Alec Spalding

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Alec J. Spalding
Alec J. Spalding.jpg
Born9 August 1923
Died2 October 2007
Occupationradar operator
agricultural economist
Known forScouting

Alec J. Spalding MBE (9 August 1923 – 2 October 2007) was a prominent figure in the UK Scout Association, serving in the 24th Glasgow (Bearsden) Scout Group for over fifty years. In recognition of his service to Scouting, he received the Silver Wolf and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire. He died of cancer at age 84.[1][2][3][4][5]



Spalding attended Glasgow Academy, and went on to study Agriculture at the University of Glasgow. His studies were interrupted by his military service, but were resumed after the war. He graduated with a BSc in 1948.

Military service[edit]

Spalding volunteered to join the Royal Navy in the early 1940s and served as a radar operator in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the rest of World War II until being demobilized in 1946.


After graduation, Spalding worked as an agricultural economist at the West of Scotland Agricultural College from 1948 to about 1954. He went on to work at Scottish Agricultural Industries until taking early retirement in 1981.

Involvement with Scouting[edit]

Spalding was a Boy Scout with the 24th Glasgow (Bearsden) Scout Group, and in 1939 he was awarded the King Scout Badge. He returned after military service in 1946, and took up a series of leadership positions over the course of more than fifty years, including Scout Leader (leading "A" Troop), Scouter in Charge (acting Group Scout Leader of the 24th), and District Commissioner.

After visiting Kandersteg, Switzerland in 1947, he took a party of 36 Scouts and leaders to the Kandersteg International Scout Centre in 1949. This commenced a tradition of biennial visits to Kandersteg by Scouts from the 24th Glasgow (Bearsden) Scout Group. Spalding also organised numerous other expeditions across Europe and North America.

Spalding's Scouting activities also included running the group's biennial jumble sale. He was also a keen photographer, and often contributed pictures and text about scout activities to the local paper.

Spalding was also known for his enthusiastic rendition of songs like Three Blind Mice, Sing a Song of Sixpence, Ging Gang Goolie, Green Grow the Rushes, O, and The Wild Rover at camp fires.

List of works[edit]

  • The 24th 1908–1988: a history of the 24th Glasgow (Bearsden) Scout Group, May 1988, ISBN 0-9513439-0-4
  • Activities and Expeditions for Youth Groups, 2007
  • Games and Activities for Scouts, 1985 (reprinted 1996), ISBN 0-85174-502-4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ RCSS (2007-10-05). "AJSpaldingMBE". 24th Glasgow (Bearsden) Scout Group. Retrieved 2008-02-10.[dead link]
  2. ^ Colin Scott, Tom McCubbin (11 October 2007). "Gone home: Alec J Spalding MBE". Greater Glasgow Scout Group. Archived from the original on 11 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
  3. ^ "Talking Points Edition 45: August 1996". ScoutBaseUK. August 1996. Archived from the original on 4 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008. The Committee were delighted that the following Members had been honoured for their services to Scouting and/or to the community: ... MBE ... Mr Alec Spalding, former District Commissioner, NW Glasgow
  4. ^ The Herald. "Alec Spalding". Retrieved 2008-02-11.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ The Herald. "Spalding - Alec : Obituary". Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 2008-02-11. SPALDING — ALEC. Peacefully, at Gartnavel General Hospital, on Tuesday, 2nd October, 2007, Alec J. Spalding, M.B.E., aged 84 years, former Scout Leader and leader in charge of 24th Glasgow (Bearsden) Scout Group. Funeral service at Clydebank Crematorium, North Dalnottar, on Saturday, 6th October at 10.30am. No flowers please but donations, if desired, to Cancer Research U.K.