Arthur “Doc” Lindley…

One of Ruislip, Eastcote and Northwood Scout District’s longest-serving and best-loved Scout leaders died on 20 October, aged 91. His funeral was held at the Chilterns Crematorium, Amersham on Wednesday 31 October.

‘Doc’ Lindley epitomised all that was excellent about Scouting and the Scouting movement. He began in the Life Boys but went to a Scout meeting with a friend who made him promise that, if he took his dad along, he would stay in Scouts; which he did.

So Arthur joined the 1st South Lambeth Scout Group, founded in 1907/8, which was one of the very first Scout Troops in the whole country. They had black painted staves which singled them out at the World Scout Jamboree held in Holland in 1937. (The family still have his shirt from that event).

Arthur ‘Doc’ Lindley became warranted as an Assistant Scout Master in 1940 and almost immediately signed up for the Royal Air Force in the war, joining the RAF Regiment which was responsible for the defence of RAF airfields, wherever there was one. During the latest stages of the war he drove armoured cars into Berlin.

After being ‘demobbed’ he settled in Northwood and later moved to Ruislip, where he was roped into the 9th Ruislip Group when his eldest son joined as a Wolf Cub in 1955.

After many different appointments with the 9th Ruislip Scout Group he helped merge the 2nd and 9th Ruislip Scout Groups and from 1967 to 1979 was their Group Scout Leader.

He was always involved in a huge number of activities (camping, shows, sports; including swimming galas, athletics and football competitions) as well as the activities centred on Gilwell; a major Scouting centre.

In 1983 Doc became District Commissioner for the Ruislip District as it was then and he held this position until 1999, some 16 years. This period cannot now be matched as the total length of time for a DC to hold office is now 10 years.

During his long and successful Scouting years, Doc amassed a great many major awards:- Long Service Decoration in 1970, Medal of Merit in 1975 and the Silver Acorn in 1985; to name just a few.

Although he and his wife Elsie latterly moved to Bourne End, they both regularly came back to help the 2nd/9th at various events such as jumble sales for a further 20 years and were always invited to the District’s AGM.

There can be few other Scout leaders who have devoted so many years and time to the Scouting movement and we were incredibly fortunate to have Doc as District Commissioner.

After so many happy years, Doc finally ‘came home’ as we say when a Scouter passes on. A truly great man.Scout Leader and friend to all.

Why ‘Doc’? This was a nickname given to him when he was in the RAF as he was responsible for placing sterilising tablets in the water bowsers, and this name followed him all his days.

The Scout District offers its sincerest condolences to the Lindley family on their loss.