Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Biggleswade's Boy Scouts

Biggleswade Boy Scouts 1912 [Z50/142/390]

Thursday 4th March 1915: The 9th Beds (Biggleswade) Scout Troop has just issued its annual report. The troop contains eight King’s Scouts, nine 1st Class Scouts, forty one 2nd Class Scouts, and eight tenderfeet. Thirty one new members were sworn in during 1914 and sixteen left the troop. A rifle range has been built at the Troop’s headquarters in Hitchin Street and some of the scouts are already fairly good marksmen. Eleven have qualified for the special war badge awarded to Scouts who have performed 28 days of duty as bridge guards or police messengers. Twenty three former Biggleswade Scouts are now serving in either the Army or the Navy, and ex-Assistant Scoutmaster Matthews has recently been recruited to the Royal Flying Corps.

The Scouts will be excited to read the new book by their Chief, Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Baden-Powell, My Adventures as a Spy, which has just been published. It tells of his undercover work as a spy during the 1890s which he carried out under the guise of an eccentric butterfly-hunting naturalist. His nature sketchbook was less innocent than it seemed, with the positions of forts and guns disguised within the markings on a butterfly or the veins on an ivy leaf. The book also contains a great deal of information on the art of disguise and useful guidance on surveillance and encryption.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard, 5th March 1915

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