The Boys’ Brigade Archive Trust Virtual Museum.

The Boys’ Brigade was founded in 1883partnering with local churches to work with children and young people, sharing the gospel and encouraging the development of a personal Christian faith. From its early days in Victorian Glasgow, The Boys’ Brigade has reached the lives of millions of young people and leaders worldwide, and spawned the organised youth work and uniformed youth culture which is an important part of society worldwide in the 20th and 21st centuries. 

The Boys’ Brigade has a rich history and legacy, and much of this is preserved in the memories of current and ex-members. Whilst it is difficult to capture the spirit of The Boys’ Brigade through a virtual museum, we hope to have succeeded in creating an interactive experience which will help in reliving the experiences.  This museum will continue to be developed, with new content being added through the efforts of the volunteers dedicated to preserving the heritage of The Boys’ Brigade. We are particularly keen to start including oral histories, and anyone with BB experience is welcome to get in touch with us to contribute.  

The Boys’ Brigade Archive Trust accepts donations of materials from individuals, Companies and Battalions, including correspondence, books, photographs, uniform, badges, flags, colours, records, and minute books etc. If you would like to know more about the contributing to the collection, please email archive@boys-brigade.org.uk and download the objects donor’s form. 

The Boys’ Brigade Archive Trust is a registered charity and is reliant on the donations and support of ex-members. If you would like to contribute, please see the gift aid form and giving pages. 

Donations can be sent to:
The Boys’ Brigade Archive Trust
Felden Lodge, Felden Lane
Herts, HP3 0BL 

Timeline

2016

Timore-Leste

Phillipines

2010

Macau

1999

1998

Benin

1995

Cambodia

Thailand

1994

Fiji

1989

1989

D.R. Congo

1984

Indonesia

Swaziland

1984

1980.

Cayman Is.

1979

Lesotho

Brazil

1977

Curacao

1973

1972

Holland

Germany

1972

1972

Togo

Barbuda

1968

1967

Gambia

Rwanda

1966

1964

Vanuatu

Fakaofo Is.

1964

1964

Brunei

1963

Liberia

St Maarten

1963

1962

Cote d'ivore

Burundi

1962

Tuvalu

1961

1961

Tobago

St Lucia

1961

1961

Aruba

1960

Monserrat

Tokelau Is.

1959

1959

Ellice Is.

1957

Zambia

Cameroon

1957

1957

Virgin Is.

Haiti

1957

Antigua

1956

1956

Anguella

Gilbert Is.

1955

Samoa

1953

1953

Nauru

1950

Solomon Is.

Zimbabwe

1946

Niue

Malaysia

1946

1945

Falkland Is.

Nevis

1945

1944

Dominica

1940

Western Samoa

1938

St Eustatius

1937

Sudan

Mauritius

1937

1936

Tanzania

Cook Islands

1935

Uganda

1933

Turks & Caicos

1933

1930

Singapore

Portugal

1930

1928

Sierra Leone

Latvia

1925

1920

Botswana

Bermuda

1912

1911

Malawi

Egypt

1911

1910

Hong Kong

Ghana

1910

1909

Kenya

1909

Bahamas

Nigeria

1908

1905

Japan

1903

China

Burma

1902

1899

Papua New Guinea

Belize

1899

1898

Guyana

Grenada

1898

1895

Sri Lanka

Trinidad

1895

1894

India

St Kitts

1894

1894

Panama

Barbados

1893

1892

St Vincent

Jamaica

1892

1891

USA

1889

1889

Canada

South Africa

1889

New Zealand

1886

Carronvale House

The Archive Trust are delighted to announce work on “Carronvale House – A Pictorial History” is now well under way and we need your help. Do you have photographs of your time in the house over the years? Perhaps you have a box of photos of camps, training courses or other events held at Carronvale? Or maybe you’ve attended a special occasion or welcomed a special guest? We want to hear from you. Please get in touch with archive@boys-brigade.org.uk with any contributions you may have – all gratefully received!

Robert Cunningham

Under Construction

The Boys’ Brigade has enrolled thousands of Companies since 1883, and these records are held in the BB Archives. For several years now, work has been ongoing to digitise these records and enter the information into a searchable data base. It is hoped that this database will be available soon to support the Company Lookup feature in this museum.

If you wish to assist with this project either by volunteering or with financial support please email for further information.

