Richard Francis Thurman (who was always known as John) was connected with the 1st Edgware Troop and became Deputy Camp Chief (i.e. Leader Trainer) for Middlesex 5O years ago in 1935.
At that time Middlesex lacked a permanent training ground and moved from Waxwell, Pinner in 1926 to Eillingdon Farm and then in 1929 to Harrow Weald Park until it was sold for housing when a training ground at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore was used until 1935 after which training in Middlesex did not have a base for several years.
He became the third Camp Chief at Gilwell Park in 1943 and ably developed Gilwell Park and leader training for 26 years. He was respected world-wide and was an able and witty speaker whose personality has been missed at Gilwell since 1969. He made a considerable impact on World Scouting and his influence will live on through his books and through the leaders he trained.
He was awarded the Bronze Wolf by WOSM in 1959 and the Silver Buffalo Award in 1962 by Boy Scouts of America. He became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1963 “for services to the Boy Scouts’ Association”