Famous in their own field

There are also many ex Scouts and Leaders from our District who went on to achieve success, ‘making their mark’ in a variety of ways. They are not all necessarily nationally famous or all been rewarded with an Honour, but they are probably ‘famous’ in their own field. We have produced a list to highlight as many of these people as possible and hope that Scouting somehow helped them on their way:

Name Group
Walter Leonard Allinson 10th Finchley  A Civil Servant and Diplomat who held a number of overseas posts from 1948. In 1979 he was Knighted for his contributions to Her Majesty the Queen’s Diplomatic Service. He had previously been awarded an MVO in 1961 and had a CMG conferred upon him in 1976.

See also Wikipedia page

Robert Anderson 14th Finchley A British museum curator and historian of chemistry, and his interests include the history of scientific instrumentation. He is also the recipient of a number of prestigious awards honours.
Wikipedia page
David Bedford 3rd Golders Green Long distance runner whose athletic career spanned the early 1970s. In addition to holding British records he also established a new world record for the 10,000 metres in 1973. Following his retirement he has held a number of athletic related administrative posts including being the race director of the London Marathon.
He was awarded the OBE in 2014 for services to athletics and charitable fundraising.
Wikipedia page
Rev. Geoffrey Druitt 11th Finchley He was the first Scoutmaster of the 11th Finchley and later went on to serve as an Army Chaplain to Field Marshal Montgomery (Monty)’s 21 Army Group.
In 1946 was awarded an OBE and in 1948 made an Officer of the Legion of Merit (USA)
See also – Geoffrey Druitt – Recipient – (militarytimes.com)
Keith Duff 3rd Friern Barnet Gained a Ph.D. in geology from Leicester before joining the Nature Conservancy Council (later English Nature), the UK Government Agency that promoted the conservation of wildlifegeology and wild places throughout England.
In 1991 when it was split into separate bodies for England, Scotland and Wales he became the Chief Scientist for the English organisation (English Nature) with responsibility for leading and quality assuring scientific work. This involved briefing and advising government Ministers on high profile issues relating to wildlife conservation, such as Genetically Modified Organisms, and species management.
After retiring he remained active in geological research and also worked as an environmental consultant on golf courses. He has published many articles and books, including a book on birds and golf courses (in partnership with RSPB).
William (Bill) Hart 11th Finchley Local Councillor and long-time supporter of local Scouting for which he received the Medal of Merit in 1978.
Served as Mayor of Finchley in 1960.
Harry Hicks 11th Finchley Long distance runner who represented Great Britain in the Marathon at the 1956 Olympic Games.
Wikipedia page
Peter Kneebone 6th Finchley Designer, Illustrator, Writer, and Educator. In 1951 was PA to Hugh Casson, designer of the 1951 South Bank Exhibition. Published several books of humorous cartoons and did many illustrations for the Radio Times.
Peter Lachmann 4th Finchley Peter was born in Berlin in 1931 and moved to London in 1938. He attended Christ’s College, Finchley and then trained in medicine at Cambridge and University College Hospital, graduating in 1956.
In 1962 he obtained PhD and in 1974 ScD degrees at Cambridge in immunology. He specialised in the study of the complement system.
He was emeritus Sheila Joan Smith Professor of Immunology at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge and honorary fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and of Imperial College.
Peter was knighted for services to medical science in 2002.
Wikipedia page
David Limbert 4th Finchley A meteorologist who was invited in 1956 to join an expedition to Antarctica to set up scientific survey sites. He had great success and later joined the permanent staff of the British Antarctic Survey, eventually becoming Head of Meteorology. He also had a weather region named after him.
Robin Mead 10th Finchley Robin became a journalist after leaving school and while working as a sub editor for a national newspaper he took on the role of District Press Officer.
He later worked for the Times before deciding to become a freelance Travel Writer. He has a PhD in travel history and over nearly four decades has written more than 30 travel books. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society as well as a Fellow of the British tourist industry’s leading professional body, the Institute of Travel and Tourism.
In recent years Robin has been a lecturer on cruise ships and having visited more than 100 countries he is now a recognised authority on all aspects of travel.