Archive@boys-brigade.org.uk

BBatHOME

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the UK in 2020, the face-to-face meetings with over 40,000 children and young people had to be suspended. In response to this, on Friday 20th March 2021, the Brigade programme team launched #BBatHOME a programme designed to enable The Boys’ Brigade to continue to reach out to members and non-members alike supported by their parents/carers. This was used by many companies as a means to maintain contact with their members until face to face meetings could be resumed.

Juniors 100

In 2017 The Boys’ Brigade celebrated the centenary of the Junior Section with the ‘Juniors 100 Challenge’. The challenge consisted of 100 tasks which Juniors were encouraged to complete during the calendar year. Activities included raising money for charity, helping in the community, and learning about the history of the B.B. In addition, September 2017 saw Companies in the UK take part in ‘The Big 100 Birthday Party’.

2012 Queens Diamond Jubilee Baton Relay

After leaving Balmoral Castle Her Majesty’s message started out on its journey being carried throughout the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland by members of The Boys’ Brigade. Companies were challenged to come up with different ways of carrying the baton and over the next few weeks it was carried on foot, by cycle, roller skate, speed boat and milk float among others. Events and activities had been arranged to mark the baton reaching different towns and cities, and in many areas the Lord-Lieutenant or other local dignitary greeted the young people carrying the baton. The baton travelled from Scotland to Northern Ireland, and then via the Republic of Ireland, Wales and through England before finally reaching Brigade Council on Saturday 15th September 2012.

Girls Association

From 1st April 2009, Uniform for members of The Girls’ Association was available to purchase. The introduction of the uniform, carrying its own emblem, came after a decision by the Executive the previous year to allow girls to associations to become part of The Boys’ Brigade and work towards the same proficiency badges as Boys. The changes also meant the youngest age group would become the ‘Anchor Section’, removing the word Boys from the previous title.

125th Anniversary

2008 was a special year in the history of The Boys’ Brigade as the movement celebrated the 125th anniversary of the founding of the first Company, the 1st Glasgow. The year was one of reflection, as The Boys’ Brigade looked back at the millions of lives who had been impacted by the work of the movement. It was also a moment to look to the future, take stock, and move forward with renewed confidence.

125th Anniversary

Memorial Garden

Tattoo 25.04.2009

Millenium

The Boys’ Brigade moved into the new century and new millennium with a series of celebrations inspired by the ‘Millennium pack’ that was circulated to all Companies. A focus for the year was the Brigade’s Millennium appeal for the RNLI. The targets were ambitious, and the total of £159688.95 raised enabled the RNLI to purchase two new Atlantic 75 Inshore Lifeboats carrying the names ‘The Boys’ Brigade’ and ‘Sure and Steadfast’.

Lifeboats

Streetwise

Streetwise was an initiative from the International Teams Awareness Project which aimed to highlight the issues faced by disadvantaged street children in South Africa and to help tackle prejudices and injustices in communities at home and overseas. In May 1997, a 12-month awareness project began with the aim of sharing these children’s message whilst also providing The Boys’ Brigade with major exposure in the media.

The BBig Event

The BBig Event took place in Lanarkshire, Scotland, over the long weekend starting on 5 May. Under glorious sunshine, a programme of activities was carried out to showcase the best of ‘BB’. Brian Irvine (Aberdeen & Scotland International Footballer) discussed ‘spiritual food’ with BBC Sports Presenter, Hazel Irvine, at the BBig Service in Fir Park Football Stadium in front of an audience of around 9,000, with the praise led by the BBig Band and BBig Sound.

Amicus

During the late 1980’s, The Boys’ Brigade, alongside churches and other youth organisations, began to find it had become increasingly difficult to retain older boys. In fact, during the 1980s membership overall fell by a third, the reduction in Company Sections was actually 50%. However, their belief was still that they had an important role to play in contributing to the churches’ work with the teenage group. As a reaction to this need, the BB launched Amicus in January 1994; a pilot scheme to be an alternative programme for young people between 15 and 22

Windsor Royal Review

On 30th April, 1994, 1,100 Seniors and Officers from 330 Companies in Britain and Ireland paraded for the Queen at Windsor Castle for a Royal Review. By special permission of the Queen, the parade route approached the castle via the Long Walk from Cambridge Gate and then on to the Quadrangle. The parade marked the retirement of Lord Thurso from Brigade activities and the appointment of Lord Strathmore as President.

Juniors 75th

In 1992, the Junior Section celebrated the 75th Anniversary with fun events, parties, team games, recruiting programmes, and the challenge was put out to all Junior Sections to undertake a form of Community Service.

