2nd Bath Boys' Brigade - The Adventure begins here

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Bath BB - A Potted History!

The BB in Bath started in 1891, but the current version of the 2nd Bath Company was formed in September 1940 at Oldfield Park Methodist Church (now closed) under the Captaincy of Rev William Goddard.
The BB during the war years underwent revitalization, sponsored by the 5th Bath Company (New King Street Methodist Church) of which a young Sergeant Ted Flint was a member. Lots of London Boys were evacuated to Bath in the 40's and a great deal of them were BB members and The Boys' Brigade headquarters in London were anxious to find Companies for them to help make life a bit more "normal" for them under the circumstances.

The Bath & District Council was formed in 1940 with an aim to extend the work of The Boys' Brigade in the City and train new Officers and appoint Officers who moved to Bath from London with the Admiralty that was based at the Empire Hotel in Bath.

The first 2nd Bath camp was in 1941
(after it was re-formed in 1940) with the 1st Fulham Company whose Captain, Cyril Prout, moved to Bath with his job in the Admiralty and took over from Rev Goddard as Captain of the 2nd Bath. This camp with Boys from London was at Priston Mill, on the outskirts of Bath!

There was a great deal of interest in the BB and soon Churches in Bath approached the Bath & District Council to form new Companies. Most of the Companies that had closed before WW2 were re-formed and their respective Churches were keen to set them up quickly and train the new staff. There were some Churches including Weston Methodist Church, St Barnabas Church and Monkton Combe Parish Church (and School) that showed an interest but could not provide any leaders (as the only potential Officers were abroad with the armed forces fighting a war).

During the two World Wars the BB in Bath offered their services to help the community by providing Stretcher-Bearers/ First Aiders and Duty Buglers - as there were no air-raid sirens in some districts in Bath during the early years of both WW1 (1914-1918) and WW2 (1939-1945).

The picture (right) shows a stretcher-bearer party during routine weekly practise during the first world war.

Throughout both world wars The Boys' Brigade Ambulance Book was the most common First Aid manual used by the general public, armed forces, public services and (of course) by the BB as it was published in such high volume.

Senior Boys, such as the Corporal (photo left), took part in Civil Defence duties carrying messages, etc. for the local community and police force.

Sadly, the 5th Bath Company, part of New King Street Methodist Church (phot above) was destroyed by the Baedeker Raids in Bath and subsequently relocated to Walcot Methodist Church.

Many Officers and Boys of the Bath BB died during those vicious raids in the City of Bath and, of course, may families were left homeless and devastated by the huge scale of the loss of life in such a small area of Bath.
For more information about the raids in Bath, please visit the BATH BLITZ website!

The 2nd Bath Company had it's own magazine called "The Duonian", published quarterly by the "Secondus Press" that contained up-to-date information about the Company and letters from members who were posted abroad with the army.

There were reports about S/Sgt Teddy Flint and his adventures abroad with the Signals Corps, witty rhyme and reports about the Empire Day parades in Bath that the 2nd Bath Trumpet Band led.

THE 1940's

Articles from the “DUONIAN” – 2nd Bath BB Company Magazine (1945)

A letter from Teddy Bond in the Royal Navy
Notes and News
Sorry I did not write before, as I have been very busy. We went to the pictures with the Camp on Tuesday and we saw “Western Approaches”. We saw this film as we are in the Western Approaches Command. Give best compliments of the season from Brian Jones and myself to the Seconds and T.O.P.Y.C. I have written to Ken Dangerfield so am expecting a letter from him soon.
Football has not started up here yet, but when it does I’ll put my name down to play, as in the Seconds. We also have voluntary swimming on Sundays. We have three shore leaves a fortnight, but home leave at Easter for 15 days, a month in the summer and Christmas Day, so you see we get plenty of leave.
Hoping this will find you fit and well, as it leaves me.
Yours Sincerely,
Ted Bond

On Friday 9th February at band practice we had rather a surprise to see some Peasedown boys who, we were informed later, were about to start a BB Company in Peasedown.
After seeing (and hearing!) the band at practice, Boys from A and B sections gave a display of drill, after which, being encouraged by Mr Jones, the Peasedown lads joined in, and were given a few hints on drill.

The Bath Junior City Council
On January 2nd 1945, the Bath Junior City Council elected its first Mayor and Deputy-Mayor. From that date it functioned as an officially recognized body.
(Corporal Michael Morgan was elected Deputy Mayor)
We have a lengthy report about this meeting in our records.

The ladies at
Oldfield Park Methodist Church hand-made a special Company table cloth, crested in BB colours to use for opening and closing parade services. They also made the Union Flag which was mounted on poles made from two broomsticks! An Officer in the Company worked at Stothert & Pitt (Engineering Manufacturers) in Bath and, surprisingly, Stothert & Pitt made the brass ferrules and BB crested finial, still paraded by the Company today! The original flag is laid up after being replaced by Mrs Archer in the late 1970's.

