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8th St Marylebone Scouts' Badge - 'The Diehards' - St John's Wood, London NW8

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Sepia photo of an early scout group in St John's Wood, London NW8

The Early Years

October 1921

Les Kirby forms the 8th St. Marylebone Scout Group. They meet at Capland Street School.

January 1922

Official registration at Scout HQ, use of the soubriquet The Diehards granted from Middlesex Regiment. First edition of The Diehard magazine. Cub Pack, Scout Troop and Rover Crew formed.

It is perhaps not a surprise to learn, in view of the Clubs history and founders intentions, that Lisson Grove was in the late 19th Century one of the worst slums in London. Not so surprising is that later the boys used to meet up ready to go to meetings outside The Orphanage which previously stood where Wharncliffe was built and still referred to as such even after the Mansergh was opened.

1924

Seven Rover Scouts attend the 2nd International Jamboree in Denmark.

March 1929

Old Scouts Branch formed with Ron Andrew as first Chairman.

1925

The Bulls Patrol present a New Zealand Flag to the District which became the annual camping competition. Ten years later the Troop earns it's first hat-trick of consecutive wins in this competition.

1934

Old Scout Constitution drawn up and forms the basis of the rules laid down by the BP Guild.

1938

First double for the group in District competitions, Pack winning the Rhodesian Totem Pole and Troop NZ Flag.

1939

First Summer Camp held abroad in Denmark, WW2 breaks out and Scouts recalled to come home. Soon after the majority of the Cubs and Scouts were evacuated out of London. The Diehard becomes the main point of contact for everyone including twelve signed up in the forces.

1940

Scouts become messengers for the Town Hall, others in ARP and AFS, four Rovers joined the Home Guard Air raids reduce group down to 6 scouts and 4 Cubs as more are evacuated. 47 Old Scouts and Rovers now serving in the forces.

1944

Many were killed in the Second World War when a doodle bug fell on the blocks of flats in Wharncliffe Gardens. A little further up St John's Wood Road is Scott Ellis Gardens which also suffered some war damage but not as significantly as the former.

1946 - Acquisition of new HQ 'The Mansergh-Woodall Club'

The two blocks of flats mentioned above provided a large number of boys who started in the Cubs at the Mansergh as well as leaders rejoining having just returned from the fighting in the War. It was the families from these two places in particular, together with the occupants of other large buildings that formed the core of the unique association of parents, people and supporters who became known as Diehardia and always at the centre of the community.

Sadly WWII took way members some of whom did not return but are always remembered.

Two trophies in memory of Dick James and Stan Jenner become prestigious awards for the Troop. Group celebrates Silver Jubilee. The Diehard publishes its 300th edition.

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8th St Marylebone Scouts' distinctive neckerchief
 
Venue function hall for hire St John's Wood, North West London NW8