13th Coventry Scout Group

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13th Coventry Scout Group

Parkville Highway




13th Gold V3

Group Scout Leader



M: 07530003788

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RELATIVES and friends have paid their respects to the cofounder of a Coventry scout group who died, aged 94.


William John Kelley, known as Bill, died on October 31 at Amber House in Coundon where he had lived since 2003 when he fell and broke his hip.


Bill, who grew up in Foleshill and moved to Radford when he married, leaves two daughters, Valerie and Janet and their families, including four grandchildren.


Bill's funeral was held yesterday at Charter Chapel, Canley Crematorium.


Daughter Valerie Morris, said: "He always showed an interest in everything the family were doing and even after he lost his sight he enjoyed sitting in our garden listening to the children play.


"Up until the death of our mother in 1996, Bill looked after them both at their home in Parkgate Road."


Bill was born in 1913 to John and Ruth Kelley. He had two brothers, Allan and Cyril, and a sister Betty and lived in Lockhurst Lane, Foleshill.


He joined 10th Coventry and after a disagreement between the church and the group, Bill and his friends, including Bill Hancox, and scout leader Harold Stinchcombe left and formed the 13th Coventry Scouts at Lock hurst La ne Methodist Chapel.


One of Bill's other interests was roller skating and it was at the Capitol Skating Rink in Longford where he met in his own words, "the only girl he ever loved" - Violet Pilsbury.


They married at St Thomas's Church Longford and lived in Blackwatch Road, Radford, where first daughter Janet was born.


He worked at Sterling Metals but was told to find work outside the factory or he would lose his sight. He went to work for the Co-op Dairy at Foleshill where he delivered milk with a horse and cart.


Their second daughter Valerie was born in Hen Lane, which, during the war, became a haven for the family when they were evacuated or came home on leave.


Away from work he achieved a lot during his scout ing career. In 1929 he attended the 3rd World Scout Jamboree at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead where he was present at the making of the first scout promise.


He also visited Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland. His grandson Andrew will be following in his footsteps and making the trip there next summer.


Bill prog ressed through scouting and became a rover scout. He carried out an all-night vigil which he under-took in Coventry Cathedral before it was bombed.


From its formation, Bill played in the 13th Scout band as the big bass drum player.


When the group moved to Holbrook Prima ry School plans were made to obtain a site and build a headquarters for the group. Bill and his wife were in the forefront of fundraising and the land in Parkville Highway was obtained and a wooden hut erected, followed later by a brick built building.


In 1977 Bill became group scout leader of 13th Coventry Scouts. He also held the position of dist rict cub scout leader for Foleshill District.




The Coventry Saracens Rugby Football Club was originally formed in 1966 from the 13th Coventry Scouts.

The 1948 camp was at Caister, near Great Yarmouth where a number of the Band attended. On the neighbouring site were Scouts from the 13th Coventry who spent some time with the 18th, as a result of which they went home and formed their own Band, which over the years went on to become one of the premier Scout Bands in the country. This is just one example where the 18th's Band have met other Scouts and generated interest for them to go away and form their own