Aberdeen International Camp

Some 800 Officers and Boys from the United Kingdom and overseas spent ten days under canvas at the BB International Camp held at Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen. The overseas contingent included visitors from South Africa, Singapore, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. The Camp was divided into twelve Companies each carrying the name of a Scottish Castle. Competitions between ‘Castles’ occupied most mornings, with the afternoons engaged in specialised activities such as dry slope skiing, canoeing, and sailing. Among the highlights of the camp was a visit by HRH The Prince Edward.

Centenary of Camping

Following the success of the Centenary Camp at Scone Palace in 1983 a similar event to recreate the spirit and fellowship in a celebration of a Centenary of camping was organised. More than 1,000 Boys and Officers from all parts of the United Kingdom and several overseas countries joined the camp held at Rozelle Park, Ayr, in August 1986. The highlight of the event was a pilgrimage to Tighnabruaich, the site of the first camp of our first Company: the 1st Glasgow in 1886.

Centenary

The centenary year of The Boys’ Brigade opened in January with ‘Camp BB 100’ held at Mystery Creek, New Zealand. Alongside the parades, church services, and reviews held across the World were exceptional activities which included a BB Train, Glasgow Corporation Bus, and B.B. Red Rose. Amongst the more high-profile events were the ‘Centenary Salute’ outdoor display at Ibrox Stadium and the ‘Royal Review’ at Holyrood Park.

Centenary

Royal Review

Centenary salute

Train Naming

Centenary Camp

Atlantic Camp

Campus 83

Weekend

Royal Mail stamp

Public awareness of The Boys’ Brigade was strengthened in a way previously unseen with the issue of the BB Post Office stamps on 24 March. For several months every first-class stamp carried a picture of two Brigade Boys. Millions of stamps showing these Boys in uniform circulated throughout the world, with Officers and Boys alike encouraged to make the most of this unusual opportunity for publicity by adding these to Christmas cards, birthday cards to Boys, and on invitations to Company and Battalion displays.

First for Boys

In 1979 the whole movement was challenged to action, with the slogan ‘The Boys’ Brigade — FIRST FOR BOYS’. The campaign sought to increase numbers, enhance visibility, and improve the standards of Officers in the Brigade. On 15 September the ‘FFB Balloon’ went up in Glasgow to signal the start of the Brigade’s National Development Campaign. The campaign received high-profile support from a host of celebrities including Eric Morecambe, Cliff Richard, and Jimmy Hill.

Anchor Boys

In 1977 the introduction of a ‘Pre-Junior Section’ (known as the Anchor Boys from September 1982, then later ‘Anchor Section’) saw the extension of The Boys’ Brigade to boys aged six to eight. The extension to the younger age group furthered the influence of the Brigade amongst children in their formative years. In addition, the new Section enabled the Brigade to welcome into membership new leaders.

Opening of Parsons Green

The official opening of Brigade House by Her Royal Highness The Princess Alexandra took place on 9 December, 1966. The opening of the International Headquarters of The Boys’ Brigade and The Girls’ Brigade at Parsons Green had been scheduled to be undertaken by Her Majesty The Queen. However, due to catarrhal laryngitis, The Queen was unable to attend, with her cousin undertaking the Royal duties instead. Just before 3 p.m. cheers of the onlookers heralded the arrival of the Princess who read a letter from Her Majesty The Queen which commented on a new era, and fresh epoch in the history of the two movements.

Haynes Report

The Haynes committee report of 1964, proposed some significant changes to the structure of the Boys’ Brigade. Foremost was fully integrating the Life Boys into the organisation and creating a three-section Company structure of the B.B. This new section for Boys aged eight to twelve, known as the ‘Junior Section’, was another step in extending membership in The Boys’ Brigade for young people, whilst the BB Company, was split into the Company and Senior Section. The Senior Section seen as a way to counteract the membership loss of the older Boys.

80th Anniversary

1963 was the 80th year of the Brigade at home and overseas, with a series of events brought together to mark the anniversary. The Worldwide fellowship of the B.B. was celebrated at an International Camp in Perthshire, with 1,174 Boys (including 126 from overseas) in attendance. The camp was followed by the first meeting of the B.B. Conference which came together to reaffirm the global reach of the Brigade.

