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Lieutenant General Lieutenant general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a three-star rank, three-star military rank (NATO code OF-8) used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title of lieutenant general was held by the second-in ...
Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, ( ; 22 February 1857 – 8 January 1941), was a
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
officer, writer, founder and first
Chief ScoutA Chief Scout is the principal or head scout for an organization such as the military, colonial administration or expedition or a talent scout in performing, entertainment or creative arts, particularly sport. In sport, a Chief Scout can be the princ ...
of the world-wide
Scout Movement Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), commonly referred to as movement Arts, entert ...

Scout Movement
, and founder, with his sister
Agnes
Agnes
, of the world-wide Girl Guide / Girl Scout Movement. Baden-Powell authored the first editions of the seminal work ''
Scouting for Boys ''Scouting for Boys: A handbook for instruction in good citizenship'' is a book on Boy Scout A Scout (in some countries a Boy Scout, Girl Scout, or Pathfinder) is a child, usually 10–18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouti ...
'', which was an inspiration for the Scout Movement. Educated at
Charterhouse School (God having given, I gave) , established = , closed = , type = Public school Independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independ ...
, Baden-Powell served in the British Army from 1876 until 1910 in India and Africa. In 1899, during the
Second Boer War The Second Boer War ( af, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, lit. "Second Freedom War", 11 October 189931 May 1902), also known as the Boer War, the Anglo–Boer War, or the South African War, was a conflict fought between the British Empire and the two B ...
in South Africa, Baden-Powell successfully defended the town in the
Siege of Mafeking The siege of Mafeking was a 217-day siege battle for the town of Mafeking (now called Mahikeng) in South Africa during the Second Boer War from October 1899 to May 1900. The siege received considerable attention as Lord Edward Cecil, the son of ...
. Several of his books, written for military
reconnaissance In military operations, reconnaissance or scouting is the exploration of an area by military forces to obtain information about enemy forces, terrain Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topogr ...

reconnaissance
and scout training in his African years, were also read by boys. In August 1907, he held a demonstration camp, the
Brownsea Island Scout camp The Brownsea Island Scout camp was the site of a boys' camping event on Brownsea Island Brownsea Island, also archaically known as Branksea, is the largest of the islands in Poole Harbour Poole Harbour is a large natural harbour ...
, which is now seen as the beginning of Scouting. Based on his earlier books, particularly ''Aids to Scouting'', he wrote ''
Scouting for Boys ''Scouting for Boys: A handbook for instruction in good citizenship'' is a book on Boy Scout A Scout (in some countries a Boy Scout, Girl Scout, or Pathfinder) is a child, usually 10–18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouti ...
'', published in 1908 by Sir Arthur Pearson, for boy readership. In 1910 Baden-Powell retired from the army and formed
The Scout Association The Scout Association is the largest Scouting organisation in the United Kingdom and is the World Organization of the Scout Movement's recognised member for the United Kingdom. Following the origin of Scouting in 1907, the association was form ...
. The first Scout Rally was held at
The Crystal Palace The Crystal Palace was a cast iron Cast iron is a group of iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content more than 2%. Its usefulness derives from its relatively low melting temperature. The alloy constituents affect its colour when fracture ...
in 1909. Girls in Scout uniform attended, telling Baden-Powell that they were the "Girl Scouts". In 1910, Baden-Powell and his sister
Agnes Baden-Powell Agnes Smyth Baden-Powell (16 December 1858 – 2 June 1945) was the younger sister of Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell Lieutenant General Lieutenant general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a three-star military A mil ...

Agnes Baden-Powell
started the
Girl Guide and Girl Scout A Girl Guide or Girl Scout is a member of a section of some Guiding organisations who is between the ages of 10 and 14. Age limits are different in each organisation. The term Girl Scout is used in the United States and several East Asian co ...
organisation. In 1912 he married
Olave St Clair Soames
Olave St Clair Soames
. He gave guidance to the Scout and Girl Guide movements until retiring in 1937. Baden-Powell lived his last years in
Nyeri Nyeri is a town situated in the Central Highlands of Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written ...

Nyeri
, Kenya, where he died and was buried in 1941. His grave is a
national monument A national monument is a monument is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the ...
. Baden-Powell is the great-grandfather of
Gerard Baden-Clay Allison June Baden-Clay (''née'' Dickie; 1 July 1968 – 19 April 2012) was an Australian Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which ...
, known for murdering his wife.


Early life

Baden-Powell was a son of The Reverend Professor Baden Powell,
Savilian Professor of Geometry The position of Savilian Professor of Geometry was established at the University of Oxford in 1619. It was founded (at the same time as the Savilian Professor of Astronomy, Savilian Professorship of Astronomy) by Henry Savile (Bible translator), ...
at
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London, southeast of Birmingham, and northeast of Bristol. The city is home to the Unive ...

