1 She was one of Scotland’s first ever Girl Guides, and a motivating force for women during the First World War. Born in Hillhead, the daughter of Mary Grierson and John Cargill, Allison Cargill was cycling past the window of a Glasgow bookshop when she spotted the title ‘Scouting for Boys’ in the display. Inspired, and not wanting the boys to have all the fun, she started the Cuckoo Patrol with five friends from Laurel Bank School.

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2 The girls met regularly in the stable loft above her house and in 1909, they became affiliated to the 1st Glasgow Scout Group. According to Girlguiding Scotland’s website, “the idea of girls being involved in camping, hiking and similar activities received a mixed response. Angry critics denounced ‘girl scouting’ as a ‘mischievous new development’, a ‘foolish and pernicious movement’, an ‘idiotic sport’. “However, the girls won. In 1910, Baden-Powell formed the Girl Guides and his sister Agnes took the helm.

3 According to The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, Allison later introduced Guiding in Glasgow, and when WWI intervened, used her experience to help raise the Glasgow Battalion of the Women’s Volunteer Reserve. After the war, as Division Commissioner in north east Glasgow, she enrolled 30 Guides at a time.

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4 In 1922, she married Dr Greenlees, headmaster of Loretto School, and they had a son and daughter. She continued Guiding, latterly as Midlothian County Commissioner and chair of the Scottish Finance Committee.

5 In 1939, Allison received the Silver Fish, Guiding’s highest award, and in 1953 she became President of the Council for Scotland. She said, many years later: “Looking back, I know that my whole life has been influenced by the inspiration the founder gave to the world and which we now call scouting and guides.” She died in 1979.