- Francis Gidney
Francis "Skipper" Gidney (1890-1928) was an early leader of the
Scoutingmovement in the United Kingdomand organized the first Wood Badgeadult leader training course at Gilwell Parkin September 1919. He became the first Gilwell Camp Chief in May 1919 and served until 1923. The Gidney Cabin at Gilwell was named in his honour and serves as a training centre. His pen-name was "Gilcraft".
Gidney started one of the first Scout troops in 1908, when he was only 17 years old.cite web | last = Walker | first = Johnny | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 2006 | url = http://www.scouting.milestones.btinternet.co.uk/biogs-g-m.htm | title = Gidney, Francis 'Skipper'. 1890-1928 | format = | work = Scouting Personalities | publisher = Johnny Walker's Scouting Milestones | accessdate = 2007-02-19] Gidney then served in
World War Iseriously wounded and invalided out of the army before the Armistice. His wife cared little for Scouting and she complained that he was underpaid. The marriage eventually broke up prior to his death.
Disputes over how Gilwell Park should be managed led to Gidney resigning in 1923, which greatly upset the founder of the Scouting movement, Robert Baden-Powell. Gidney then worked as a Master at a preparatory school in
Bournemouth. Gidney's influence upon Scouting, especially in the areas of camp management, training, and Wood Badge, can not be underestimated. It was his idea to start the 1st Gilwell Scout troop for all Wood Badge holders, with its distinctive neckerchief and he successfully established the pattern still used for modern-day Gilwell reunions.
From a discussion with William Hillcourt in 1989, Gidney was the source of the 'Turk's head' woggle, part of the award set.
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