Oxford University
and
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
priest, and his third wife, Henrietta Grace Smyth, eldest daughter of Admiral
William Henry Smyth Admiral William Henry Smyth (21 January 1788 – 8 September 1865) was a Royal Navy officer, hydrographer, astronomer and numismatist. He is noted for his involvement in the early history of a number of learned societies, for his hydrographic ...
. After the Rev. Prof. Powell died in 1860, his widow, to identify her children with her late husband's fame, and to set her own children apart from their half-siblings and cousins, styled the family name ''Baden-Powell''. The name was eventually legally changed by Royal Licence on 30 April 1902. The family of Baden-Powell's father originated in Suffolk. His mother's earliest known Smyth ancestor was a Royalist American colonist; her
mother A mother is the female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, that produces non-mobile ovum, ova (egg cells). Barring rare medical conditions, most female mammals, including female humans, have two X chro ...
's father Thomas Warington was the British
Consul Consul (abbrev. ''cos.''; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the powe ...
in
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , after and , with a population of 967,069 within the city's administrative limits as of ...

Naples
around 1800. Baden-Powell was born as Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell at 6 Stanhope Street (now 11 Stanhope Terrace),
Paddington Paddington is an List of areas of London, area within the City of Westminster, in central London. First a medieval parish then a Metropolitan Borough of Paddington, metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1 ...

Paddington
, London, on 22 February 1857. He was called Stephe (pronounced "Stevie") by his family. He was named after his godfather,
Robert Stephenson Robert Stephenson FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * Family R ...

Robert Stephenson
, the railway and civil engineer, and his third name was his mother's surname. Baden-Powell had four older half-siblings from the second of his father's two previous marriages, and was the sixth child of his father's third marriage: * Warington (1847–1921) *
George George may refer to: People * George (given name) George (, ) is a masculine given name derived from the Greek language, Greek Georgios, Geōrgios (; , ). The name gained popularity due to its association with the Christian martyrs, Christian ...
(1847–1898) * Augustus ("Gus") (1849–1863), who was often ill and died young *
Francis Francis may refer to: People *Pope Francis Pope Francis ( la, Franciscus; it, Francesco; es, link=, Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State since ...
("Frank") (1850–1933) * Henrietta Smyth, 28 October 1851 – 9 March 1854 * John Penrose Smyth, 21 December 1852 – 14 December 1855 * Jessie Smyth 25 November 1855 – 24 July 1856 * B–P (22 February 1857 – 8 January 1941) *
Agnes
Agnes
(1858–1945) *
Baden __notoc__ Baden (; ) is a historical territory in South Germany Southern Germany () as a region has no exact boundary but is generally taken to include the areas in which Upper German dialects are spoken. This corresponds roughly to the h ...

Baden
(1860–1937) The three children immediately preceding B–P had all died very young before he was born. Baden-Powell's father died when he was three. Subsequently, Baden-Powell was raised by his mother, a strong woman who was determined that her children would succeed. In 1933 he said of her "The whole secret of my getting on, lay with my mother." He attended
Rose Hill School Rose Hill School is a co-educational preparatory school in Royal Tunbridge Wells Royal Tunbridge Wells is a town in Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purpose ...
,
Tunbridge Wells Royal Tunbridge Wells is a town in Kent, England, southeast of central London, close to the border with East Sussex on the northern edge of the Weald, High Weald, whose sandstone geology is exemplified by the rock formation High Rocks. The ...
and was given a scholarship to
Charterhouse Charterhouse may refer to: * Charterhouse (monastery), of the Carthusian religious order Charterhouse may also refer to: Places * The Charterhouse, Coventry, a former monastery * Charterhouse School, an English public school in Surrey London ...
, a prestigious public school named after the ancient Carthusian monastery buildings it occupied in the City of London. However while he was a pupil there, the school moved out to new purpose-built premises in the countryside near
Godalming Godalming is a historic market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and c ...
in Surrey. He played the piano and violin, was an
ambidextrous Ambidexterity is the ability to use both the right and left hand equally well. When referring to objects, the term indicates that the object is equally suitable for right-handed and left-handed people. When referring to humans, it indicates that ...
artist, and enjoyed acting. Holidays were spent on
yachting Yachting is the use of recreational boats and ships called ''yacht A yacht is a sailing or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. There is no standard definition, so the term applies to such vessels that have a cabin with amenit ...
or
canoeing Canoeing is an activity which involves paddling Paddling with regard to watercraft is the act of manually propelling a boat using a paddle. The paddle, which consists of one or two blades joined to a shaft, is also used to steer the vessel. The ...
expeditions with his brothers. Baden-Powell's first introduction to Scouting skills was through stalking and cooking game while avoiding teachers in the nearby woods, which were strictly out-of-bounds.


Military career

In 1876 Baden-Powell joined the 13th Hussars in India with the rank of lieutenant. He enhanced and honed his military scouting skills amidst the
Zulu Zulu may refer to: Zulu people * Zulu Kingdom or Zulu Empire, a former monarchy in what is now South Africa * Zulu language, a Bantu language spoken in southern Africa * Zulu people, an ethnic group of southern Africa Arts, entertainment, and med ...
in the early 1880s in the
Natal province The Province of Natal ( af, Natalprovinsie), commonly called Natal, was a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative reg ...
of South Africa, where his regiment had been posted, and where he was
Mentioned in Dispatches To be mentioned in dispatches (or despatches, MiD) describes a member of the armed forces whose name appears in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which their gallant or meritorious action in the face ...
. Baden-Powell's skills impressed his superiors and in 1890 he was brevetted Major as Military Secretary and senior
Aide-de-camp An ''aide-de-camp'' (, ; French expression meaning literally ''helper in the ilitarycamp'') is a personal assistant A personal assistant, also referred to as personal aide (PA) or personal secretary (PS), is a job title describing a per ...

