It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Ken Thomson, Vice President in South East Scotland Region and previous Chair of the Scottish Board, passed away on 20 May 2020.

Ken had a long and distinguished ‘career’ in Scouting, starting as a youth member, and gaining his Queen’s Scout Award in 1967. He held a wide range of adult roles including Assistant Cub Scout Leader and Scout Leader in 30th Inverleith Scout Group at Davidson’s Mains, District Commissioner in Liberton, and Area Commissioner for Edinburgh. Ken was a Leader Trainer at District, Area, Regional and Scottish levels, and in recent years an inspiring Assistant Regional Commissioner for Adult Training in SE Scotland. 

Ken also played a key role in Scottish Scouting as Chair of Scouts Scotland and Chair of the Finance Committee for the UK Scout Council.  Ken was presented with the Silver Wolf for specially distinguished service in April 2003.

The photo shows Ken (on the right) with Andy Matthews who was the Chief Commissioner for Scotland (on the left).

Ken was a wonderful person who lived to serve others through his roles in Scouting, as head teacher at Lasswade High School in Midlothian, and his lifelong membership of Rotary International.

Many of you will have known and been very grateful to Ken, and will remember him for his great ability to make each one of us feel very special. On a personal level, I am very thankful for the support and guidance that I received from Ken when I took on the role of ARC (Adult Training) and then as Regional Commissioner. 

Ken had been in hospital for some months, during which time his condition had steadily deteriorated. Recently he was allowed home and passed away peacefully there. The esteem in which Ken is held has been clear by the number of warmhearted tributes from across Scouting following the news of his passing.

We send his wife Alison all our sympathy and grateful thanks for his many years of service to our movement.

We are looking at suitable ways to pay tribute to Ken and his huge contribution to Scouting throughout the Region. We will share more details about his funeral, and a special commemorative event, hopefully after social distancing ends, as soon as we have them. In the meantime, we would love members to share their memories and photos of Ken. You can do this through our social media channels or by emailing

Margery Naylor
Regional Commissioner
South East Scotland Scouts