Ever Youthful Donation

The latest object to be received at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre is an exciting “Boys’ Brigade” Programme from 1913.

A telephone caller, completely out of the blue, asked if we would like “The Stoke Sub Hamdon Boys’ Brigade Coming of Age Programme” and we said yes! as this is within our Collecting Policy of Yeovil and South Somerset and enhances the existing Stoke Sub Hamdon items in the collection.

The Boys’ Brigade was founded in Glasgow on 4th October 1883 by Sir William Alexander Smith. From this one company formed in Scotland ‘the BB’ has grown into a world wide movement having worked with millions of children and young people for well over a century.

The Brigade was founded on Christian values and offered a combination of drills and activities under an image of an anchor and the motto “Sure and Stedfast.”

The Stoke Sub Hamdon Boys Brigade was founded 9 years after the first group in 1892 and the programme was produced by the Western Gazette of Yeovil to mark the Brigade’s 21st Birthday (or “Coming of Age”) Many of the activities are reflected in the programme with fascinating photographs and include: “cooking, football and “Tug of War” on a camp visit.” There is also a notable village connection in “of the original officers, only the Captain, R.N. Southcombe now remains.” This is almost certainly a connection to Southcombes the glove, gaiter & juvenile clothing      manufacturers in the village of Stoke Sub Hamdon.

There is also a print of Sir William Alexander Smith included inside the celebratory programme.

Stoke Boys 1760 Stoke Boys 3762

Stoke Boys 2761Stoke Boys 4763Stoke Boys 5764 1910 Kelly’s Directory of Somersetshire listing Southcombe Brothers Limited and some of the other Commercial Businesses at the time.


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