Aide-de-camp
to the Commander-in-Chief and Governor of
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisi ...

Malta
, his uncle General Sir
Henry Augustus Smyth General (United Kingdom), General Sir Henry Augustus Smyth (25 November 1825 – 19 September 1906) was a senior British Army officer. He was the son of Admiral William Henry Smyth and the brother of astronomer Charles Piazzi Smyth and geologis ...
. He was posted to Malta for three years, also working as intelligence officer for the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
for the Director of Military Intelligence. He frequently travelled disguised as a butterfly collector, incorporating plans of military installations into his drawings of butterfly wings. In 1884 he published ''Reconnaissance and Scouting''. Baden-Powell returned to Africa in 1896, and served in the
Second Matabele War The Second Matabele War, also known as the Matabeleland Rebellion or part of what is now known in Zimbabwe as the First ''Chimurenga'', was fought between 1896 and 1897 in the region later known as Southern Rhodesia, now modern-day Zimbabwe. ...
, in the expedition to relieve
British South Africa Company The British South Africa Company (BSAC or BSACo) was charteredChartered may refer to: * Charter, a legal document conferring rights or privileges ** University charter ** Chartered company * Chartered (professional), a professional credential * ...
personnel under siege in
Bulawayo Bulawayo (, ; Ndebele Ndebele may refer to: *Southern Ndebele people, located in South Africa *Northern Ndebele people, located in Zimbabwe and Botswana About It is a language that stems from the South African Zulu language. With very simila ...

Bulawayo
. This was a formative experience for him not only because he commanded reconnaissance missions into enemy territory in the Matopos Hills, but because many of his later Boy Scout ideas took hold here. It was during this campaign that he first met and befriended the American scout
Frederick Russell Burnham Frederick Russell Burnham DSO DSO may refer to: Organisations * Defence Science Organisation, now known as DSO National Laboratories, Singapore * Defense Sciences Office, part of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency * Directorate o ...
, who introduced Baden-Powell to stories of the
American Old West The American frontier, also known as the Old West or the Wild West, includes the geography, history, folklore, and culture in the forward wave of American expansion that began with European colonial settlements in the early 17th century and e ...
and
woodcraft The term woodcraft — or woodlore — denotes skills and experience in matters relating to living and thriving in the woods—such as hunting Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife Wildlif ...
(i.e.,
Scoutcraft Scoutcraft is a term used to cover a variety of woodcraft knowledge and skills required by people seeking to venture into wild country and sustain themselves independently. The term has been adopted by Scouting organizations to reflect skills and k ...
), and here that he was introduced for the first time to the Montana Peaked version of a western cowboy hat, of which
Stetson Stetson is a brand of hat manufactured by the John B. Stetson Company. John B. Stetson gained inspiration for his most famous hats when he headed west from his native New Jersey for health reasons. On his return east in 1865, he founded the ...

Stetson
was a prolific manufacturer, and which also came to be known as a campaign hat and the many versatile and practical uses of a
neckerchief A neckerchief (from ''neck'' (n.) + ''kerchief A kerchief (from the Old French ''couvrechief'', "cover head"), also known as a bandana or bandanna, is a triangular or square piece of cloth tied around the Human head, head, face or neck for prote ...

neckerchief
. Baden-Powell was accused of illegally executing a prisoner of war in 1896, the Matabele chief
Uwini Uwini was Makalaka leader from Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...
, who had been promised his life would be spared if he surrendered. Uwini was sentenced to be shot by firing squad by a military court, a sentence Baden-Powell confirmed. Baden-Powell was cleared by a military court of inquiry but the colonial civil authorities wanted a civil investigation and trial. Baden-Powell later claimed he was "released without a stain on my character". After
Rhodesia Rhodesia (, ), officially from 1970 the Republic of Rhodesia, was an unrecognised state in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is p ...

Rhodesia
, Baden-Powell served in the Fourth
Ashanti War The Anglo-Ashanti Wars were a series of five 19th-century conflicts that took place between 1824 and 1900, between the Ashanti Empire The Asante Empire ( Asante Twi: ) was an Akan empire and kingdom from 1701 to 1957, in what is now modern-day ...
in
Gold Coast Gold Coast may refer to: Places Africa * Gold Coast (region), in West Africa, which was made up of the following colonies, before being established as the independent nation of Ghana: ** Portuguese Gold Coast (Portuguese, 1482–1642) ** Dutch Gol ...
. In 1897, at the age of 40, he was brevetted
colonel Colonel (; abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer An officer is a person who has a position of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social rel ...

