BADEN POWELL – His Story
Baden-Powell or B-P was born Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell was on the 22 February 1857, the son of Professor Baden-Powell, of Oxford University. His father died when he was 3 years old and his mother devoted herself to bringing up a rather large family of 10. Baden Powell and his brothers were encouraged by their mother to make their own fun. They learned about the outdoors, built boats and sailed them and went on long journeys learning to look after themselves.
Baden-Powell attended Charterhouse School during which time he took part in a number of activities including acting, singing and cadet corps and art. In the woods near the school known as “The Copse” he studied, stalked and tracked animals, birds and his friends and teachers.
Baden-Powell was encouraged to sit Army Exams, he surprised everyone by gaining 2nd place out of 700 candidates, as a result was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant in the 13th Hussars. He sailed to join his regiment in Lucknow, India, where he took courses in surveying and reconnaissance.
He was quickly promoted and moved up through the ranks and trained his men using competitions and games and taught them how to track and live in wild country. He also wrote a book called “Aids to Scouting” about his methods of Army Training. This book was later to become the bases of Scouting
In 1887 he was sent to South Africa where he took part in a campaign against an African chief called Dinizulu
In 1899 Colonel Baden-Powell returned to South Africa. because there was the possibility of war between the Dutch settlers (Boers) and the British Settlers. War was declared and Baden-Powell and 1000 men were left to defend the town of Mafeking, which was the supply center for the British, He thought up all sorts of schemes to make it look like the town was heavily guarded. When reinforcements arrived the siege had lasted for 7 months.
Baden-Powell took part in a number of other conflicts and in 1903 was appointed Inspector-General of Cavalry.
In July 1907 B-P ran a camp for a group of boys on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour.
In 1909 B-P was knighted by King Edward VII for his outstanding military career and especially for founding Scouting
Baden-Powell died in Kenya in 1941 when he was almost 84. On his gravestone under the badges of the Scouts and Guides is carved. “Robert Baden-Powell, Chief Scout of the World”