Scouting with 32nd Crosby Troop
Richard Moss 1945-52
In December 1945 I joined 32nd Crosby one Saturday evening. It conducted its affairs in Mr Hugh Whittaker’s Upper IIB classroom: the hut adjacent to the Armour Building. Hugh was the skipper and NEJ Wylie his 2/IC or UNC as we called him.
There were four Patrols in my time and I started in the Bulldogs under the worthy Batson and later ended with the Eagles with “Dagwood” Jennings. The troop leader was Ken Brown, to me a remote Olympian figure. Looking back I think I was something of a disappointment to my superiors as I never moved beyond the IInd Class badge much preferring the games especially British Bulldogs.
Anyone who has been a scout will know these and there are some which stick in my mind. Wide Games including Flag or Lamp Raiding over the full extent of the school grounds on dark Saturday nights; crawling behind the cricket pavilion, close to the boundary of Harrison House borders where I was accosted by Mr I. Butler-Wright wearing, what I took to be, pyjamas beneath an oilskin mackintosh with wellingtons, sou’wester, and holding a hoe. He asked me what I was doing and seemed satisfied with the reply that I was trying to capture a mad scientist with a secret weapon. I was later informed that ‘Bugs’ suffered from chronic insomnia.
The 32nd Troop was a very competitive one. I recall our winning a 7-A-Side football competition, First Aid competitions, and others in the area. The same rigour and expectations were evident in our camps. None of us were allowed to lie idle in tents on wet days creating a fug – all were hustled out in shorts and plimsoles to compete in the wet. Rope bridge building was on the menu and so was cleaning porridge Dixies in cold water. Spud peeling and latrine construction were useful grounding for National Service.
Due to the success of this troop, another MTS Scout Troop was established when the 32nd became full. This troop was led by Mr “Prof” Roberts.
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