Havering & Brentwood Boys' Brigade Battalion

“I was fortunate to have been a BB member and I’d like to pay tribute to the organisation on reaching 135 years.  I learned a lot about values, education and it has also contributed to my footballing career.”

Alex McLeish, former Scotland football manager

The first Boys' Brigade company was founded by Sir William Alexander Smith in Glasgow (Scotland) in 1883.  This was the first uniformed youth organisation in the world and pioneered the idea of using gymnastics, innovated summer camps and taught Bible classes as a way to instill 'christian manliness'.

The movement soon spread, arriving in London in 1885.  By the early 20th century there were about 2,200 companies connected with different churches throughout the United Kingdom, the British Empire, and the United States, with 10,000 officers and 100,000 boys.

One former Boy's Brigade officer, Brigade Vice-President and friend of Sir William was Lord Baden-Powell.  Following rewriting his articles about scouting for it to run within a boys program, in 1907 he invited eight BB boys and twelve public school boys to attend a camp on Brownsea Island; the genesis of the Scout movement.

In Havering & Brentwood, 1st Warley BB was set up in 1890 with 1st Romford following in 1910.  London District was set up in 1913.  By 1939, Romford & Hornchurch Battalion was formed before being joined by Warley and Brentwood in 1969.

In 1983, the BB celebrated it's centenary with events, involving our patron HM Queen Elizabeth II, at the Ibrox and Windsor Castle.  In 2009, the BB began welcoming girls, becoming the Boys' Brigade & Girls Association.

As of 2018, there were 750,000 BB members in 60 countries.


Havering & Brentwood Boys’ Brigade Battalion  |   havering.boys-brigade.org.uk
c/o. 1st Romford Company, United Reformed Church, 58-60 Western Road, Romford, RM1 3LP

The Boys Brigade, Felden Lodge, Hertfordshire, HP3 0BL
A registered Charity in England & Wales (305969) and Scotland (SC038016).
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