Scouting in Rye

The 1st Rye Troop of Scouts ‘Captain Cory’s Own’ proudly held the official opening of their new Headquarters recently. Over 200 people, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Rye, Alderman and Mrs. W. J. Hacking, were present as Father Richard, the Group Scoutmaster, handed the key to County Commissioner, Colonel Robert Giles, who unlocked the main door and let the colour party, consisting of two scouts and two cubs, bring the standards into their new home.

Opening the New Scout Hut 1966
Opening the New Scout Hut 1966

Sitting in the audience on this grand day for Rye scouting, it is not difficult to think back in time and imagine the first group of Rye Scouts who started the local activities long ago in 1909, only two years after Lord Baden Powell of Gilwell had founded the first Boy Scout Group. It was two brothers who first brought scouting to Rye, Carlos and Albert Coleman. Inspired by Baden Powell’s “Scouting for Boys,” they soon had a group organised of twelve strong. The other lads were :—Reginald Pettitt, Hyland Haracy, Herbert Allen, E. A. Paine, Frank Reeve, George and Alfred Huggett, Frank Harrington, Frank Sherwood and George Dibley. After a few months these scouts approached Captain Cory, he accepted their invitation and became Scoutmaster.

Soon the numbers had swelled, and thirty five scouts from Rye attended the very first “Jamboree” held in Windsor Great Park that year.

By 1910, scout troops were also formed at Beckley, Northiam and Brede and in 1913, a sea scout group was formed at Rye Harbour as a sub section of the Coast Guards.

After the death of Captain Cory in 1911, his wife ran the Rye troop until the war years brought scouting activities to a close in the area.

After the first Great War, the Rye scouts became active again and the scouting tradition was carried on.

At the outbreak of the second great conflict the Rye Scouts were the hosts of many London scouts, evacuated to this area in the period of the “Phoney War.” Scouts did their bit in the war effort by collecting waste paper, scrap, etc.

A great benefactor and supporter of the 1st Rye troop, both actively and financially, was Mr. Humphrey Ellis, all those who have been or are connected with scouting in the area would wish to pay tribute to the late ‘Grand Old Man.’

A B.P. Scout Guild was formed in the town in 1962, this is open to anyone interested in helping the local groups behind the scenes.

Rye Cubs 1966

The 1st Rye Wolf Cub Pack at their Party on the 1st February at F.E. Centre

Scouting in Rye

There are two scout troops in the area, the 1st Rye, which has recently amalga­mated with the 2nd Rye Grammar School Group, and the 1st Northiam Scout Troop. Four cub packs, two in Rye, one in Northiam and one in Beckley. The total number of cubs and scouts in these groups stands today at about 100.

The Northiam Scouts opened their new Head­quarters three years ago, after a great deal of work on the part of parents, boys and friends.

Now, in 1966 Rye has its own Headquarters, well over £1,000 had to be raised before this project could be completed and credit must go to all those who had a hand in this great achievement.

“Rye’s Own” March 1966

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