HQ Appeal Run

During the 1960s an Appeal Fund was launched to secure a permanent headquarters building for the Brigade in London. In order to collect much-needed cash for this, the Executive arranged ‘The Great Relay Run’, which was planned to end at Mansion House on 11th May 1961. Over 2,500 runners took part in the run, covering 3,000 miles via five routes starting from John O’Groats, Northern Ireland, Fishguard, Land’s End, and Cromer.

Festival of Sport

Over 400 senior BB Boys spent eight days under canvas, during which they were trained by some of the top experts of the country in the sport of their choice, and also to worship and to think about the things of God in relation to their own lives.

Fourteen different sports, from football to weightlifting, were offered, and Boys were allowed to specialise in one, and to “dabble” in one other.

The Boys were housed in a canvas camp, divided into four Companies—two with English staff, one with Irish and one with Scottish.

75th Anniversary

In 1958 the Queen and Prince Philip received attendees of The Boys’ Brigade Council at Balmoral Castle. 1200 Officers were in attendance during the event and, for the first time in history, the Sovereign personally presented the Queen’s Badge. 1958 was the 75th Anniversary of the B.B. and celebrations included international camps in New Zealand, Jamaica, and the 750 Training Camp in Shropshire.

750 Camp

Jamaica 75

Balmoral

Duke of Edinburgh Award

In 1955 experimental and secretive steps were taken in the development of a new and innovative Award Scheme for young people in Britain. The idea was formed by Prince Philip and received support from Sir John Hunt, leader of the successful British Expedition of Mount Everest in 1953. The programme – The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – was a mixture of outdoor training and mountaineering and, following the success of an ‘Adventurous Training’ course for Senior Boys in August 1955, The Boys’ Brigade Training Committee was convinced of the need for such a scheme and the programme was taken up with enthusiasm. Since the late 1950s, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme has been an integral part of the programme of work for older Boys in Companies throughout the Brigade, with thousands receiving Gold, Silver, or Bronze Awards in recognition of their efforts.

 

Founders Centenary

The hundredth anniversary of the birth of William Alexander Smith in 1954 was another milestone in B.B. history for Boys at home and abroad, with several events of national importance taking place. June witnessed the ‘Festival of Boyhood’ at Wembley Stadium where 3,000 Boys’ took part in a demonstration and a ‘Founders Camp’ for 2,500 Boys was held on Eton’s famous playing fields that August.

Founders Centenary

Festival of Boyhood

International Camp

Festival of Britain

The Festival of Britain was a national exhibition and fair that reached millions of visitors throughout the United Kingdom in the summer of 1951. The B.B. joined in by organising a ” B.B. Festival of Britain Run,” with relays of Boy-runners on five routes, from the extremities of the United Kingdom to London, carrying a Message to the King. The Run continued by day and night, stopping only on Sunday, with hand-over ceremonies in hundreds of towns and villages through which the runners passed. Each route was timed so as to reach London on the 10th of May for the Reception by King George VI at Buckingham Palace.

Opening of Felden Lodge

On Saturday, 22 August, the official opening of Felden Lodge by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester, took place. After an inspection of the Guard of Honour, the opening service commenced with the singing of the hymn ‘Now thank we all our God’. The house was formally handed over to The Boys’ Brigade by C. H. Torrance, the Deputy High Commissioner of the Union of South Africa, before the Duke of Gloucester declared the house ‘open’.

1947 - Opening Carronvale House

Though the Brigade first took ownership of Carronvale House in August 1946, it was on 28 June the following year that “The Boys’ Brigade Training Centre, Carronvale House” was officially opened by Brigade President, The Earl of Home. Around 1,400 people attended the opening and enjoyed performances by the 3rd Edinburgh Company Brass Band and the Denmark Expedition Pipe Band. The House was officially declared ‘open’ following a service of dedication. After a tour of the House, displays by the gymnasts of the Glasgow Battalion, the National Anthem, and Retreat, the sun set on the first day in the life of the Brigade’s newest institution.

1943 - Diamond Jubilee

1943 was the Diamond Jubilee year of The Boys’ Brigade, with several high-profile displays taking place, including those at the Royal Albert Hall and Hampden Park. Royal appreciation was conferred to Brigade by the King with a Review at Windsor Castle. The Review of a detachment of 300 selected N.C.O.s was a special occasion, with the King wishing luck to the movement built on the ‘twin pillars of religion and discipline’.

World War II

Within twenty years of the official ending of WW1 in 1919, Britain was back at war with Germany and the other Axis powers. As in WW1, the Boys of the Brigade were required to take up arms to defend the country, and again there was to be an important role for them to play on the ‘Home Front’.

World War II

National Service

Evacuation

Festival of Youth

As part of the 1937 Festival of Youth, The Boys’ Brigade gave the largest massed physical training display ever staged in Britain, at the Empire Stadium in Wembley. The Festival was organized by the British Sports and Games Association in conjunction with the Central Council of Recreative Physical Training, with the aim that the work displayed would be demonstrative of the work performed by the King George Jubilee Trust.

 

1937 Belfast Royal Review

In July 1937, their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth paid a state visit to Northern Ireland as part of the celebrations to mark the Coronation of the new monarch. After luncheon was taken, the King and Queen, along with the thousands of spectators in attendance – witnessed a commanding display of strength from the masses of children from the variety of uniformed youth organisations in Northern Ireland. The review (held at the specific request of His Majesty) was attended by a contingent of 4,200 from The Boys’ Brigade making it the largest B.B. parade held in Northern Ireland at that time

Balrossie

Balrossie is a name that may not be known to many but in the late 1930’s this was a Boys’ Brigade centre set in the picturesque area of Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire. It had a short but eventful history, dominated by a devastating fire, and ending with the start of the second world war. The opening was optimistic as The BB Gazette September 1935 recorded:

The opening of Balrossie, the new B.B. Conference House at Kilmacolm, on the 29th of June by the Brigade President, was witnessed by a great crowd of Brigade Officers and supporters. The House should become famous as a centre for training and conference and as a camp site. It is hoped that Balrossie will bring together for short periods B. B. men who, among its delightful surroundings, can discuss their common interests and problems. Similarly, for our junior movement the House will perform its function of uniting Life Boy Leaders in their desire for strength and inspiration.

Jubilee

In September 1933 Glasgow became the nexus of the movement as the city played host to a series of events to mark the Jubilee. Celebrations included a camp at Dechmont, a Conventicle at Hampden Park attended by over 100,000 people, and a Royal Review and inspection of 32,520 Boys (¼ of the strength of the movement) by H.R.H the Prince of Wales at Queen’s Park. The parade procession included a band of 637 pipers.

Jubilee

Conventicle

Dechmont Camp

1st Glasgow

BB Supplies

From July 1927 the Equipment Department (later B.B. supplies) was formed to meet the equipment needs of Companies that had previously been served by external contractors. Orders of uniforms and badges were sent via official order forms supplied by Headquarters, with price lists distributed which included the authorised articles of uniform and equipment.

Union

 From 1st June 1926 no Company of The Boys’ Brigade were allowed to use model rifles for any purpose. This action was the final obstacle to overcome for the amalgamation with the Boys’ Life Brigade to happen. The Union saw the adoption of the name and uniform of The Boys’ Brigade, with the red cross joining the B.B. anchor on the new crest. The younger sections of both movements for under-12s became the ‘The Life Boys’.

BB Week

In the aftermath of the First World War The Boys’ Brigade was in financial difficulty, with donations and subscriptions drying up. It was proposed that members should be encouraged to raise money through collections among family and friends. The result was the first ‘B.B. Week’ launched in England and Wales during the last week in November 1921. ‘B.B. Week’ was rolled out to the whole movement the following year.

Boys Life Brigade - Life Boys

The formation of the Boys’ Life Brigade Life Boys in 1920, catered for the 9-12 year old age group, and used the life buoy as its logo with a square in the centre divided into four parts, each representing the areas of training which they covered. This four square training programme covered physical, spiritual, education and social activities.

The Life boy teams were associated with Boys Life Brigade Companies, but did not take the designation of the Boys Life Brigade Company.

Formation of Boy Reserves

The creation of the first junior branch of the Boys’ Brigade, the Boy Reserves, was a response to the increasing number of Boys under the age of twelve joining B.B. Companies without proper authorisation. The separate organisation for Boys aged nine to twelve was designed to train recruits for the senior movement and had its own nautical-themed uniform including a sailor’s cap, navy jersey, and shorts.

1914 World War 1

Upon the declaration of war with Germany in August 1914, when many BB Boys were still in annual summer Camp, leaders and senior boys were among the first to get to their local recruiting office to volunteer for military service. Although the BB had opted out of the Government’s Territorial Cadet Scheme, unlike the Church Lads’ Brigade, Jewish Lads’ Brigade and Catholic Boys’ Brigade, war was now a different matter.

