National Boy Scout Uniforms: Unknown Images

Figure 1.--This is obviously a European Scout group. HBU does not know what nationality. A British reader tells us that this group is probably British 'Senior Scouts'. Which would date them before 1968 when the section was discontinued. The photograph, however, looks more like the 1970s to us.

HBU has obtained a number of images of Scout uniforms, but can not identify the nationality. For European Scouts, if you know which association, please specify. Some countries like America have one national Scout association. In many European countries there are several different associations, often with significantly different uniforms. If you can figure out what country these boys are from, please let HBU know. Also if you can date the image that would also be helpful.

Image 1: England

This is obviously a European Scout group, probably photograpged in the 1970s or 80s. The Scouts here wear maroon berets with green shirts. I'm not sure if the short pants are green or khaki. They are wearing ankle socks which suggests to us the 1980s is morev likely than the 70s.We thought at first it might be British, but British Scouts were not wearing shorts in the 1970s and 1980s, except for the small Baden Powell Association. HBU does not know what nationality. A British reader tells us, "I believe are British, and are 'Senior Scouts' 15 - 18 yr olds a section that ceased in 1968. Senior Scouts wore the same uniform as their younger brothers but differentiated it by wearing a maroon beret, maroon shoulder slides and garter tabs, and maroon square proficiency badges. These lads are certainly wearing the beret, and though the image is a little indistinct, they seem to have the eppaullettes (shoulder slides). The terrain looks very similar to the stuff I hiked through as a Senior Scout in those days. It is believed that maroon was chosen, as the section was formalised in 1944/45 and the special heroes of youngsters in those war days were the newly formed Paratroopers who wore (and still do) a maroon beret as a status symbol of their special airborne training."

Image 2

Here is another unidentified European Scout group. It is clearly another European Scout group. The Scouts here are wearing khaki uniforms. It looks to have been taken in the 1990s, but we have no idea at this time what country is involved..

Image 3: Brazil

This is a recent photograph, probably taken in 2003. We have no idea when the Scouts are from. It appears to be a tropical country. The boys wear tan shirts with badges, green kerchiefs and jeans. The jeans appear to be a uniform item adopted by the entire toop.

Image 4: England

This photograph shows Baden Powell reviewing a group of Scouts in 1919. We thouht at first that the Scouts were English. We note, however, that the Scouts mostly wear jumpers (sweaters) instead of Scout shirts. They wear belts over the sweaters. I do not seem to note English Scouts dressed like this. English Cubs wore jumpers rather than shirts, but we notice the Scouts wearing shirts. We are unsure if these are English Scouts or not.

Image 5: France

Hre we have a set of images. We think they are French. Perhaps a French colony, but surely French. The Scout uniforms look French to us. The boys wear the wide brimmed hat with a light colored shirt and darker short pants. A photograph of other boys show them wearing berets and sailor suits the boys wear look French to us. There also seems to be French flags in evidence and a French banmner at a Catholic religious ceremony. There is one minor complication. The Scouts are seving as an honor guard for a man who seems to be English. At least we assume he is English as there is an English flag on his casket. One would assumer that this means that he was active in Scouting. Also the artitecture does not look French, again suggesting that this might be a colony. I'm not sure how to date the photographs, perhaps the late 1940s. Perhaps some of our readers will have some idea where this is.

Image 6: Estonia

Here we see what looks to be Boy Scouts and girl guides attending a funeral. Presumably it is a funeral for a Scout in their troop or perhaps an adult leader. Based on the uniforms, especially the girls' uniforms, we are fairly certain the children here are a Scout and Guide group. We are not sure about the country. We thought the cleric at the right looked like a German Lutheran pastor. We are not sure about this. Perhaps our readers will know more about this. One difficult here is that the photograph is dated 1934 on the back. This would seem to rule out Germany, because the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides were banned in Germany after Hitler and the NAZIs seized power. The fact that the mourners are so well uniformed makes it unlikely to be Germany, at least in 1934. One curious fact is the number of boys with close cropped hair. This was still common in Germany during the early 1920s, but less so by the 1930s.

Image 7: Low Lands

This snapshot is unidentified. It shows a group that is obviousl Boy scouts saluting a group of peasant, proibably in the 1920s. At the time Scouts uniforms were similar in many countries. The boys are obviously European. It looks to us based on the peasant woman's white head wear that the group is froim the Low Lans (Belgium or the Netherlands) or perhaps northern France. We are also unsure why the boys are saluting the peasants. Most of the boys would have neem middle-class boys from towns and cities. Perhaps the peasants provided a lunch for the boys during a hike into the countryside.

Image 8: American

This snap shot has us baffled. We at first assumed this group of boys was Anerican, largely because of the left flag. It looks American, but we can not see the entire flag, only the stripes. We do not recognize the flag on the right. Usually flags are a helpful clue as to nationality, but here they only leave us confused. The boys look to be European or American. The caps and shirts do not look like American Scout uniform items. We are not sure just what kind of cap they are wearing. The knee socks, especially the light-colored ones, also do not look American. The back ground looks like it might be part of the English coast--although there is no way to be sure. The snap shot is undated, bit looks like the 1970s. British Scouts by the 1970s were no longer wearing short pants as part of thir uniform.


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Created: August 26, 2000
Last updated: 12:37 AM 7/22/2015