Did you know: The Boys’ Brigade was the first voluntary uniformed youth movement in the world and many of today’s organisations for young people can trace their roots back through history to The Boys’ Brigade

founder

Where we started

The Boys' Brigade was founded in Glasgow on 4th October 1883 by Sir William Alexander Smith. From this one Company formed in Scotland the BB has grown in to a worldwide movement having worked with millions of children and young people for well over a century.

Pioneer of Camping

Widespread organised camping for adolescents was something completely new in the late 19th century. The Founder’s introduction of camping into the programme in 1886 was an innovation and helped to sow the seeds of one of the most popular recreational pastimes still enjoyed today. From this first camp held at Tighnabruiach in 1886, thousands of members still enjoy holidays and residential activities as part of their Company programme each year.

Key Timeline

1854 – William Alexander Smith born (27th October)
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1883 – BB Founded in Glasgow (4th October)
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1886 – First BB Camp (Tighnabruiach)
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1897 – First Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of York
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1908 – Scout Movement Formed (by Baden Powell, developed from the BB)
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1909 – William Alexander Smith knighted (July)
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1913 – The King’s Badge introduced
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1914 – Sir William Alexander Smith died (10th May)
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1917 – Boy Reserves started for 8 to 11 year olds
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1926 – Amalgamation of The Boys’ Brigade with The Boys’ Life Brigade
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1933 – Jubilee Celebrations
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1955 – BB involved in Duke of Edinburgh’s Award pilot scheme
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1963 – World Conference (of The Boys’ Brigade) formed
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1977 – Pre-Junior Section formed (now known as Anchor Section)
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1982 – Royal Mail issue 1st Class stamp celebrating The Boys’ Brigade
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1983 – Centenary Celebrations
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1993 – Junior Section 75th Anniversary (previously called ‘Life Boys’)
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1994 – Royal Review by HM The Queen at Windsor Castle
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2002 – World Conference renamed Global Fellowship of Christian Youth
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2008 – 125th Anniversary of The Boys’ Brigade
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2008 – Girls’ Association formed
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2011 – 125th Anniversary of Camping
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2012 – HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Baton Run

History Image Gallery