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Special Collections

MS 244 Papers of the Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade

Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade

The Jewish Lads' Brigade, the oldest surviving Jewish youth organisation, was formed in 1895 under the aegis of Colonel Albert Edward Williamson Goldsmid. In inspiration, the Brigade had much in common with contemporary uniformed Christian youth organisations, such as the Boys' Brigade, with an emphasis on national defence, morality and physical fitness. Its connection with Judaism was, however, more closely aligned with codes for behaviour and social responsibility than the Christian organisations, for which religious practice was frequently prominent. The Brigade was and continues to be linked with Orthodox Jewry, although it has had an inclusive approach to membership. Since 1963, girls have been admitted.

The Brigade was initially based in London, although the first company outside the capital was set up in Liverpool as early as 1898. Thereafter further companies were established across Great Britain and in British colonies. In 1913 the purpose-built centre named Camperdown House was opened, which served as the headquarters of the Jewish Lads' Brigade until 1939.

About the collection

Minute books of the headquarters committee and the council of the Jewish Lads' Brigade, 1897-36, 1955-83 (10 vols.); minute book camp sub-committee, 1898-1909 (1 vol.); minute book of special meetings of the council, 1936-55 (1 vol.); camp order book of the London Regiment, 1901-2 (1 vol.); award book, 1908-38 (1 vol.); attendance book of the Hackney Boys' Non-Commissioned Officers' Union, 1916-29 (1 vol.)

Photographs, including albums for the Birchington, Walmer and St Mary Cray camps, 1931-3; mementoes, 1920-53

Orders and typescript profiles of notable individuals associated with the Brigade, to 1991. London regimental orders, 1897-1930 (1 file)

Copies (incomplete series) of The Brigade Bulletin and The Reveille, 1922-4; The Advance, 1931-5; Advance Again, 1952-8; Brigade, 1971; and other publications to 1979. Memorial albums for members who died on active service (3 vols.)

Annual and other reports, 1898-1990 (59 files, incomplete sequence)

Press cuttings, 1908-70 (9 vols., 1 file); papers and histories for provincial and overseas units, including South Africa, Montreal, Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, Hull, Newcastle, Sheffield and Bradford, 1899-1991

For the formation and history of the Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade, Sharman Kadish 'A good Jew and a good Englishman': the Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade 1895-1995 (London, 1995); her working papers for this volume form MS 231.

MS 223, papers of Stanley Rowe, contains material for the Manchester Jewish Lads' Brigade and Club.

Date range:


Former references:

AJ 189, A839


23 boxes and 10 volumes

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