Boys' Brigade

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Boys' Brigade. Founded by William Alexander Smith in Glasgow in 1883. Smith started the brigade as a means of controlling the boys who attended his Scottish free church Sunday school. He sought to use military drill and discipline for the religious and moral improvement of the boys. The first meeting was held on 4 October 1883 in the Mission Hall, North Woodside Road, Glasgow. The crest of the brigade was an anchor and its motto ‘Sure and Steadfast’. The uniform consisted of a ‘pill-box’ cap, belt, and haversack. During the 1890s the organization spread across Scotland and then into England. It remained primarily a religious organization despite the efforts of the War Office to incorporate the brigade into a national cadet force administered by the Territorials. The appeal of the brigade has been reduced in the modern era by alternative leisure interests for youth.

Richard A. Smith