Scout Troop Formed

By kind permission of John King, Author

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It was no doubt partly in response to the war situation that members of St Augustine’s resolved to form a scout troop for the teenagers. The difficulty had been to find a Scout Master, but in November 1914, Percy Tootell took the office with a troop of fifteen scouts and six wolf cubs. Once again the community provided the finance, and in March the troop received its scroll as the 1st Grove Park (Baden Powell), Howard Jones acting as treasurer in launching the troop. There was no troop at St Mildred’s, but the church did have a flourishing Boys’ Brigade (4th West Kent, Lee, Co).

Recreation activities in the form of sports were not neglected by the ASC when the YMCA ground in Grove Park Road adjoining the camp was made available. A tent was also erected under the auspices of the YMCA to provide refreshments and entertainments, but it was not ideal as the ground was inclined to become muddy in wet weather. A sports day was held in the ground in August with a contingent from the ASC depot at Catford where the ASC had recently taken over the LGOC garage. The day was also significant in that W G Grace was present. It was probably his last public appearance — he died at his Mottingham Lane home two months later in October.

Recreation between the soldiers and members of the opposite sex was another matter. It was not surprising that there were several weddings at St Augustine’s. The first wedding was between Phyllis Stephens of Campden House Court in Kensington and Geoffrey Braun, soldier and ‘son of a gentleman’. This was on 9 March 1915, Luffman officiating. There followed that of Marie Smith and George Anderson, son of a cattle dealer. The bride was not a local, indeed many of the women were not. So also the wedding of Mary Hole of Brixton and George Ladd on 10 July.

Back to Grove Park in the First World War


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