colonel
(the youngest colonel in the British Army) and given command of the
5th Dragoon Guards The 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards was a Cavalry regiments of the British Army, British army cavalry regiment, officially formed in January 1686 as Shrewsbury's Regiment of Horse. Following a number of name changes, it became t ...
in India. A few years later he wrote a small manual, entitled ''Aids to Scouting'', a summary of lectures he had given on the subject of military scouting, much of it a written explanation of the lessons he had learned from Burnham, to help train recruits. Baden-Powell returned to South Africa before the
Second Boer War The Second Boer War ( af, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, lit. "Second Freedom War", 11 October 189931 May 1902), also known as the Boer War, the Anglo–Boer War, or the South African War, was a conflict fought between the British Empire and the two B ...
and was engaged in further military actions against the Zulus. Although instructed to maintain a mobile mounted force on the frontier with the
Boer Republics The Boer Republics (sometimes also referred to as Boer states) were independent, self-governing republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, gene ...
, Baden-Powell amassed stores and established a garrison at Mafeking. The subsequent
Siege of Mafeking The siege of Mafeking was a 217-day siege battle for the town of Mafeking (now called Mahikeng) in South Africa during the Second Boer War from October 1899 to May 1900. The siege received considerable attention as Lord Edward Cecil, the son of ...
lasted 217 days. Although Baden-Powell could have destroyed his stores and had sufficient forces to break out throughout much of the siege, especially since the Boers lacked adequate artillery to shell the town or its forces, he remained in the town to the point of his intended mounted soldiers eating their horses. The town had been surrounded by a Boer army, at times in excess of 8,000 men. The siege of the small town received much attention from both the Boers and international media because
Lord Edward Cecil Lord Edward Herbert Gascoyne-Cecil (12 July 1867 – 13 December 1918), known as Lord Edward Cecil, was a distinguished and highly decorated English soldier. As colonial administrator in Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Ar ...
, the son of the British Prime Minister, was besieged in the town. The garrison held out until relieved, in part thanks to cunning deceptions, many devised by Baden-Powell. Fake minefields were planted and his soldiers pretended to avoid non-existent
barbed wire A close-up view of a barbed wire Roll of modern agricultural barbed wire Barbed wire, also known as barb wire, occasionally corrupted as bobbed wire or bob wire, is a type of steel Steel is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal ...

barbed wire
while moving between trenches. Baden-Powell did much reconnaissance work himself. In one instance, noting that the Boers had not removed the rail line, Baden-Powell loaded an armoured locomotive with sharpshooters and sent it down the rails into the heart of the Boer encampment and back again in a successful attack. A contrary view expressed by historian Thomas Pakenham of Baden-Powell's actions during the siege argues that his success in resisting the Boers was secured at the expense of the lives of the native African soldiers and civilians, including members of his own African garrison. Pakenham stated that Baden-Powell drastically reduced the rations to the native garrison. However, in 2001, after subsequent research, Pakenham decidedly retreated from this position. During the siege, the
Mafeking Cadet Corps The Mafeking Cadet Corps was a group of boy cadets formed by Lord Edward Cecil shortly before the 217 day Siege of Mafeking in South Africa during the Second Boer War in 1899–1900. Cecil, the son of the British prime minister, was the staff off ...
of white boys below fighting age stood guard, carried messages, assisted in hospitals and so on, freeing grown men to fight. Baden-Powell did not form the Cadet Corps himself, and there is no evidence that he took much notice of them during the Siege. However, he was sufficiently impressed with both their courage and the equanimity with which they performed their tasks to use them later as an object lesson in the first chapter of ''Scouting for Boys''. The siege was lifted on 16 May 1900. Baden-Powell was promoted to
major-general Major general (abbreviated MG, maj. gen. and similar) is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparent confusion of a lieu ...
and became a national hero. However, British military commanders were more critical of his performance and even less impressed with his subsequent choices to again allow himself to be besieged. Ultimately, his failure to properly understand the situation and abandonment of the soldiers, mostly
Australian Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines ...
s and Rhodesians, at the Battle of Elands River led to his being removed from action. Briefly back in the United Kingdom in October 1901, Baden-Powell was invited to visit
King Edward VII Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A political ...

King Edward VII
at , the monarch's Scottish retreat, and personally invested as
Companion of the Order of the Bath Companion may refer to: Relationships Relationships in current terms * Any of several interpersonal relationship The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people ...
(CB). The South African War had seen the largest British Army ever to leave Britain, and with the end of that War on 31 May 1902 "active Service" effectively ceased. Baden-Powell was given the role of organising the
South African Constabulary The South African Constabulary (SAC) was a paramilitary A paramilitary organization is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional m ...
, a colonial police force, but during this phase, Baden-Powell was sent to Britain on sick leave, so he was only in command for seven months. He returned to England to take up a post as Inspector-General of Cavalry in 1903. While holding this position, Baden-Powell was instrumental in reforming reconnaissance training in British cavalry, giving the force an important advantage in scouting ability over continental rivals. Also during this appointment, Baden-Powell selected the location of
Catterick Garrison Catterick Garrison is a major garrison Garrison (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of troop A troop is a military sub-subunit Sub-subunit or sub-sub-unit ...
to replace
Richmond Castle Richmond Castle in Richmond, North Yorkshire, Richmond, North Yorkshire, England, stands in a commanding position above the River Swale, close to the centre of the town of Richmond. It was originally called Riche Mount, 'the strong hill'. The cast ...

