The Scouting of 5th/10th Scouts
Scouting has its origin from the British Army when they were based in South Africa during the Boar War. Baden Powell was an Army Officer with responsibility for native African Military Scouts. He took their skills in personal survival and self reliance and adapted them for use by young men back home in England. He wrote the book “Scouting For Boys” which remains as the foundation for scouting activities today.
Scouting was formed in 1907 and was so popular among the young boys of England that it grew rapidly and Scout Troops sprang up all over the country.
The Start of Scouting in Horsham
In 1936 Brian Higgins (the Skipper), who had previously been Scouting in South East London for 14 years, moved to Horsham and was given authority to start a new Group. A few boys mostly from the Congregational Church held regular meetings at the Albion Hall. On the 15th March 1937 Imperial Headquarters registered the ’5th Horsham Group Boy Scouts,’ sponsored by the Congregational Church. The number of Scouts steadily increased and soon a Cub Pack was formed.
The Group’s first camp was held in 1937 near Oakhampton, on the edge of Dartmoor. The Troop joined with the 5th Lewisham ~ the Skippers former Troop. The camp was repeated the next year. In 1939 the Trooped camped at Frylands Wood near Croydon, with their new Scout Master, Frank Atkinson, and his wife, Dora who was the Cub Mistress. In September of that year the 2nd World War broke out and Scouts of the 5th went into action on National Service.
In 1940 the Skipper was commissioned into the RAFVR. During his 5 year absence Frank and Dora Atkinson continued with the Troop and Pack.
Those, who were not called up or too young, took action as well. On one cold winter Sunday morning Scouts from the 5th could be found laying on the ground all over the town acting as air raid casualties as part of an ARP Casualty Service exercise.
The Scouts and Cubs assisted with the war effort and their work was noted in a letter sent from the General Supervisor in London of the Canadian YMCA…
"Our Association is indebted to the 5th Horsham Group Boy Scouts for the voluntary service they rendered to our Centre in Horsham. Your boys were ever willing to serve, and did so in a courteous, cheerful and efficient manner".