Centenary scout troop looks back to earliest days of movement in Hemel Hempstead

Hemel Hemsptead Scouts circa 1917
Hemel Hemsptead Scouts circa 1917

Fascinating pictures showing the early days of scouting in Hemel Hempstead have been unearthed in Hunton Bridge.

The images, which have been passed on to the current Hemel Hempstead Scout District and the Dacorum Heritage Trust, were supplied by Alan Knight of Gypsy Lane.

A treasure trove of archive information in his possession includes the very first minute book of the 1st Hemel Hempstead (St Paul’s) troop which is celebrating its centenary this year.

Mr Knight said: “My father in law A. B Bullock was the first scoutmaster and Miss Gwen Brentnall was the first assistant scoutmaster.

“Both were co-founders of the troop, assisted by the vicar of St Paul’s, Mr Boswell.”

Gwen’s father, who had a coal merchants business in the High Street, also provided valuable financial support, and allowed them to use his offices where the first meetings were held.

Mr Bullock had been involved in scouting since the movement had been founded in 1907, probably with one of the Boxmoor troops which were the first to be established in the area.

After founding the 1st Hemel Hempstead troop he remained an active member until the 1930s, and continued to be involved with the movement throughout his life.

The picture is captioned ‘1st Hemel Hempstead St Paul’s taken 46 Marlowes, summer 1917.”

Miss Brentnall had by then stepped up to be scoutmaster, Mr Bullock is in the centre of the group and his brother Edgar, who had joined as assistant scoutmaster, is to his right.