Girlguiding South West England

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Girlguiding South West England is one of the nine Countries and Regions of Girlguiding UK. It is further subdivided into 16 Girlguiding Counties and Islands.[1] These are generally not the same as the counties defined by the British government, and in this Region, two of the Islands, Guernsey and Jersey, are not even part of the United Kingdom.

The regional Headquarters is St Ann's Manor in Salisbury, Wiltshire.[2]


Girlguiding South West England is subdivided into 16 Counties and Islands. These are:[3]

  • Berkshire
  • Bristol & South Gloucestershire
  • Cornwall
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • Gloucestershire
  • Guernsey
  • Hampshire East
  • Hampshire North
  • Hampshire West
  • Isle of Wight
  • Jersey
  • Somerset
  • Somerset North
  • Wiltshire North
  • Wiltshire South


Guiding started on the Island of Jersey in 1919 with the formation of three Companies and its history is extensively documented.[4]

Guiding in Plymouth was started by Lady Nancy Astor in 1917. She was "perturbed at the fact that several flourishing Guide units existed in Exeter and other parts of the County while Plymouth had none."[5] She called a meeting of prominent people, especially those already involved in girls' organisations. Astor was appointed Divisional Commissioner and Mrs Palliser Hickman (the garrison commander's wife) was elected chairwoman of the local association. By July 1917 over 4000 girls had signed up.[5]

The Channel Islands under German occupation in World War II

The Channel Islands were occupied by Germany between 1941 and 1945. Official meetings were banned, but Guiding continued under cover. On Jersey, three Companies, the 5th St. Marks, 10th St. Aubin and 12th Gorey continued to meet at the homes of their Guiders.[6] Miss Grace Le Roux , Captain of the 5th St Mark's Girl Guides received the Gilt Cross for her work for Guiding under the occupation.[7]

Camp sites

Foxlease, the national Girlguiding UK training and activity centre near Lyndhurst, Hampshire, is in this region.

See also