Eric Merriman 4th Finchley Originally a script writer with Picture Post, he also made humorous contributions to Scouting magazine. After the war he became a scriptwriter with BBC Radio, writing material for many well-known stars of the day. His main claim to fame was as creator and scriptwriter of “Beyond our Ken” and “Round the Horne” starring Kenneth Horne.
Wikipedia page
John Niblett 15th Finchley A former employee of the Metropolitan Police Solicitor’s Department and the Crown Prosecution Service. His experience of Crown Court practice and procedure, and as Head of one of the Director of Public Prosecutions’ Policy branches with responsibility for disclosure issues, he wrote the reference book ‘Disclosure in Criminal Prosecution’. This provides a valuable insight into the development of the law, the reasons for change and the legislative reforms that took place in the late 1990s
He was awarded the OBE.
Raymond Pett 10th Finchley Major-General Raymond Austin Pett CB MBE DL (King’s Own Royal Border Regiment. Queen’s Lancashire Regiment)
He was awarded an MBE in 1976 and in the 1995 birthday honours was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB). Later he became a Deputy Lieutenant (DL).
Rev H. Cecil Pugh 94th North London (Later 1st Friern Barnet) Awarded the George Cross in 1947.    
See Wikipedia page for full details and citation
John (Jack) Quinton 186th North London (Later 2nd Friern Barnet) Awarded the George Cross in 1951.
See Wikipedia page for full details and citation
John Somerville 10th Finchley Sculptor. His works include a statue of Spike Milligan in the grounds of Stephens House (formerly Avenue House).
Wikipedia page
Ethel Taylor 4th Finchley When the 4th Finchley first started in 1917 they did not have a leader, but were taken under the wing of the Congregational church. Ethel Taylor, a young church worker agreed to help as many men were serving in the forces. During this time it is also thought that she started the Cub Pack although there are no official records to confirm this or that she ever held a warrant.
Ethel later went on to train as a nurse and in 1928 left for China to work as a missionary. In 1932 she came back to England before returning to China as a Nursing Sister in 1938. During the war she was interned by the Japanese. Later, like many other missionaries, after the establishment of the People’s Republic, she went elsewhere in Asia. In the mid 1950s, she was in Triang, Malaysia, one of the new villages established during the ‘Malayan Emergency’.
In the January 1955 Honours List she received the MBE “for her role with the Malaysian Relief Teams, St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, Federation of Malaya”.
Ethel’s good work continued until 1971 when she returned to England to live in retirement at Eastbourne, Sussex. She died there in March 1993 aged 95.
See also  Taylor, Ethel | BDCC (bdcconline.net)
Michael Terry 4th Finchley Mike was the Executive Secretary of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement and became a personal friend of Nelson Mandela. He led the organisation through two decades until it was disbanded in 1994,
He later became a school teacher. Upon his death in December 2008 lengthy obituaries appeared in the national newspapers.
Mike gained his Queen’s Scout Badge in 1965.
Ronnie Thompson 10th Finchley Ronnie has had a distinguished life in both sport and his career. After studying at Caius College Cambridge and serving a five year apprenticeship in the City of London he became a Chartered Accountant.
He was an excellent athlete and while at Cambridge was awarded a Blue. He later ran for Scotland on a number of occasions, notably at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games that were held in Cardiff. He ran the 440 yards and the relay, just missing out on a medal.
Later he decided to concentrate on rugby and joined London Scottish, subsequently playing for Scotland against Ireland in 1960. In all he won 15 caps, playing on the wing, between 1960 and 1964, 12 of which were in the Five Nations Championship.
At the age of 25, Ronnie gained employment in Switzerland which eventually led to a career with Philip Morris. After being Director of Finance for Philip Morris International he, at the age of 32, became the first President of Philip Morris Europe in Lausanne and later the Executive Vice President of Philip Morris International. Later he worked for Revlon International.
Ronnie still (2023) resides in Switzerland and has become a Swiss national.
Vic Usher 94th North London (Later 1st Friern Barnet) Local Businessman and Councillor who served as Mayor of Barnet in 1969 and 1982.
He was a Grand Commander of the Order of St. John and was awarded the OBE in 1985.
Look up your local Scout Group, because you’ve got a safe, practical community who will encourage and support you.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls