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Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Memories & Memorabilia

school building

Duke of Edinburgh silver award & Three Queen’s Scout Awards

from The Aberdare Leader, 19 January, 1963 in School Archives

3 scouts with scoutmaster

Scouts from left to right : Jeffrey Hall, John Tomkins and Melvyn Davies
and their scoutmaster Mr. Colin Davies, M.A.

QUEEN SCOUT BADGES and Duke of Edinburgh silver award certificates were presented to three Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School sixth formers at the school on Friday evening when the Scouts’ District Commissioner, Mr. Phil Griffiths, and the headmaster, Mr. Jess Warren, B.A., M.Sc. (Econ.), together with a number of parents and friends, attended one of the weekly troop nights. The evening’s proceedings ended with this happy presentation ceremony, the recipients being John Tomkins (Aberdare) and Melvin Davies and Geoffrey Hall (Cwmbach).


The District Commissioner, referring to the Queen’s Scout award, said: “No scout can win this badge without putting his heart and soul into the movement and working very hard.”

After outlining the principle of public service — a vital characteristic of the scout movement — he said that the three lads with whom he had had the privilege of shaking hands that evening in qualifying as Queen’s Scouts, had paid particular attention to that aspect of things.

Among the large number of badges which were virtually plastered over the right sleeves of their scout shirts were badges for first-aid and fire- fighting and other things which could assist them in helping their fellows.

He was glad to hear that all three of the lads whom he had presented with their badges were already assisting with the conduct of scout and cub troops in the Aberdare district. He hoped that this would be only the beginning, and that eventually they would become good Scoutmasters — and perhaps hold higher and more responsible office in the movement.

The District Commissioner said he was delighted with the progress scouting was making in the Aberdare Valley. At the moment the number of lads in the movement locally was reaching the 500 mark.

Commissioner Griffiths expressed the thanks of the movement to the persons who were giving their services voluntarily week after week, year in and year out, to enable scouting to continue and to help it grow in strength. He also thanked the parents, and their many patrons for the admirable and consistent support they were giving the Aberdare and Mountain Ash Boy Scouts’ Association and all the troops and groups attached to it.


The headmaster, Mr. Jess Warren, in presenting the three Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award Certificates began by congratulating and commending the initiative of Prince Philip in establishing this award, which helped boys to get something to supplement their academic qualifications.

He went on to say that he was proud of the successes and achievements of the Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School scouts during their six years’ existence. He congratulated those who had had the initiative to found the troop and those who worked to keep it going.

The senior scoutmaster, Mr. Colin Davies, M.A., said, “Only a scout’s best will enable him to become a Queen’s Scout.” The three lads they were honouring that evening had added to this distinction by gaining a Duke of Edinburgh’s Scheme Award.

Group Scoutmaster Idris Jones said that the presentations that evening marked another significant step forward for the Grammar School scout troop, which already had quite a good record of achievement to boast about although it had been in existence for only six years.

He hoped the younger scouts would emulate the example set by these three senior scouts and the other senior scout — Ron Faulder — who had gained his Queen Scout badge the previous year.


“Judging by the way some of the younger scouts have been helping elderly people in cleaning paths and running errands in the recent icy conditions, there is every reason to believe that they will engender the spirit which will enable them to become worthy Queen’s Scouts,” he added.

The chairman of the Parents’ Committee, Mr. Tomkins, thanked the scoutmasters for the work they were doing in impressing on the boys who came under their jurisdiction the importance of public service.

Mr. Tomkins also thanked the headmaster and the Scouts’ District Commissioner for attending to make the presentations.

Also present was scoutmaster D. R. Evans, the secretary of the Parents’ Committee, Mr. D. W. Stephens, and the treasurer Mr. S. J. Williams.

The original Aberdare Leader article can be seen here.