A match made in Scouts

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Ray and Edna met in Scouts and lived their lives through Scout values. It seems only fitting to see their dedication to the Scouts family commemorated at Gilwell Park.

Being a Scouts volunteer is about so much more than volunteering. While transforming young people’s lives by developing their skills, volunteers themselves develop skills and build friendships that last a lifetime. For some, Scouts is where they meet a fellow volunteer who becomes a best friend, a partner, and in the case of the late Edna and Ray Hobden, the love of each other’s lives. 

Both Edna and Ray were born in Stoke Newington in the 1920s but it was only a couple of decades later that their paths crossed for the first time. Ray had been in Scouts since he was a boy. Having a grown up with the movement, as a young man he attended a Scouts event where Edna was helping out. Scout Master, Eric Leach, introduced the pair. On 20 November 1948 Ray and Edna married. Ray asked Eric to be his best man. 

The couple’s history is rooted in Scouts. When Ray served in the Far East with the Royal Air Force during World War 2, he joined the 1st Penang Rover Crew. Following the war, he returned and was appointed Assistant Scout Master with the 11th North London Scout Troop in Stoke Newington and later, in 1957, he became Assistant Cub Master with the 25th Chingford (2nd Highhams Park) Cub Pack.

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After the couple met and married, they moved to the Chingford area. Their relationship with Gilwell Park blossomed through their three children’s Scouts and Guiding activities, and in later life, through their visits with a local Group.

Ray passed away in April 2012 at the age of 90 and Edna followed him on June 2016 at the age of 91. Ray lived his life through Scouts values and the family were grateful to Gilwell Park for allowing both Ray’s and then Edna’s ashes to be spread under the Gilwell Oak.

A precious brick along the Promise Path was commissioned in loving memory of Ray Hobden (1921-2012) and Edna Hobden 1925-2016, as a fitting memorial to them both. The brick is a symbol not only of the time and value Ray and Edna brought to and received from the Scouts family, but it also maintains the family’s long links to Scouts and Gilwell Park. 

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