Richmond Castle
which was then the Headquarters of the Northumbrian Division. In 1907 he was promoted to Lieutenant-General but was left on the inactive list. Eventually, he was appointed to the lowly command of the Northumbrian Division of the newly formed
Territorial Force The Territorial Force was a part-time volunteer component of the British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known a ...
. The Foreign Intelligence section in the Belfast Newsletter reported that when he visited Santiago de Chile for three days, "He was given a warmer reception than had ever been afforded a foreigner in South America." In 1910, after being rebuked for a series of what were regarded as publicity gaffes, one suggesting invasion by Germany, Baden-Powell retired from the Army. Baden-Powell later claimed he was advised by
King Edward VII Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A political ...
that he could better serve his country by promoting Scouting. On the outbreak of World War I in 1914, at the age of fifty-seven, Baden-Powell put himself at the disposal of the War Office. No command was given to him.
Lord KitchenerLord Kitchener may refer to: * Earl Kitchener, for the title * Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener (1850–1916), British soldier in the Sudan, the Second Boer War, and First World War ** Lord Kitchener Wants You, a British Army recruitment poster ...

Lord Kitchener
said: "He could lay his hand on several competent divisional generals but could find no one who could carry on the invaluable work of the Boy Scouts".


Scouting Movement

On his return from Africa in 1903, Baden-Powell found that his military training manual, ''Aids to Scouting'', had become a best-seller, and was being used by teachers and youth organisations, including
Charlotte Mason Charlotte Maria Shaw Mason (1 January 1842 – 16 January 1923) was a British educator and reformer in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales t ...

Charlotte Mason
's House of Education. Following his involvement in the
Boys' Brigade :''For the 1980s Canadian new wave band, see Boys Brigade (band). Not to be confused with the Church Lads' and Church Girls' Brigade The Church Lads' and Church Girls' Brigade is an Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Wester ...
as a Brigade Vice-President and Officer in charge of its scouting section, with encouragement from his friend, William Alexander Smith, Baden-Powell decided to re-write ''Aids to Scouting'' to suit a youth readership. In August 1907 he held a camp on Brownsea Island to test out his ideas. About twenty boys attended: eight from local Boys' Brigade companies, and about twelve public school boys, mostly sons of his friends. Baden-Powell was also influenced by
Ernest Thompson Seton Ernest Thompson Seton (born Ernest Evan Thompson August 14, 1860 – October 23, 1946) was an author, wildlife artist, founder of the Woodcraft Indians Woodcraft League of America, originally called the Woodcraft Indians and League of Woodcr ...

Ernest Thompson Seton
, who founded the
Woodcraft Indians Woodcraft League of America, originally called the Woodcraft Indians and League of Woodcraft Indians, is a youth program, established by Ernest Thompson Seton Ernest Thompson Seton (born Ernest Evan Thompson August 14, 1860 – October 23, ...
. Seton gave Baden-Powell a copy of his book ''The Birch Bark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians'' and they met in 1906. The first book on the Scout Movement, Baden-Powell's ''
Scouting for Boys ''Scouting for Boys: A handbook for instruction in good citizenship'' is a book on Boy Scout A Scout (in some countries a Boy Scout, Girl Scout, or Pathfinder) is a child, usually 10–18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouti ...
'' was published in six instalments in 1908, and has sold approximately 150 million copies as the fourth best-selling book of the 20th century. Boys and girls spontaneously formed Scout troops and the Scouting Movement started spontaneously, first as a national, and soon an international phenomenon. A rally of Scouts was held at
Crystal Palace Crystal Palace may refer to: Places Canada * Crystal Palace Complex (Dieppe), a former amusement park now a shopping complex in Dieppe, New Brunswick * Crystal Palace Barracks, London, Ontario * Crystal Palace (Montreal), an exhibition building * C ...
in London in 1909, at which Baden-Powell met some of the first Girl Scouts. The Girl Guides were subsequently formed in 1910 under the auspices of Baden-Powell's sister, Agnes Baden-Powell. In 1912, Baden-Powell started a world tour with a voyage to the Caribbean. Another passenger was
Juliette Gordon Low Juliette Gordon Low (October 31, 1860 – January 17, 1927) was the American founder of Girl Scouts of the USA. Inspired by the work of Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, Lord Baden-Powell, founder of Boy Scouts, she joined the Girl Gu ...

