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In addition to the Boys' Brigade, Hungerford also had a Church Lads' Brigade.

We are very grateful to Rob Bolton, National Archivist of the Church Lads' & Church Girls' Brigade who contacted the Virtual Museum (Jan 2013) with the following information:

The Church Lads' Brigade was formed in 1891 by Walter Mallock Gee, and it copied the Boys' Brigade in its organisation, and the uniforms were similar.

The "Brigade Lists" in his archives show:

1898: Co 317 St Lawrence, Oxford Diocese. Part of the Oxford Regiment. Enrolled 26th April 1894.
Meetings: Thursday Night 7.00 p.m. at National Schools.
Captain: Rev. H. P. Brown, Church Croft, Hungerford.
Other Staff: Rev. W. A. G. Gray, Lt. H. Hawkes, Lt. G. C. Hills.

The Parish Magazine dated August 1897 includes the following article:

The Hungerford Company of the Church Lads Brigade, consisting of Captain the Rev. H.P. Brown, Staff-sergeants J. Bell and Harris and 22 rank and file, went up to London on Wednesday, July 14th, to take part in the big review which was held in Hyde Park by H.R.H. Duke of Connaught, K.G. and they had a most successful day. There were about 3000 lads present and the Duke expressed himself as quite satisfied with the manner in which they went through the different evolutions, and with their smart appearance. The Company was most hospitably entertained with her customary kindness and generosity by Lady Pearce at No. 1 Hyde Park Gardens. A little excitement was caused by the Lads missing the last ordinary train to Hungerford, but the Henley Regatta train came to their aid and brought them home safe, though late and tired, without being obliged to employ the special train which was ordered.

In April 1902 there was a review at Reading. 28 Lads attended from Hungerford, including Lieut Love, and Assistant Chaplain Rev JM Williams.

Rev TS Gray was ?Captain in April 1909 and January 1914.

On 4 Aug 1906 they atended the Oxford Regimental Camp at Rottingdean. Buglar Annetts was awarded a prize as Best Buglar, and Frank Bull a prize for shooting. L Clifford was Instructor, and Sergeant Instructor was Allibone.

In May 1909 The CLB gave praise was given to H Champ for his work. A Bible Class was held on Sundays at 1.45pm.

In Sep 1909 the camp was held at Dawlish. Cpl A Winchcombe won the Bugle Prize; the party was lef by S/Sgt Rolfe.

In Apr 1910 Sgt Major Allibone was in charge.

See the photo c1910 of the Hungerford Church Lads' Brigade outside Church House. The group includes Sgt Instructor Allibone and Rev TS Gray, and George Neale (Back row, 4th from left).

In Apr 1912 a CLB Concert was held. The balance sheet was signed by R Montagu Withers.

In Oct 1912 the CLB Gymnasium Class was taken by the vicar (Rev Tom Gray).

1914: Co 317 St Lawrence, Oxford Diocese. Not Active.

However, a note by John Allen (past HHA Archivist) stated that Rev Wardley-King was Captain of the Church Lads' Brigade in 1924.

Alan Carter, Deputy Governor CLCGB, kindly emailed (Oct 2021) to give an update on the organisation: "I’m pleased to inform you that not only is the organisation is still alive and kicking, now known as the Church Lads & Church Girls Brigade (CLCGB). This year we are celebrating our 130th anniversary which, I’m sure you will agree is not bad for a youth organisation with the word church not once but twice in its title!

What we really want to do, as modern, exciting and challenging organisation is to grow again. It would be great if ex-members, people with a connection with the Brigade or, people who want to make a difference within their community were to re-start companies or start new companies. We are able to provide training and support."

Photo Gallery:

boys brigade-01
boys brigade-01

Hungerford Church Lads' Brigade outside Church House (undated) [Kindly sent by Stella Sampson]. [George Neale: back row, 4th from left; Rev Wardley King: seated, 3rd from left].

- Hungerford Church Lads' Brigade outside Church House (c.1910), includes Sgt Instructor Allibone [Kindly sent by Stella Sampson]. [George Neale: back row, 4th from left; Rev T S Gray: seated, 3rd from left].

See also:

- Boys' Brigade

- Church Lads' Brigade [HHA Archive A14]