Jack Catchpool

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Jack Catchpool
Warden of Toynbee Hall
In office
Preceded byArthur Eustace Morgan
Succeeded byWalter Birmingham
Personal details
Born(1890-08-22)22 August 1890
Leicester, UK
Died13 March 1971(1971-03-13) (aged 80)
Welwyn Garden City, UK
EducationSidcot School
Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre

(Egerton) St John Pettifor Catchpool CBE (1890-1971) also known as Jack Catchpool was a social worker who served as the warden of Toynbee Hall, London. He was general secretary of the Youth Hostels Association from its inception in 1930 until 1950.[1]

Early life[edit]

He attended the Quaker institutions Sidcot School and Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre.[2]


During the First World War, Catchpool served with the Friends' Ambulance Unit in France and then with the Friends' war victims' relief committee in Russia.[2]

After the war, he held the post of sub-warden of Toynbee Hall from 1920 to 1929. He was a member of the London County Council education committee from 1925 to 1931.[2]

From 1930 to 1950 he served as the first general secretary of the Youth Hostels Association, and in 1938 he was elected president of the International Youth Hostel Federation.[2]

Personal life[edit]

He married Ruth Allason in 1920 and they had five children.[1]

His older brother was Corder Catchpool.[3]

He was appointed chevalier of the Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau in 1948 and Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1951.

He died at his home in Welwyn Garden City, Herfordshire, on 13 March 1971.[2]


  • Candles in the Darkness. London: Bannisdale Press, 1966


  1. ^ a b "Toynbee Hall Annual Report 1971". Toynbee Hall. 1971. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e Heath, Graham (2004). "Catchpool, (Egerton) St John Pettifor". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37268. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Freeman, Mark (2010). "Fellowship, Service and the 'Spirit of Adventure': the Religious Society of Friends and the outdoors movement in Britain, c.1900–1950". Quaker Studies. 14 (1): 72–92.

Further reading[edit]

  • Simpson, Duncan M. (2020). Youth Hostel Pioneer: Peace, Travels, Adventure and the Life of Jack Catchpool. Duncan M. Simpson Writing. ISBN 9781713110637.