During the war, some well-known youth clubs, the
Percy Boys and Garraway Boys Clubs, were formed by BB Officers. The Bath BB took an important lead among the youth organizations and provided Stretcher and First Aid teams in the city. The leadership of the Company passed to Cyril Prout who was Captain of the 1st Fulham Company and later became Warden of the BB Outdoor Activity Centre at Broadleas, Haytor in Devon.

In June 1990, the 2nd Bath and 1st Fulham Companies renewed their association at a special 50th Birthday Camp at Priston, Bath, where they first camped together in 1941. The Captain of the 1st Fulham was Tony Plews (who is now Captain of the 10th Ealing Company!)

Photo (above) - 2nd Bath Bugle Band in 1967

During the 1950's and 1960's, the 2nd Bath played a major part in forming the Bath & District Football League and the Bath Table-Tennis League.

MR G. E. (Ted) FLINT

Being a keen sportsman, Ted Flint (see photo left) was a football referee in his spare time in the local football league! The 2nd Bath Company won the BB National Table-Tennis Championships in 1961 (L/Cpl Alan Hartle).

The 2nd Bath Company continued to grow and in 1948, young Ted Flint became the secretary of the Bath & District Council. Extension in the district formed new Companies at Trowbridge and Devizes (Stan Archard & Jack Whittingstall). New Companies in Paulton, Timsbury, Chippenham, Calne and Midsomer Norton were later formed.

Ted took over the 2nd Bath as Captain during the 1950's (when the Company was part of Oldfield Park Methodist Church) and was always keen to try something new, different and challenging. Under his leadership, the Bath & District Council companies had an Annual Canvas Camp, which was inherited by the Wiltshire & East Somerset Group (now Wiltshire Battalion).

In 1965, due to various reasons, transferred to Weston Free Church (Moravian) where a Platoon of the 2nd Bath was formed by the Rev Ben Muncaster and the 3rd Bath Life Boy Team by the late Ray Stephens. Up until 1970, The Life Boys were known as "The Junior Reserve of The Boys' Brigade" and met in their own right as an Organisation. Bath had several Life Boy Teams and the Oldfield Park Team was the 2nd Bath and The Weston Free Church (Moravian) Team was the 3rd Bath. (Photo, right)

Ted was an adventurous man and loved the outdoors! He took the Company on expeditions, hikes, canoeing and other adventurous pursuits. There was not much he wouldn't try to do. A bit of a "showman" he continued the 2nd Bath Annual Display at Bath Pump Rooms and Bath Pavilion up until the late 1950's after which displays were held in the Company's Church Hall.

Ted was also a keen bandsman and a bugler and in the 1970's encouraged the 1st Bath Girls' Brigade Company to take part in the Band after the purchase of new drums and bell lyres! The band was soon performing at Church Fetes, charity events and carnivals and became well known in the area (especially as the Company never made a charge for performing!) for it's lively performance and reliability! The tradition of the Company having a marching Band continued and the 2nd Bath has probably one of the longest continuous serving bands in the Bath area!

In 1970 Ted and Gladys arranged a "Wombles" item involving the 1st Bath Girls' Brigade and 2nd Bath BB Companies and performed the item at a joint Companies display! The act was so good that it soon ended up as a guest item at the 1970 Annual London District Display in the Royal Albert Hall and suffered rave reviews!

Also, in 1970, Ted pioneered a joint Boys' and Girls' Brigade Camp (called "Stedfast Camp") with the 1st Bath GB and 1st Chalford Hill (Gloucestershire) BB and GB Companies, with the first Camp held at Charmouth, Dorset - where the 2nd Bath camped for many a year until the camp site was built over by the Charmouth by-pass!

The photo (above) shows the 2nd Bath Officers in 1970. At the front and centre is Captain Ted Flint.

Photo (below, left) of Staff Sergeant Rod Slip taken at West of England Competitions at Swindon in 1967.

The are lots of men (and women!) who owe their spiritual well-being to Ted's strong faith and that of his wife Gladys who was also a Lieutenant in the Company and founder of the Anchor Boys section in the Company at Weston Free Church in the 1970's.

Ted was forever a stalwart and stickler for keeping the highest of standards and was ever keen on promoting the best in leadership values in his Company and within Avon (Bristol) Battalion.

In 1987 Ted Flint retired as Captain, although he remained sure and stedfast in his love of the BB and continued as Honorary Captain of the Company until his sad passing away in 1990. A lectern and footstool was presented to Weston Free Church (Moravian) in memory of Mr G. E. (Ted) Flint by his wife where it is, to this very day, in regular use!

The 2nd Bath Company owes so much to Ted and it was a privilege to have been his friend and fellow BB Officer. A man "grounded firm and deep in his Saviour's love", both "Sure and Stedfast".

The Christian Counter


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