Juliette Gordon Low
, an American who had been running a Guide Company in Scotland, and was returning to the U.S.A. Baden-Powell encouraged her to found the
Girl Scouts of the USA Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA), commonly referred to as simply Girl Scouts, is a youth organization The following is a list of youth organizations. A youth organization is a type of organization with a focus upon providi ...
. In 1929, during the
3rd World Scout Jamboree '', published in 1929 for the 3rd World Scout Jamboree The 3rd World Scout Jamboree was held in 1929 at Arrowe Country Park, Arrowe Park in Upton, Merseyside, Upton, near Birkenhead, Wirral Peninsula, Wirral, United Kingdom. As it was commemorati ...
, he received as a present a new 20-horsepower
Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce (always hyphenated) may refer to: * Rolls-Royce Limited Rolls-Royce was a British luxury car and later an aero-engine manufacturing business established in 1904 in Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metr ...
car (chassis number GVO-40, registration OU 2938) and an Eccles travel trailer, Caravan. This combination well served the Baden-Powells in their further travels around Europe. The caravan was nicknamed Eccles and is now on display at Gilwell Park. The car, nicknamed Jam Roll, was sold after his death by Olave Baden-Powell in 1945. Jam Roll and Eccles were reunited at Gilwell for the 21st World Scout Jamboree in 2007. Recently it has been purchased on behalf of Scouting and is owned by a charity, B–P Jam Roll Ltd. Funds are being raised to repay the loan that was used to purchase the car. Baden-Powell also had a positive impact on improvements in youth education. Under his dedicated command the world Scouting Movement grew. By 1922 there were more than a million Scouts in 32 countries; by 1939 the number of Scouts was in excess of 3.3 million. Some early Scouting "Thanks Badge (Scouting), Thanks Badges" (from 1911) and the Scouting "Medal of Merit" badge had a swastika symbol on them. This was undoubtedly influenced by the use by Rudyard Kipling of the swastika on the jacket of his published books, including ''Kim (novel), Kim'', which was used by Baden-Powell as a basis for the Wolf Cub branch of the Scouting Movement. The swastika had been a symbol for luck in India long before being adopted by the Nazi Party in 1920, and when Nazi use of the swastika became more widespread, the Scouts stopped using it. Nazi Germany banned Scouting, a competitor to the Hitler Youth, in June 1934, seeing it as "a haven for young men opposed to the new State". Based on the regime's view of Scouting as a dangerous espionage organisation, Baden-Powell's name was included in "The Black Book (list), The Black Book", a 1940 list of people to be detained following the planned conquest of the United Kingdom. A drawing by Baden-Powell depicts Scouts assisting refugees fleeing from the Nazis and Hitler. Tim Jeal, author of the biography ''Baden-Powell (book), Baden-Powell'', gives his opinion that "Baden-Powell's distrust of communism led to his implicit support, through naïveté, of fascism", an opinion based on two of B-P's diary entries. Baden-Powell met Benito Mussolini on 2 March 1933, and in his diary described him as ''"small, stout, human and genial. Told me about Balilla, and workmen's outdoor recreations which he imposed though 'moral force'"''. On 17 October 1939 Baden-Powell wrote in his diary: ''"Lay up all day. Read ''Mein Kampf''. A wonderful book, with good ideas on education, health, propaganda, organisation etc. – and ideals which Adolf Hitler, Hitler does not practice himself."'' At the 5th World Scout Jamboree in 1937, Baden-Powell gave his farewell to Scouting, and retired from public Scouting life. 22 February, the joint birthday of Robert and Olave Baden-Powell, continues to be marked as World Thinking Day, Founder's Day by Scouts and World Thinking Day by Guides to remember and celebrate the work of the Chief Scout and Chief Guide of the World. In his final letter to the Scouts, Baden-Powell wrote:
I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have a happy life too. I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness does not come from being rich, nor merely being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so you can enjoy life when you are a man. Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one. But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. "Be prepared" in this way, to live happy and to die happy – stick to your Scout Promise always – even after you have ceased to be a boy – and God help you to do it.
Baden-Powell died on 8 January 1941: Baden-Powell grave, his grave is in St Peter's Cemetery in Nyeri, Kenya. His gravestone bears a circle with a dot in the centre "ʘ", which is the trail sign for "Going home", or "I have gone home". His wife Olave moved back to England in 1942, although after she died in 1977, her ashes were taken to Kenya by her grandson Robert Baden-Powell, 3rd Baron Baden-Powell, Robert and interred beside her husband. In 2001 the Kenyan government declared Baden-Powell's grave a National Monument.


