Cyril French was born in 1886 in George Town, Southern Cape (now George). He was the second son of George and Bessie French.
In March 1908, his father, George French, founded the 1st Claremont Scout Troop, the first Scout Troop in South Africa. Cyril took on the role of Assistant Scoutmaster.
He was warranted as Scoutmaster in 1913, taking over from his father and running the Troop for several years. Later he went on to found the 3rd Cape Town Troop, and the two Troops held many joint activities in those early days.
He followed in his father's footsteps in other ways, becoming a schoolmaster, and taught for a time at Wynberg Boys' High School in Cape Town. He also inherited his father's interest in nature, and spent much time searching the Fish Hoek mountains and sand dunes for snakes.
In 1927 he went to Australia to take over the Adelaide Snake Park. After only a few months he was bitten by a deadly tiger snake. He died the next day on 12 April 1927.
History of First Claremont Scout Group