Obituary: Kathleen Davies-Cooke

Kathleen Mabel Davies-Cooke, administrator; born London 5 January 1903; Deputy Chief Commissioner for England, Girl Guide Association 1945-48; Chairman of the Executive, Guide Association 1948-51; Vice-Chairman, 13th World Conference of Guides 1950; President, Trefoil Guild 1954-63; married Ralph Davies-Cooke (died 1974: two sons, one daughter); died Denbigh, Clwyd 26 June 1994.

KATHLEEN Davies-Cooke was a founder member and president of the Trefoil Guild, which was set up to keep former girl guides involved with the Guide Association. She held many appointments within the Guide Association and was generous in giving practical help, never asking anyone to do anything which she hadn't already trained herself in; she had a strong sense of loyalty, humour and charm of manner and enjoyed the friendship and company of young people.

Scouting was a childhood favourite of Davies-Cooke's and her interests ran on boys' lines - carpentry, outdoor games, stalking, tracking and fire-lighting. The Scout Association at that time did not admit girls, and to overcome this rule she joined under the name of John Webb. When she left school she worked in her father's estate office and was qualifying as a surveyor when she married Ralph Davies-Cooke, her cousin. She was involved with Cubs and Scouts at Tilston Malpas, in Cheshire, and in 1936 she was invited to be County Commissioner for Yorkshire West Riding South.

She often recalled the story that it was only through an amusing misunderstanding that she became a County Commissioner. The retiring commissioner was also connected with the St John's Ambulance Brigade and, thinking she had been asked to take over the District unit of the Brigade, Davies-Cooke told her she had got a black uniform. The commissioner murmured, 'But the Guides wear blue, dear,' and Davies-Cooke had to improvise a uniform and hasten to her enrolment at her first County meeting.

From that day she chaired many Guide committees with wisdom, patience and understanding, and the Guide movement owes much to her work as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council from 1948 to 1951. On her appointment, in a message to Guider magazine readers, the new Chairman reminded them that the executive was there to carry out their wishes, and to sort and advise them on the manifold range of subjects which affected Guiding. Her message was one of strong conviction, that with courage we could add to our numbers many who would learn, by their adherence to Guide ideals and principles, to 'live' as individuals and citizens.

As Vice-Chairman of the 13th World Conference in the United Kingdom she made, with others, many plans for this memorable gathering, and everyone was delighted when she was awarded the Silver Fish (Guiding's highest award) at Oxford in 1950.

Davies-Cooke was known to be equally happy and efficient whether she was running a conference, a farm, a family picnic, a village activity or a club for miners' wives. The Trefoil Guild of today owes much to her wise leadership. She was appointed Chairman in June 1953, but five years earlier had already urged members of the Movement to recognise the Trefoil Guild's value and the support it could give to Guiding.

One of Kathleen Davies-Cooke's gifts was to be able to make those who worked with her feel that they were real partners in their work and that their opinions mattered. Under her guidance a sound organisation was built up, the results of which have proved to be our best thank you to her.

(Photograph omitted)

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape