A scout troop logbook dating back more than 80 years has been discovered in Edinburgh by Scout leader of the 107th Craiglockhart Scouts, Gavin Corbett. The logbook dates back to November 1939 and contains a detailed record of every activity which took place for two years. Covering the period between 24 November 1939 and 14 November 1941 the logbook covers the activities of the scouts during the darkest days of war.

Gavin said: “Even in ordinary times, this would be a wonderful find. Dating right from the early days of our scouts it’s a detailed account of the ordinary things that scout troops get up to and it’s fascinating to compare with what we do now, 80 years later.

“First aid, hall games, mapping and camps are very much staples today. However, we no longer light fires in the hall, and girls as well as boys are part of the troop now. I think our 1939 predecessors would be puzzled by our modern-day equivalents of the log book, Online Scout Manager and Scout Facebook pages. However, they would recognise at least some of the tents we still use which go back to the 1940s.”

Gavin said the book was found in the house of a friend of a neighbour’s mother and was passed on to him due to his position as Scout Leader of 107th Pentland Scouts which are based in Craiglockhart Church and were originally called the Craiglockhart Scouts. However, it is not known what the connection between the person who had the book and the Scout troop is as none of the names were familiar to the family who found the logbook. The book is a direct link for the current troop to the activities of those who came before them more than 80 years ago during the some of the worst days of the Second World War. He added the book is full of lists written with meticulous handwriting as well as some line drawings by the scout leader.

Gavin said: “The timing is extra special though as, in common with all scouts across the UK, all meetings and activities are suspended. So, I have said we will post a picture of one page a day out to our current group of scouts and families so that they keep up the scouting habit, remotely for the time being. It’s striking that even though the log book is written in war years, many of the ordinary things we all relish continued. It’s a good message to hold onto while we look forward to the time we can get back together, camping, exploring the local countryside and enjoying all the things that those scouts in 1939 enjoyed.”

The book also includes the activities which took place around the death of the founder of the Scout movement, Robert Baden-Powell who died in January 1941 in Kenya.


Gavin Corbett
Scout Leader, 107th Pentland Scouts