Old Farnhamians' Association

Scouting at
 Farnham Grammar School

 This page celebrates the 1st Farnham (Grammar School) Scout Troop established at
Farnham Grammar School in 1909.
Old boys who wish to contribute reminiscences or thoughts
about the school scouts are invited to send articles.


Photograph taken 19th March 2005 at the 73rd Annual Dinner of the OFA.

John Collier (left), a member of the troop in its final years, is showing the troop flag to Dr Derek Pollard OBE,
International Director for Scouting’s Centenary and Vice-President Surrey County Scout Council).
Although one of the school’s most celebrated scouts,
Derek was never a member of the school troop as he lived in Guildford during his school years, but he
occasionally helped out when the FGS leader was unable to attend meetings.


Scouting took root in Farnham at a very early date. In fact, it may be claimed that Farnham played a role in the very origins of scouting as an important meeting took place in 1906 at Frensham Place (now Edgeborough School). The publisher Arthur Pearson, a close friend of Baden-Powell, held a house party and a scheme to launch scouting as an organisation was formulated. The following year they published the now legendary book “Scouting for Boys” and held a camp at Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour with much publicity. 

But the first scout troop in Farnham seems almost to pre-date the official launch of scouting by its founder. It probably occurred because the father of FGS pupil Cyril Kessell was a friend of Robert Baden-Powell. In 1955, recalling old days in Farnham, Cyril Kessell told George Baxter how he and Geoffrey Wright, along with Aubrey Rand (who unfortunately died at an early age), formed the first Boy Scout patrols in the Farnham area. The date was 1907. Their H.Q. was the back of “Raysons” shoe shop in The Borough.

FGS formed the 1st Farnham (Grammar School) Troop in 1909 under Dr Brown. It flourished for several years until the early 1920s when we cease to get reports until it is reformed in 1942 under Mr FC Winter-Knight. The troop continued until just after the demise of FGS in the mid-1970s.

In March and April 2005, Derek Pollard received two interesting letters from the County Archivist summarising the history of the troop from the HQ perspective (click here to download the March letter and click here for the April letter).  Two of the our scouts became official heroes of scouting for receiving the Military Cross for gallantry during the 1st World War. In addition, we have been sent a copy of the 1942 registration of the troop (click here).

The activities of the scouts can be researched in some detail within the on-line library as there are reports in the Farnhamian magazines that can be downloaded and word-searched.


Photograph of the troop taken in 1974, shortly before it ceased.
Names would be welcomed. Here’s a start:
Back Row (L to R): Stephen Pritchard, Michael Stock, David Titchener, Nigel Jones, Mark Penfold , Simon ?,?
Front Row (L to R): Mike Mehta,?,?,?,?,?,Jim Desmond
Email to the webmaster: iansargeant@brocas.co.uk

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