History of Scouting in the City of Sheffield 1940-1945

Battle of Britain
BP dies and is succeeded, as Chief Scout, by Lord Somers

The Air Scout Branch is formed

A Memorial Service for Lord Baden Powell is held in Sheffield Cathedral

Sheffield Scouts and Rovers continue to assist in the War Effort, adding a number of activities to their work, including assisting with the Yorkshire Salvage Drive, fire watching, erecting household table shelters, allotment gardening and farming, and collecting eggs and drug plants for hospitals.
During December 1940, Sheffield suffers severe air raids and a number of members receive rescue awards for bravery and devotion to duty. After the raids, the City Headquarters are turned into a rest centre and canteen for Civil Defence workers

On a lighter note, the City is visited by the new Chief Scout, who attends a Rally at the Farm Grounds

A County Rover Moot is held at the Cutlers Hall, with over 300 Rover Scouts attending

In June, a Wolf Cub Conference is held

A City Air Scout Troop is formed
A new section is started by Imperial Headquarters namely War Service Patrols. This is for Scouts wanting more vigorous training of a pre-service nature. A number of Patrols are formed in Sheffield and W A Vere is appointed Assistant District Commissioner (War Service Scouts)

Sheffield Scouts hold a 'Scout Day' in July to raise money for the newly initiated BP Memorial Fund and to demonstrate to the public of Sheffield that the Scouts are 'carrying on'. Each Scout is expected to do a useful job and earn a minimum of one shilling for the fund. The Scouts also mount the Guard of Honour at the Town Hall and present an exhibition of Scoutcraft at Scout HQ. They also parade as Divisions in various parts of the City, before all 2000 march to Endcliffe Park where representatives of each Group hand to the Lord Mayor the money raised by its members (a total of £240 2s 1d)

A local weekend Conference of Patrol Leaders, organised and run by a small committee of PLs, is held

Despite War Service, the number of Rover Crews increases to fifty with 931 members - 470 of whom are on Active Service

The City Air Scout Troop, based at Croft Hall, fails to meet expansion expectations and A W Gaskin is appointed ADC (Air Scouts) to boost development and recruitment.
By now, there are over 5300 members of all ranks in the Local Association, with over 600 on National Service, and 90 active Groups
To meet these numbers, the administration of Sheffield is reorganised with the number of Divisions increased from five to ten, namely Abbeydale, Attercliffe, Crookesmoor, City, Hallam, Hillsborough, Norfolk, Norton Woodseats, Pitsmoor and Sharrow and Ecclesall

The World Rover Weekend is held in Sheffield, organised by Sheffield Rovers on behalf of the County. Visitors include 64 Rover Scouts from the Allied Nations along with representatives from many other Local Associations. The programme includes a Civic Reception and Conference in the Town Hall, a Freedom Campfire at the Firth Hall in Sheffield University and a 'Ceremony of the Sign' at the City Hall. Guest speakers include HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Royal Commissioner of the Dutch Scout Association, Lady Somers, Imperial Chief Commissioner for Girl Guides, Sir Alfred Pickford, Chief Scout Commissioner and M Alfred Renou, International Commissioner, Federation au Scoutisme Francais

With the object of raising £27,500 (over £1.25 million in 2015), the Lord Mayor launches a special appeal for funds for the post-war development of the Movement. The fund has specified purposes including the provision of a permanent camping ground, assisting in the provision of individual Group Headquarters and the enlargement of the City Headquarters

As part of their contribution to War Service, over 1000 City Scouts help in the collection and sorting of books during a national drive for one million books

A Cubmaster Conference, organised by the County, is held in the City Hall
In May 1944, Lord Somers dies and is succeded by Lord Rowallan

A joint weekend of the Boys' Brigade, Boy Scouts and the Church Lads' Brigade is held in Sheffield, with a Civic Reception, a Conference, Training Displays, a service in the City Hall and a March Past. Over 200 delegates attend

The SLABS takes an active part in 'Youth Week' organised by the Youth Organisations Committee of the City Council. For the Scouts, the outstanding event of the week is a Youth Pageant 'Tomorrow' with a cast of 1500 at the City Hall on five consecutive nights produced by W Jenkins Gibson

A Joint Standing Committee is formed with the Sheffield Girl Guide Association to deal with 'matters of mutual interest'. Agreement in principle is made by the two associations for the building of a joint headquarters after the war

Following the introduction of the Senior Scout Section, a number of Groups start Senior Scout Patrols

Despite travel restrictions preventing Groups from travelling far, 72 Troops hold annual camps and a number run Farming Camps


Events in italics either refer to national Scouting events (more information on these can be found here)
or UK/international historical events

Numbers in brackets [1234] are links to more information in the Sheffield Scout Archives.

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