Air Scouts in Cambridge

Air Scouts have a particular emphasis on an aviation themed programme and/or flying-based activities.

The first aviators badge appeared in 1911 and proposals to start an Air Scouts were first raised in 1927. The Boy Scouts Association eventually introduced Air Scouts in 1941.

In the Scout section, Air Scouting may exist as an Air Scout Group, or there may be an Air Scout Patrol within a typical Scout Troop. Air Scouts often wear a slightly different uniform from the rest of the Scouting movement and/or may have additional badges/insignia.

Major Baden Fletcher Smyth Baden-Powell, youngest brother of Robert Baden-Powell and an aviator, first brought flying-based activities into Scouting in the form of kite and model aeroplane building. He can be considered the founder of Air Scouting even though he thought it was hardly feasible to have special 'Air Scouts'.

Aeronautical Activities

In 1935 the District forwarded details of an Aeronautical Exhibition with an essay competition for Scouts.

Troops, Patrols and numbers

Census returns requested Air Scout numbers between 1941 and 1968. Census returns are available between 1921 and 1984. No figures were requested in 1961, 1964, 1966 and 1967.

Census details are not available for 1940 and 1941 - numbers for that year are from notes made at the time.

Census 1941 1942 1943 1944 1845 1946 1947 1948 1949
5th
17
22
68
54
11th
6
6
7
7
12th
11
28
7
32
31
34
13/67th
6
6
11
Total
17
34
38
45
65
56
68
54

No Census returns are available for 1941, the figures are from contemporaneous notes. Totals included where they exist separately and confirm or confute the numbers given.

No Air Scouts were recorded between 1948 and 1968

Details from the 1942 Census notes state
· Land Scouts 205
· Sea Scouts 102
· Air scouts 34     11th Cambridge - 6 (a patrol)  +  12th Cambridge - 28

In July 1944 the 5th Cambridge Perse started an Air Scout Section. They attended the National Air Scout camp in 1946 but by 1949 they were no longer recorded in the School terms review nor the Census returns.

None of the Groups based in or around RAF bases in the Cambridge area were called Air Scouts.

    Dorland Park 1942    

1949 No Air Scouts were returned in Cambridge figures from this year on
1954 Air scouts were not recorded as separate entries on Census returns from this date.
1972 1st Willingham started Air Scouts

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