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On the damp autumn evening of 17th October 1928 four local village boys headed for 21 Malden Road. Cheam, the address of St. Dunstan’s Institute.

They came at the open invitation of a Mr. W.C. King, a retired Cheam builder who had responded to a national call for men to come forward and train as future scoutmasters.

William King

Later Mr. King wrote :

“I felt this call was meant for me.”

For more details see roll of Honour

The St. Dunstan’s Institute, formerly the Cheam Working Men’s Club and remembered for being next to the stables of the local fire brigade, was in a near dilapidated state when Mr. King held what was to become the inaugural meeting of the 1st Cheam Scout Troop.
Cheam Fire Brigade
Apple StoreMr.King, forever afterwards known in scouting circles as The Chief, had held an introductory meeting the previous month in the old Apple Store in the former rectory grounds. He explained to a group of boys what scouting entailed and of his hopes and ambitions for an active and thriving scout troop in Cheam. The Apple Store was later used for many years as the Rover Scout Den but rather sadly the small brick building held together with mortar mixed maybe over a century earlier began to crumble in the early 2000s and eventually succumbed to the heat and dry weather in the summer of 2006, finally collapsing into a pile of rubble and dust.
picture of HQ
Reflecting back to that now historic night in October 1928 Mr. King began the new Troop’s first parade with prayers and the saluting of the Union Jack. The simple procedure, started eighty years ago, is still continued today and in the same building, for the St. Dunstan’s Institute was to become the permanent home and Headquarters of the 1st Cheam. With its green corrugated iron walls and tiled roof the building today stands as a familiar landmark at the top of Malden Road.

 

Wolf Cubs

A couple of weeks after Bill King had held the first meeting of what was to grow into the 1st Cheam Group, he invited a Mr. Eric Alcorn to form the 1st Cheam Cub Pack. This he did with two boys in attendance on 5th November 1928 – perhaps not the wisest date to choose! The Pack flourished and grew at such a rate that in February 1938 it was decided to divide the Pack into two – “A” and “B” Packs to absorb the long waiting list.
Eric Alcorn
camp oldCamp new
The strength of the Scout Troop also grew fast and camping became a prime activity. It is believed the first summer camp took place in 1929 on a site near Bracknell in Berkshire. The boys slept in two bell tents loaned by the army. In more modern times the Troop have been enormously successful with its standard of camping and though the contest is no longer held, 1st Cheam have won the County Camping Competition seven times, first in 1948, then again in ’63, ’64, ’72, ’73. ’76. and 2001.
During the 2nd world war, service to the nation and the local community was much to the fore. Most of the young men who had become Scouters by the early forties were called up for national service. In their absence Mr. King ran the Troop alone during the six years of conflict while his sister Mrs. Cadot ran the Cub Pack on a Saturday afternoon.
  Cubs wartime
Sandbag filling  
The boys themselves spent much time collecting waste paper, books for the Red Cross, filling sandbags and erecting Morrison air raid shelters in people’s homes.
1st Cheam group

 

Today

See our home page for more details.

1st Cheam Group 2007

The Group celebrated the Centenary of Scouting with a Fun Day at Effingham. Activities during the year for the group included campfires, canal boating, hiking, camping, investitures, parades, swimming, outings and parties to name but a few.

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