About Us

Scottish Charity No: SC037102



About Us
Anchor Boys
Junior Section
Company Section
Annual Camp


The Boys’ Brigade was founded by William Alexander Smith in Glasgow on 4th October 1883. The 1st Glasgow Company was enrolled on that date.

The 1st Galashiels Company was enrolled on 25th February 1887, in the Central Hall and at that time was connected to the Parish Church.

The Company was disbanded in 1891 and re-enrolled on the 23rd December 1897. At that time the Captain and Chaplain was Rev. Alexander Waters, an Assistant Minister, and the three Lieutenants were Thomas Dryden, John Stirling McQueen and Thomas Spiers. Another two Assistant Ministers took over as Captain and Chaplain, Rev. John Chalmers in 1899 and Rev. Walter Lamb in 1902. Thomas Dryden became Captain in 1904 with Rev. David Hunter becoming Chaplain. The Rev. Dugald Butler became Chaplain in 1907.

The 1st Galashiels Company continued to flourish during the 1900s. On 16th September 1901, the Minister, Dr. Gloag, informed the Kirk Session that an anonymous member of the congregation had generously offered to supply funds for procuring instruments for a flute band for the Boys’ Brigade. In addition to the flute band, the Company also had a Bugle Band, and finally in 1927, they established the first Boys’ Brigade Pipe Band in Galashiels.

At the end of the First World War, the 1st Galashiels Company lapsed, but was reconstituted in 1922. During the 1920s, the Company attended various Church Parades. They also attended summer camps at North Berwick, Gullane and Bamburgh. They also took part in numerous competitions, and this included a shooting competition known as the Strathcona shoot.

The following is recorded in the Company records:

19th November 1928 – First Drill night in new Halls. The day we have looked forward to for years.”

They are obviously referring to the Halls at St. Paul’s, which were completed then.

On Monday 23rd March 1931, the first annual inspection of the Company and prize giving was held. At the annual inspection the following year, the Inspecting Officer, Thomas Dryden, was appointed President of the Company. That same year, the Company took part in a Battalion Parade at Melrose to celebrate the 31st Anniversary of the 1st Melrose Company. The total number on parade was between 450 and 500. Also in 1932, the 4th Galashiels Company amalgamated with our Company, but we must have split again later, as they are one of the four Companies in Galashiels.

The 1st Galashiels Company was represented at the 50th Anniversary of the Boys’ Brigade. At this jubilee Review in 1933, more than 32,000 Officers and Boys paraded at Queen’s Park, Glasgow, in the presence of His Royal Highness, Prince George.

During the 2nd World War, the Halls at St. Paul’s were used by the Army as a hospital and dental clinic. As a result, the 1st Galashiels Company moved to Aidan’s Church, where the 1st/6th Company was formed.

In 1946, the 1st Galashiels Company returned to their own halls at St. Paul’s and have met there ever since. The Captain at that time was Andrew Finlay, and one of his members was Jim Mills, who had been a member of the 4th and 6th Companies before becoming a member of St. Paul’s. When Andrew retired, Jim took over as Captain.

During 1962, the Company celebrated their 75th Anniversary. At this time, the officers and Boys and members of the Congregation converted the old hall of the church into the B.B. Chapel.

On Sunday 1st March 1987, the 1st Galashiels Company celebrated its Centenary with a Thanksgiving Service and Parade.

When the Company started in 1887, there were four Officers and thirty-four boys. Today, the Company consists of four Officers and forty-three boys. Unfortunately, Volume I of the Company Register is missing. Volume II starts from 1914, with the enrolment of the 539th boy, Andrew Smail.



e-mail: 1stgalashiels@boys-brigade.org.uk