Gone Home

It has become traditional over the past century for scouts who pass away to have been described as “gone home” this is shown using the native american tracking sign below.



My wife’s grandfather went home last night. I have blogged about him before but he was one of the pioneers – a scout and rover scout at the 4th Leith in Edinburgh. David Gosman attended the Rover Moot at Monzie in 1939, and like many young men found himself transported to the other side of the planet where he lived and worked in the north of India, helping to fly equipment into the Chinese fighting the Japanese.


He told me that his training as a scout helped him cope with this, and later when his wife died at a young age he knew how to cook and fend for himself. Scouting was important to him and I think he was delighted when his granddaughter married a scouter. Before dementia took its toll he recounted to me tales about camping in Fife via the steam train, using a trek cart and the brotherhood of scouting he felt throughout his life – he remained a local lad and many of his scouting friends remained around him.

I liked him a great deal and wished I had known him in his younger days – a scout in life and deed.

The book that was nearly lost.

Jack Simpson was my predecessor as Group Scout Leader at the 7th Stirling –  he was a lifelong scout and sadly passed away over ten years ago. His wife knew I was interested in ‘old stuff’ and appeared at the scout hall one night with a cardboard box that was full of paper and books. Her kindness saved something remarkable that was nearly 100 years old and was very nearly lost. She had been clearing out the garden shed and found the box – it was remarkably not damp.

There was some interesting stuff relating to our group in the 1970′s but it was a brown envelope at the bottom of the box that was most interesting. In the envelope was a small black volume – an incredible find.


It was the minute book from the establishment of scouting in Stirling – the “Stirling Division Minute Book”. This remarkable volume tracks and records the development of scouting from 1909 to 1919. 


ImageA wonderful archive document, we decided it deserved long term protection and we deposited the volume with Stirling Council Archives. For me this little paragraph was great – it quietly notes the formation of Troop No.7 at Auchenbowie House….cool.


The Boy Scouts and the Boys Brigade

One of the wonderful things about this blog is the information I get across the web. I received an email from Alistair Burrow who is Vice Chair of the Boys Brigade who came across this remarkable postcard  ;


The back of the postcard from “Major Crum” to “A Scoutmaster McCallum No 3 Troop” reads “I hear you are arranging to take the boys to Bridge of Allan tomorrow.  I have arranged with Mr Miller to have them to tea at Auchenbowie – so bring them all to Auchenbowie instead. they can bring their own dinner & cook & we can give them tea”  

I was able to identify Major Crum as the centre figure. I think perhaps that the tall gent may well be William Smith, founder of the Boys Brigade. The location looks very much like Auchenbowie House, home of Major Crum or the nearby woodland of the Barr Wood, now our local campsite. Its interesting to see so many BB and a few Boy Scouts together.

The early relationship between Baden Powell and William Smith and the Boys Brigade is well illustrated on the wonderful website - http://scoutguidehistoricalsociety.com/brigade.htm  

Any thoughts on this image would be welcome. Thanks to Alistair Burrow for letting me reproduce the image.

1951 Austrian Jamboree

The 7th World Scout Jamboree was held August 3 to 12, 1951 and was hosted by Austria at Bad Ischl. The attendance was 12,884 from 61 different parts of the world, with 675 German scouts given a warm welcome as official participants in a World Jamboree for the first time. This was the first Jamboree since the death of Baden Powell.

We have a lovely leather badge in our collection gifted by our District Secretary Gilmour Cuthbertson who attended the 1958 Jamboree.


I received a nice email yesterday from Tom Muirhead who had been given some books by Major Crum because he was an early Queens Scout – Tom also sent this great picture of him front left going to the Austrian Jamboree with fellow Scottish Scouts from Stirling Station – great picture of some happy looking lads off on an adventure.


Stirling Scouts and Bannockburn day

There was a great tradition in Stirling in making a great deal of Bannockburn day, celebrating Robert the Bruce’s famous victory. This involved a march and a ‘sham fight’ where scouts from different troops re-created the battle in a huge wide game. 

In 1914 Stirling Scouts were assembled at the Kings Knot – I have posted this picture before but its worth doing again - 



I recently discovered this picture (courtesy of Mr Barry Ferguson) which is in the same place but not clear if it is the same event – looks to be a different time of year perhaps. There are lots of scout staves and patrol flags in evidence. This summer marks 700 years from Bannockburn – I wonder if we could re-create the picture……


Stirling Scouts and the castle



Stirling Castle dominates the skyline and for those born close by they are known as ‘sons of the rock’. It is not surprising that such a feature plays strongly into design. Major Crum was particularly fond of this and used it in his headed notepaper and greeting cards.Image

He also used it on the cover of his early book “the youth problem” too.




Unfortunately from a rather nice woven District badge with the castle we now have a somewhat PC analogous medieval knight – he is neither Bruce nor Wallace curiously but of course thats who all the kids think he is….


The return of Major Crum

Today I found out that the Daily Record ran a double page spread on the founder of our Troop Major Frederick Maurice Crum who I have written about before on this blog. 



The World War 1 centenary has sparked an interest again and it is his work at developing sniping skills that features. One nice thing is that his book has now been re-published – its a mixture of diary and autobiography from his army and scouting life but an interesting read.

The book is available from http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Memoirs-of-a-Rifleman-Scout/p/6063/ . Both articles reference his role as a Scoutmaster at the 7th in Stirling which I assume came from this blog.