Writings and publications

Baden-Powell published books and other texts during his years of military service both to finance his life and to generally educate his men. * 1884: ''Reconnaissance and Scouting'' * 1885: ''Cavalry Instruction'' * 1889: ''Pigsticking or Hoghunting'' * 1896: ''The Downfall of Prempeh'' * 1897: ''The Matabele Campaign'' * 1899: ''Aids to Scouting for N.-C.Os and Men'' * 1900: ''Sport in War'' * 1901: ''Notes and Instructions for the South African Constabulary'' * 1907: ''Sketches in Mafeking and East Africa'' * 1910: ''British Discipline'', Essay 32 of Essays on Duty and Discipline * 1914: ''Quick Training for War'' Baden-Powell was regarded as an excellent storyteller. During his whole life he told "ripping yarns" to audiences. After having published ''Scouting for Boys'', Baden-Powell kept on writing more handbooks and educative materials for all Scouts, as well as directives for Scout Leaders. In his later years, he also wrote about the Scout movement and his ideas for its future. He spent most of the last two years of his life in Africa, and many of his later books had African themes. * 1908: ''
Scouting for Boys ''Scouting for Boys: A handbook for instruction in good citizenship'' is a book on Boy Scout A Scout (in some countries a Boy Scout, Girl Scout, or Pathfinder) is a child, usually 10–18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouti ...
'' * 1909: ''Yarns for Boy Scouts'' * 1912: ''How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire, The Handbook for the Girl Guides or How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire'' (co-authored with Agnes Baden-Powell) * 1913: ''Boy Scouts Beyond The Sea: My World Tour'' * 1915: ''Indian Memories'' (American title ''Memories of India'') * 1915: ''My Adventures as a Spy'' * 1916: ''Young Knights of the Empire: Their Code, and Further Scout Yarns'' * 1916: ''The Wolf Cub's Handbook'' * 1918: ''Girl Guiding'' * 1919: ''Aids To Scoutmastership'' * 1921: ''What Scouts Can Do: More Yarns'' * 1921: ''An Old Wolf's Favourites'' * 1922: ''Rovering to Success'' * 1927: ''Life's Snags and How to Meet Them'' * 1929: ''Scouting and Youth Movements'' * est 1929: ''s:Last message to scouts, Last Message to Scouts'' * 1932: ''He-who-sees-in-the-dark; the Boys' Story of Frederick Burnham, the American Scout'' * 1933: ''Lessons From the Varsity of Life'' * 1934: ''Adventures and Accidents'' * 1935: ''Scouting Round the World'' * 1936: ''Adventuring to Manhood'' * 1937: ''African Adventures'' * 1938: ''Birds and Beasts of Africa'' * 1939: ''Paddle Your Own Canoe'' * 1940: ''More Sketches Of Kenya'' Most of his books (the American editions) are available online. Compilations and excerpts comprised: * * * * Baden-Powell also contributed to various other books, either with an introduction or foreword, or being quoted by the author, * 1905: ''Ambidexterity'' by John Jackson * 1839: ''Fifty years against the stream: The story of a school in Kashmir, 1880–1930'' by E.D. Tyndale-Biscoe about the Tyndale Biscoe School


Art

Baden-Powell's father often sketched caricatures of those present at meetings, while his maternal grandmother was also artistic. Baden-Powell painted or sketched almost every day of his life. Most of his works have a humorous or informative character. His books are scattered with his pen-and-ink sketches, frequently whimsical. He did a large unknown number of pen-and-ink sketches; he always travelled with a sketchpad that he used frequently for pencil sketches and "cartoons" for later water-colour paintings. He also created a few sculptures. There is no catalogue of his works, many of which appear in his books, and twelve paintings hang in the British Scout Headquarters at Gilwell Park. In 1911 and 1912, he had fishing holidays in Norway. There was an exhibition of his work at the Willmer House Museum, Farnham, Surrey, from 11 April – 12 May 1967; a text-only catalogue was produced.


Personal life

In January 1912, Baden-Powell was en route to New York on a Scouting World Tour, on the ocean liner , when he met . She was 23, while he was 55; they shared the same birthday, 22 February. They became engaged in September of the same year, causing a media sensation due to Baden-Powell's fame. To avoid press intrusion, they married in private on 30 October 1912, at St Peter's Church in Parkstone. 100,000 Scouts had each donated Penny (British pre-decimal coin), a penny (1d) to buy Baden-Powell a wedding gift, a 20 h.p. Standard Motor Company, Standard motor-car (not the Rolls-Royce they were presented with in 1929). There is a display about their marriage inside St Peter's Church, Parkstone. The couple lived in Pax Hill near Bentley, Hampshire, from about 1919 until 1939. The Bentley house was a gift from her father. After they married, Baden-Powell began to suffer persistent headaches which were considered by his doctor to be psychosomatic illness, psychosomatic, and which were treated with Dream interpretation, dream analysis. In 1939, they moved to a cottage he had commissioned in
Nyeri Nyeri is a town situated in the Central Highlands of Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written ...

Nyeri
, Kenya, near Mount Kenya, where he had previously been to recuperate. The small one-room house, which he named ''Paxtu'', was located on the grounds of the Outspan Hotel, owned by Eric Sherbrooke Walker, Baden-Powell's first private secretary and one of the first Scout inspectors. Walker also owned the Treetops Hotel, approximately 17 km out in the Aberdare Range, Aberdare Mountains, often visited by Baden-Powell and people of the Happy Valley set. The Paxtu cottage is integrated into the Outspan Hotel buildings and serves as a small Scouting museum. Baden-Powell and his wife were parents of Peter Baden-Powell, 2nd Baron Baden-Powell, Arthur Robert Peter (1913–1962), who succeeded his father in the barony; Heather Grace (1915–1986), who married John Hall King (1913–2004) and had two sons, the elder of whom, Michael, was killed in the sinking of in 1966; and Betty Clay, Betty St Clair (1917–2004). When Olave's sister Auriol Davidson (née Soames) died in 1919, Olave and Robert took her three daughters into their family and brought them up as their own children. Three of Baden-Powell's many biographers comment on his sexuality; the first two (in 1979 and 1986) focused on his relationship with his close friend Kenneth McLaren. Tim Jeal's later (1989) biography discusses the relationship and finds no evidence that this friendship was of an erotic nature. Jeal then examines Baden-Powell's views on women, his appreciation of the male form, his military relationships, and his marriage, concluding that, in his personal opinion, Baden-Powell was a Latent homosexuality, repressed homosexual. Jeal's arguments and conclusion are dismissed by Procter and Block (2009) as "amateur psychoanalysis", for which there is no physical evidence.


