A little bit of History

Sir Bertram Sackville Thesiger

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Personal Details

Sir Bertram Sackville Thesiger was born on the 14th January 1875, the son of Hon. Sir Edward Pierson Thesiger and Georgina Mary Stopford.  He married at the age of 46 on the island of Malta, when he was captain of HMS King George V,  to Violet Brodrick Cloete (nee Henley) aged 38 on the 3rd March 1921.  He lived at “Clerks” in Rectory Lane, Bramshott where he died on the 12th May 1966 aged 91.  His wife Voilet died on the 21st May 1973 in a Liss Nursing Home.

His career and military service

Sir Bertram joined the Royal Navy in 1887.  He was invested as a companion, Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG) in 1911.  He fought in the 1st World War and was mentioned in dispatches. During the 1914-18 war he commanded HMS Inconstant 1914-1915 and was in the battle of Jutland during 1916.  He was invested as a Companion, Order of the Bath (CB) in 1916 and was decorated with the order of St. Anne of Russia 2nd Class with swords and the order of St.Vladimir of Russia with swords.  He was also decorated with the United States Legion of Merit.

Other posts held included the office of the Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire and during the years 1921 to 1922 he was Aide-de-Camp to King George V.  During the years 1925 to1927 Sir Bertram was Admiral Superintendent of the Portsmouth Dockyard from 1927 to 1929 the Chief of the East Indies Station.

He ought in the 2nd World War and gained the rank of Commodore in the Royal Navy Reserve in was in charge of convoys and FOIC (Flag Officer In Charge) Falmouth from 1942 to 1944.  In 1942 he was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire (KBE).

His involvement in Scouting

The admiral wasn’t just “involved” in Scouting in the Liphook area he actually founded the first Scout troop in Liphook in 1908.  The troop was named the 1st Bramshott Scout Troop – “Thesiger’s Own” and existed until the late ’60s early ’70s.

Everyone knew that Sir Bertram was a personal friend of Robert Baden-Powell but what he never boasted about, nor mentioned to anyone, that he was jointly responsible with Baden-Powell for the notion of a Scouting movement. It was his wife Lady Violet, who was very proud of the fact and would tell everyone about it, probably to Sir Bertrams annoyance.

It is believed that before 1928 the Scout meetings took place in Chiltley Manor in Haslemere Road.  In 1928 Bishop Crossley donated a wooden building, he used as a study in the garden, to the troop.  It was re-erected on the site of the present Church Centre with a peppercorn rent of one shilling (5p) per annum in perpetuity.  The exact position was at the far end of the car park between the present building ‘s front wall and the hedge.  There was a search light position to the rear of the hut during World War 2.

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to Terry Smithers who provided all of the above information and the photographs.  If any one else has any further information, in particular the early days of Scouting in Liphook, please contact us at 

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 Hastings 1930 – The Admiral is 2nd from the right

 Isle of Wight – The Admiral is on the front row 3rd from right. Dr Frank Kennedy is on the top row 2nd from the right who was involved in Scouting all his life on the island. His claim to fame was he was the doctor for 4 of the 5 Train Cruises (see Scouting Milestones Website for story). He also attended a large number of conferences etc. and took many unique pictures of BP, Jam Roll and Eccles Cake.

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 Newspaper cutting dated 3rd August 1924

 Probably at “Clerks”

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 The Admiral

 Admiral with the jug, Lady Violet without hat

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 Admiral 2nd left

 Admiral with unknown Scouts

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 1st Bramshott Scouts possibly at “Clerks” 1935 Standing l – r: Arthur Ashdown, Ted Hawkins, Dick Smithers, John Harris, David Gaunlett. Kneeling: The Admiral, Dick Young. Front: Teddy West, Pat Smythe, Roy Barden, Arthur Johnson, ? Rigby, Walter Kingshott.

Unknown group. The Admiral at the end of the stick

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 Unknown group

 Possibly taken at Corf Camp on the Isle of Wight. The scouter to the forefront has a Hampshire Badge on his shoulder but the Lord Lodesboroughs Own had a scarf the same colours as the one he is wearing. They were the work party for the site that was acquired in the 1937. It is believed that a large number of scouters from Hampshire helped out with the initial development of the site in exchange for camping rights.

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1st Bramshott Scouts Camp 1933

1st Bramshott Scouts Camp 1933

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1st Bramshott Scouts Camp

1st Bramshott Scouts Camp

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1st Bramshott Scouts Camp

Admiral Thesiger

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Admiral Thesiger

Admiral Thesiger

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Admiral Thesiger (on the left) with his two brothers His Honour Judge Arthur Thesiger (centre) and on the right actor Ernest Thesiger.  The photograph was taken about six years before the Admiral died.