National Service

Rest Huts

1913 Introduction of the Kings Badge

In 1914 the very first awards of the King’s Badge were made to Sgt. A. Reid (1st Glasgow) and Sgt. F. Sturch (1st Warley). Introduced in September 1913, and named with permission of the Monarch, the award grouped the physical and educational attainments of the increasing badge structure. Known as ‘The Queen’s Badge’ since 1953, it remains the highest award in the Brigade and indicates a sustained commitment to the B.B.

BB Scouts

General Baden-Powell – hero of Mafeking and founder of the Scouts – was a friend of The Boys’ Brigade. Following the popularity of Scouting for Boys, and the success of the camp at Brownsea Island, the Executive sanctioned the formation of B.B. Scouts in 1909. These were an imitation of the Scouts, with Sections wearing matching uniforms. The move was taken against the judgement of the Founder and most Companies had short lives.

Heroism

In October 1904, the Cross for Heroism was awarded for the first time. It is the highest bravery award that can be obtained by a boy in the Brigade and has sometimes been referred to as ‘the Victoria Cross of the BB’. It is certainly not awarded lightly, in fact when it was first instituted on 1st September 1902 the Gazette had this to say about its merit: ‘It is made of bronze, so it is not its intrinsic value that will be appreciated, but because it is to be awarded only to a boy who has performed a really brave act, or a signal act of self sacrifice.’

 

Boys Life Brigade

The Boys Life Brigade was founded in 1899 as a non-military boys’ organization working along very similar lines to The Boys’ Brigade. John Brown Paton, a Scot from Newmilns in Ayrshire but who had lived most of his life in England, was a Congregational minister, recently retired as Principal of the Nottingham Congregational Institute. He was an admirer of William Smith and the methods of The Boys’ Brigade.

Paton’s organization evolved out of the apprehension of many Churches, particularly in the Nonconformist sphere, at the paramilitary forms of the other Brigades. The Boys’ Life Brigade was to be an integral part of the Nonconformist National Sunday School Union, more so than the B.B., and the control and staffing of the organization reflected this influence.

The BB Magazine for Boys

The ‘BB Magazine’ – published for the first time in 1895 by The Sunday School Union for The Executive Committee of The Boys’ Brigade – was the first of many Boys’ Magazines to follow. These included The Brigadier (1901 – 1904), The Boys’ Bulletin (1918 – 1920), the Stedfast Mag (1953 – 1979) and, most recently, Blink (2006 – 2007).

First Issue of The Boys’ Brigade Gazette

The first issue of the ‘Boys’ Brigade Gazette was published in March 1889. Six copies were sent to every Company Captain for distribution to other Officers. The first issue contained sixteen pages of small font text with no pictures included to supplement the articles.

The Gazette has appeared regularly ever since as the official magazine of The Boys’ Brigade in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland….

First Camp of the 1st Glasgow Company

During the Fair Holiday in July 1886, the 1st Glasgow Company held the first camp.

Designed to keep the Company in contact with its members during the summer months, the week away at Tighnabruaich on the Kyles of Bute saw Boys enjoy expeditions by boats, games, and rambling in the hills. Despite concerns from parents, the first camp was not under canvas but instead campers slept in farm outbuildings…

Formation of Brigade Council

As Smith realized the potential of the movement he had begun, he called a meeting of those involved in the two existing companies, on 26 January 1885, when the meeting agreed to designate itself as the ‘Council of The Boys’ Brigade’. A constitution was drawn up and it was confirmed that a company requesting registration required to be connected to a church or other religious body. Thereafter, the Brigade advanced dramatically and by the time the newly formed Council had held its first annual meeting on 12 October 1885, fifteen companies had been enrolled, twelve in Glasgow and three in Edinburgh.

 

Founding of The Boys’ Brigade

On 4th October 1883, William Alexander Smith – a Sunday School teacher from Thurso – held the first meeting of The Boys’ Brigade. The gathering, which took place at the North Woodside Mission in Glasgow, saw 28 Boys respond to attend this new idea for Christian development. Following 3 further nights of recruitment a total of 59 names were taken, with 35 enrolling in what would become the 1st Glasgow Company….

Victorian Youth Society

Victorian children lived very different lives to children today. Poor children often had to work to earn money for their family. … Disease and early death were common for both rich and poor people. Victorian children did not have as many toys and clothes as children do today and many of them were homemade.