Commissions and promotions

* Commissioned Sub-Lieutenant#British Army, sub-lieutenant, 13th Hussars, 11 September 1876 (retroactively granted the rank of Lieutenant (British Army and Royal Marines), lieutenant from the same date on 17 September 1878) * Captain (British Army and Royal Marines), Captain, 13th Hussars, 16 May 1883 ** Brevet major, British Army, 1890 * Major, 13th Hussars, 1 July 1892 ** Brevet lieutenant colonel, British Army, 25 March 1896 * Lieutenant colonel, 13th Hussars, 25 April 1897 ** Brevet
colonel Colonel (; abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer An officer is a person who has a position of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social rel ...

colonel
, British Army, 8 May 1897 ** Commanding officer, 5th Dragoon Guards, 1897 * Major-general (United Kingdom), Major general, 23 May 1900 ** Inspector General of Cavalry, British Army * Lieutenant-general (United Kingdom), Lieutenant general, 10 June 1907


Recognition

In 1937 Baden-Powell was appointed to the Order of Merit, one of the most exclusive awards in the Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom, British honours system, and he was also awarded 28 decorations by foreign states, including the Grand Officer of the Portuguese Order of Christ (Portugal), Order of Christ, the Grand Commander of the Greek Order of the Redeemer (1920), the Commander of the French Légion d'honneur (1925), the First Class of the Hungarian Order of Merit (1929), the Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog of Denmark, the Grand Cross of the Order of the White Lion, the Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix (Greece), Order of the Phoenix, and the Order of Polonia Restituta. The Silver Wolf Award (The Scout Association), Silver Wolf Award was originally worn by Robert Baden-Powell. The Bronze Wolf Award, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting, was first awarded to Baden-Powell by a unanimous decision of the then ''International Committee'' on the day of the institution of the Bronze Wolf in Stockholm in 1935. He was also the first recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award in 1926, the highest award conferred by the Boy Scouts of America. In 1927, at the Swedish National Jamboree he was awarded by the ''Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs, Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund'' with the "''Großes Dankabzeichen des ÖPB''. In 1931 Baden-Powell received the highest award of the First Austrian Republic (''Großes Ehrenzeichen der Republik am Bande'') out of the hands of President Wilhelm Miklas. Baden-Powell was also one of the first and few recipients of the ''Goldene Gemse'', the highest award conferred by the Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund. In 1931, Major
Frederick Russell Burnham Frederick Russell Burnham DSO DSO may refer to: Organisations * Defence Science Organisation, now known as DSO National Laboratories, Singapore * Defense Sciences Office, part of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency * Directorate o ...
dedicated Mount Baden-Powell in California to his old Scouting friend from forty years before. Today, their friendship is honoured in perpetuity with the dedication of the adjoining peak, Mount Burnham. Baden-Powell was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on numerous occasions, including 10 separate nominations in 1928. He was awarded the Wateler Peace Prize in 1937. In 2002, Baden-Powell was named 13th in the BBC's list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote. As part of the Scouting 2007 Centenary, Nepal renamed Urkema Peak to Baden-Powell Peak. In June 2020, following the George Floyd protests in Britain and the removal of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol, the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP Council) announced that a Statue of Robert Baden-Powell, Poole, statue of Baden-Powell on Poole, Poole Quay would be removed temporarily for its protection, amid fears for its safety. Police believed it was on a list of monuments to be destroyed or removed, and that it was a target for protestors due to perceptions that Baden-Powell had held homophobic and racist views. The statue had been installed by BCP Council in 2008. Following opposition to its removal, including from local residents, and past and present scouts, some of whom camped nearby to ensure it stayed in place, BCP Council had the statue boarded up instead. Mark Howell, deputy leader of BCP Council was quoted as saying, "It is our intention that the boarding is removed at the earliest, safe opportunity."


Honours – United Kingdom


Honours – Other countries


Arms


Cultural depictions

*Actor Ron Moody portrays Baden-Powell in the 1972-1973 miniseries ''The Edwardians (miniseries), The Edwardians''.


See also

* Baden-Powell's unilens * Scouting memorials


Notes


Further reading

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

* * * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Badenpowell, Robert Stephenson Smyth 1857 births 1941 deaths 19th-century British writers 20th-century British writers 19th-century British Army personnel 20th-century British Army personnel People from Paddington People educated at Charterhouse School Scouting pioneers Chief Scouts (The Scout Association) Chief Guides Recipients of the Bronze Wolf Award British Army generals 13th Hussars officers British spies British military personnel of the Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War British Army personnel of the Second Boer War People of the Second Matabele War Pre–World War I spies Outdoor educators English Anglicans Barons Baden-Powell Deputy Lieutenants of Hampshire Knights Commander of the Order of the Bath Knights Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George Knights Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order Knights of Grace of the Order of St John Members of the Order of Merit Grand Officers of the Order of Christ (Portugal) Commandeurs of the Légion d'honneur Grand Crosses of the Order of the Phoenix (Greece) Commanders with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta Recipients of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary People of the Victorian era 5th Dragoon Guards officers Grand Crosses of the Order of the Dannebrog Grand Crosses of the Order of the White Lion Knights Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau Baden-Powell family, Robert British Kenya people Peers created by George V British memoirists People from Bentley, Hampshire