Harnham Scout group celebrates 90th anniversary of first meeting

Mark Warner, Scout Leader 4th Salisbury, provides a history of the 4th Salisbury (Harnham) Scout Group.

This year, the 4th Salisbury (Harnham) Scout Group celebrates its 90th anniversary of continuous scouting. The group meets in Lower Street, Harnham and has won a number of district competitions. Although the anniversary is taken from 1932, the group’s history goes back further.
Its first mention appeared in the minutes of the Local Association in July 1910, when an application was made through the secretary by Sergeant Hall of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry for permission to form a fourth Salisbury troop.

The committee approved the offer, but pending certain enquiries permission was withheld, and the secretary was authorised to make known to Sergeant Hall the requirements necessary before a Scout Masters’ Warrant could be issued.
On September 27, 1910 the Tower House Troop had applied for registration and had paid the fee. Leave to register was granted under the name of the ‘ 4th Salisbury’. The 1st Troop helped the new Troop’ but soon Mr Hold handed in his resignation as Scout Master, which was accepted. He continued to instruct the troop as no fresh appointment was made and, in November, it was reported that the 4th Salisbury Troop was making satisfactory progress.

General Sir William Pitcairn Cambell becoming the troop’s patron made the news

General Sir William Pitcairn Cambell becoming the troop’s patron made the news

July 4, 1911, representatives of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Salisbury, together with Downton and Whiteparish Troops attended the rally and were inspected by H.M. King George V, the funds being provided locally.
December 1914, Mr Bevan reported that a West Harnham Troop had been formed and that Mr Chittenden was prepared to act as Scout Master aided by Mr Bevan as A.S.M. The committee approved of the arrangement and suggested that it might be found convenient to combine this Troop with the 1st Harnham Troop whose S.M.
Mr Maton was about to leave Salisbury. The first Court of Honour of this newly formed Troop was held on December 2 when rules were drawn up and the first outdoor activity was held on Boxing Day, 1914.
January, 1915 saw the amalgamation of the 1st Harnham and West Harnham Troops, becoming the 4th Salisbury Troop, and on February 16, they moved into new headquarters at Harnham Hollow by kind permission of Mrs Radcliffe.

On August 2, 1915, at a scout rally and inspection, held in Victoria Park, Salisbury, General Sir William Pitcairn Cambell, commander in chief, Southern Command, honoured the troop by becoming its patron – the Troop was then known as General Sir W. P. Campbell’s Own, 4th City of Salisbury (Harnham, Odstock and Bodenham Group).

The troop in 2022

The troop in 2022

During these years it appears that the Troop possessed a band.
The S.M. Mr Chittenden resigned in September, 1917 as he was leaving the city, (although this was not the last we were to hear of him). The next S.M. was the Rev. D. Macpherson and very little is known of the Troop and it finally ceased to function between 1923-25. However, the cub pack was in existence between 1927 and 1929, the C.M. being Mr Edmund Brown of St Nicholas’ Hospital.
The group was reformed in 1932, with the help of Mr PJ Southon, Mr WA Chaplin and the late Mr King, each taking it in turns to run meetings in the Parish Rooms or the Old School, West Harnham. The first meeting was held on May 3, 1932, run by Mr PJ Southon.

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