History

Scouting in the UK and Exeter is now over 100 years old. If you have some memories you'd like to share please contact us.

The first record of the 3rd Exeter scout group is from 1914, when the group met in St Mary Major which is where the county war memorial in Exeter now stands. The next record of the group comes from 1961 where it was registered tk be at Ladysmith school where it stayed until Easter 2009, when the group moved to St Matthew's church hall. During this time the group had several leaders, John Warren and Mr Hortop who turned the group into air scouts and lead the group through it's first RAF inspection in 1984. They were joined by Ben Bennet and Ron Crabb who were both involved for many years. In the 90s and 2000s they were joined and slowly handed over to the current leadership team.

There has been scouting before at St Matthews, here are some memories of George Walker who we'd like to thank for sharing them with us.

I became a member of the 4th Exeter Cub pack when it was first formed, my guess is that would have been in 1937. The Scout group was formed at the same time. The vicar of St Matthews at that time was the Rev. R J Sparrow. He organised the setting up of the scout and cubs and called upon members of the parish to head up these organisations. The  Girl guides were also set up at the same time and were all known as  The St. Matthews scouts and guides. The colours for both scouts and guides were hung in St Matthews church until needed for parades etc. To the best of my knowledge those colours were laid up and remain in the church to this day.

My first Akela was a Mr Miller who was assisted by his wife as Beguira. The scout troop was under various leaders due to the commencement of WW2 in Sept 1939. I recall at one time a scout master who was stationed at Topsham Barracks, unfortunately his name escapes me. We also were led for a while by Stan Court who was a former member of the scout troop but acted as leader when on leave from the army. My last scout master was A Mr Parsons whose son was also a member. Mr Parsons was very keen on boxing and introduced it as a regular part of our activities. I have many happy recollections of my time as a scout and air Scout. We would camp at Perridge Woods which was set up during my time as a permanent  campsite for the Exeter Scout troops. During the war years I also recall a Scout Master who taught at the School for the Blind, he also served as scout master to the Scout troop of the blind school, He was known affectionately as Jock Maw, a lovely man, too old for millitary service, who was truly dedicated to the movement. He also led us to camp at Perridge. Those camps were always great fun, we assembled at the burnt out remains of the parish hall and pushed our trek cart with all our camping gear all the way out to Perridge woods and returned via the same means.

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