Katharine Schofield, Archivist, writes for us about an interesting new arrival at the archive…
A log book of the 2nd Rayleigh (Holy Trinity) Troop of Boy Scouts was recently deposited and digital images are now available free of charge on Seax (D/Z 608/1).
The troop was started in 1924 and the log book begins with the first parade and details of patrol leaders and the colour of the scarves. The volume is particularly notable for the many photographs of camps and other activities of the Scouts. These include photographs of the Essex Jamboree of Whitsun 1927 held at Priory Park, Southend and attended by Lord Baden-Powell (image 17). Later that year the summer camp was held at Soligny in France, although the camps were more normally held in the Rayleigh area or at Heybridge Basin.
In May 1935 to celebrate George V’s Silver Jubilee, the troop prepared a beacon as part of the Scout Beacon Chain in a meadow off Crown Hill opposite the Mount and the volume includes photographs of this. Having made such a good job of this, they were then asked to prepare a bonfire to mark George VI’s coronation in 1937.
When war was declared in 1939 the troop were engaged in War Service distributing posters calling up the reserves and staffing Council Offices with messengers 24 hours a day for a week ‘until the powers that be decided that no one under 16 could act in that capacity’ (image 66). Thereafter the log book becomes much less detailed. The Scouts were engaged in bill posting, waste paper collection, the collection of scrap metal and helped to put up more than 100 Morrison Shelters for Rayleigh Urban District Council. As the war continued the log book records those who left to join the Armed Forces; sadly three former members of the troop lost their lives serving in the RAF.