Chapter 4.

The War Years

1939 – 1945

At the outbreak of war Scouting was flourishing in Sale. there being 14 active Groups and a membership of 644. a great number of Scouters were called up and others were diverted to duties of National importance and it was remarkable that only 4 Groups ceased to exist during this period. The remaining 10 Groups carried on, some being led by the more senior Scouts, others having one or two adult leaders who were in reserved occupations.

The group at Normanhurst School never really got going and ceased early in the war, 8th Sale (Ross) and 12th Sale continued until about 1943 and 3rd sale until 1941.

There are few records of Scouting in the District during the war therefore not a lot can be written about those years. if a tendency is shown towards reporting on particular groups, it is because these groups have kept some records and others have not it may be that some gaps can be filled in later.

Baden Powell died in 1941 and a memorial service was held at Wesley Chapel in school Road, one month’s mourning was observed Scouts wearing a 2” black arm band around the left arm above the elbow.


1942 turned out to be quite an active year. The Executive and Wolf Cub sub—committees ran a beetle drive and whist drive early in the year and this was followed by a Cub outing to Wythenshawe Park and a football competition in April, 2nd Ashton being the winners. A Patrol Leaders conference was held at Sale Grammar School and in May the East Cheshire Patrol Leaders’ Conference was held at Altrincham Grammar School.

June proved to be a busy month. Cub and Scout sports were held (2nd Ashton the winners). The winners of the Swimming Gala  were:-

Cubs      –                              2nd Ashton

Scouts   –                              7th Sale

Senior Scouts     –              15th Sale

In July the Cubs had their day out to Tatton Park and they also held a concert and display to raise money for the BADEN-POWELL Memorial Fund – total proceeds £3 10s.

The scouts also helped the war effort by forming a comfort’s committee for the forces. This committee organised a collection of 12,000 “ship” halfpennies for the fund. Scouts also distributed hand bills entitled “Aid to Russia”. 15th Sale camped at Ambleforth Abbey and helped by felling 1,500 trees. They also won the athletics and ambulance competitions.

15th Sale were presented with their Troop Colour by Mr. T. Dobbins and they were jointly dedicated by the Rev. A. Maryon-watson, Vicar of St. Mary’s Church and the Rev. G. Bencon, Minister of Sale Congregational Church.

During 1942 Mr. J. Paley-Parish took over as District President from Frank Rossiter, David Stockwell became District Rover Leader, G. Rowlatt as District Secretary and R.K. Wardleworth as Badge Secretary.


1943 was an important year for 15th Sale as they re-registered that year and also produced the first Gang Show in Sale. East Cheshire held another Patrol Leaders‘ Conference – this time in Stockport and it was addressed by F. Hayden Dimmock from Headquarters. It was during this year that Dunham Park Scout Camp moved to “Home Park”. The Executive investigated the question of providing a District Headquarters (the first of many times) and 7th Sale Rovers, with aid from the District, carried out repairs to 3rd Ashton Scout Hut.


1944 began with a conference at 1st Brooklands Headquarters at which the President of Belgian Scouts spoke. There was a church parade to Ashton-upon-Mersey Congregational Church followed by the conference in the afternoon, and a campfire in the evening. The conference was summed up by Bertram Finch, Deputy Town Clerk of Sale and a District Lay Member.

15th Sale were again prominent, producing two shows – “Fleur-de-lys” in May and “Ali-Baba“ in December. Whilst camping at Dunham they were visited by The Princess Royal.

The usual competitions were held – sports, swimming gala in June, camping in September (won by 1st Brooklands) and a new competition — Scoutcraft, also in September and won by 7th Sale The trophy for this, a flag, was presented by M. McGrory

A memorial service was held for Lord Somers at Sale Presbyterian Church. Air Scouts were introduced, and 2nd Ashton and 4th Sale undertook theatrical training under Mr. Grant.

An Association Concert was suggested by Mr. Evans of 3rd Ashton and it was agreed that Girl Guides would participate if necessary – what an innovation !! A Dance at Sale Town Hall was organised by Ernest Conchie and raised £34 10s.

The District Headquarters Committee looked at the Barkers Lane School as a possibility. Scouts helped with the evacuees and were thanked for their assistance by the Town Clerk. Frank Highley became President replacing Mr. J. Paley-Parish and Ernest Conchie became District Scoutmaster. Mr. Wardleworth ceased to be Badge Secretary.

‘ The District Census showed that 10 Groups existed at this time – 1st Brooklands, 2nd Ashton (Lady Kilvert’s Own), 3rd Ashton, 4th Sale and Ashton, 5th Sale and Ashton, 7th Sale 9th Sale. 11th Sale, 14th Sale and 15th Sale (Sale Grammar School).


The highlight of 1945 was the award of the Medal of Merit to Mr. E. Bate, District ‘Commissioner. This was the first award to anyone in Sale District and was greatly appreciated. Mr. Bate later resigned as District Commissioner leaving Mr. Irvine, Deputy District Commissioner, in charge until a suitable replacement could be found.

A Rover/Ranger Conference was held at 1st Brooklands Headquarters in March and was attended by Glad Bincham, International Commissioner and Alan Bilby, International Secretary.

A District Camp-site Committee was set up – one suggestion, Wood End Farm, was considered unsuitable.

The Annual Dance in November raised £22 19s 7d.

Scouts attended the Civic Sunday Parade and were complimented by the Town Clerk as the smartest on Parade.

Miss. E. Chester became District Cubmaster and Badge Secretary. Ernest Conchie ceased to be District Scoutmaster and G. Rowlatt District Treasurer.

7th Sale moved to “Clarendon” on Clarendon Road.