the forest

These Riverside Life Saving Girl Guards (1924) USA are wearing very light or white uniforms with dark skirts more like the Canadian Girl Guides or Camp Fire Girls USA .

The four pointed cross or star badge can be seen and a few proficiency badges.

And off for a hike outdoors … Possibly even Wide Games?


Life Saving Boy Scouts appear to have worn much the same uniform as other Boy Scouts but in the colours – grey rather than khaki with red facings.

There is a good introduction to the Life Saving Guards / Scouts in the preface of “Button Burns And The Winningham Troop Of Life Saving Scouts” by Gordon Griggs, 1929, also in my collection – an excellent pun or play on words in the troop title.

Like the Girl Guards, the Boy Scout version was found all over the world from America to Sweden:

Image: Unknown source, found online

These Life Saving Guards should prove an interesting grey and red paint variation on standard Boy Scouts and Girl Guide figure conversions.

With their Spiritual Leaders, these figures should also prove handy dealing with any Fantastic forces of Evil that turn up, from Mutant Snowmen to Stranger Things …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, former 1970s British Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, retired) 6/7 August 2022