Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, by Wikipedia

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Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu May 31, 2018 2:21 am

Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/18/18



The Lord Baden-Powell
Black and white photograph of a man in military uniform, with his medals pinned to the left side of his jacket. He is wearing a wide-brimmed campaign hat and holding a walking stick with both hands, which are crossed, and hanging down in front of himself.
Founder of Scouting
Birth name Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell
Nickname(s) B-P
Born 22 February 1857
Paddington, London, England
Died 8 January 1941 (aged 83)
Nyeri, British Kenya
Buried St Peter's Cemetery, Nyeri, Kenya (0.418968°S 36.950117°E)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1876–1910
Rank Lieutenant-General
Commands held
Chief of Staff, Second Matabele War (1896–97)
5th Dragoon Guards (1897)
Inspector General of Cavalry (1903)
Battles/wars Anglo-Ashanti Wars
Second Matabele War
Siege of Mafeking
Second Boer War
• Ashanti Star (1895)[1]
• Matabele Campaign, British South Africa Company Medal (1896)
• King's South Africa Medal ( 1902)
• The Boy Scouts Association Silver Wolf
• Boy Scouts of America Silver Buffalo Award (1926)[2]
• Boy Scouts International Committee Bronze Wolf (1935)[3]
• Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog, Denmark (1921)
• Großes Dankabzeichen des ÖPB (1927)
• Großes Ehrenzeichen der Republik am Bande (1931)
• Goldene Gemse (1931)
• Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau (1932)
• Member of the Order of Merit(1937)
• Wateler Peace Prize (1937)
• Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
• Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
• Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Spouse(s) Olave St Clair Soames
Children Arthur Robert Peter Baden-Powell
Heather Grace Baden-Powell
Betty St Clair Baden-Powell
Other work Founder of the international Scouting Movement; writer; artist
Signature Baden-Powell signature.svg

Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB, DL (/ˈbeɪdən ˈpoʊəl/ BAY-dən POH-əl; 22 February 1857 – 8 January 1941) was a British Army officer, writer, author of Scouting for Boys which was an inspiration for the Scout Movement, founder and first Chief Scout of The Boy Scouts Association and founder of the Girl Guides.[4]

After having been educated at Charterhouse School in Surrey, Baden-Powell served in the British Army from 1876 until 1910 in India and Africa.[5] In 1899, during the Second Boer War in South Africa, Baden-Powell successfully defended the town in the Siege of Mafeking.[6] Several of his military books, written for military reconnaissance and scout training in his African years, were also read by boys. In 1907, he held a demonstration camp, the Brownsea Island Scout camp, which is now seen as the beginning of Scouting.[7] Based on his earlier books, particularly Aids to Scouting, he wrote Scouting for Boys,[8] published in 1908 by Sir Arthur Pearson, for boy readership. In 1910 Baden-Powell retired from the army and formed The Boy Scouts Association.

The first Scout Rally was held at The Crystal Palace in 1909, at which appeared a number of girls dressed in Scout uniform, who told Baden-Powell that they were the "Girl Scouts", following which, in 1910, Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes Baden-Powell formed the Girl Guides from which the Girl Guides Movement grew. In 1912 he married Olave St Clair Soames. He gave guidance to the Scouting and Girl Guiding Movements until retiring in 1937. Baden-Powell lived his last years in Nyeri, Kenya, where he died and was buried in 1941.

Early life

Baden-Powell was born as Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell at 6 Stanhope Street (now 11 Stanhope Terrace), Paddington in London, on 22 February 1857. He was called Stephe (pronounced "Stevie") by his family.[9] He was named after his godfather, Robert Stephenson, the railway and civil engineer,[10] and his third name was his mother's maiden name.[11]

Baden-Powell was the son of The Reverend Baden Powell, Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University and Church of England priest and his third wife, Henrietta Grace Smyth (3 September 1824 – 13 October 1914), eldest daughter of Admiral William Henry Smyth. After Powell died in 1860, to identify her children with her late husband's fame, and to set her own children apart from their half-siblings and cousins, his mother styled the family name Baden-Powell. The name was eventually legally changed by Royal Licence on 30 April 1902.[12]

Baden-Powell had four older half-siblings from the second of his father's two previous marriages, and six full siblings Warington (1847–1921), George (1847–1898), the often-ill Augustus ("Gus") (1849–1863), Francis ("Frank") (1850–1933), Agnes (1858–1945) and Baden (1860–1937), as well as three others (Henrietta Smyth, 28 Oct 1851 – 9 March 1854; John Penrose Smyth, 21 December 1852 – 14 December 1855; and Jessie Smyth 25 November 1855 – 24 July 1856),[13] who had all died very young before he was born.[9]

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."[9][14][15]

Baden-Powell attended Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells. He was given a scholarship to Charterhouse, a prestigious public school. He played the piano and violin, was an ambidextrous artist, and enjoyed acting. Holidays were spent on yachting or canoeing expeditions with his brothers. His first introduction to Scouting skills was through stalking and cooking game while avoiding teachers in the nearby woods, which were strictly out-of-bounds.[9]

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 in the early 1880s in the Natal province of South Africa, where his regiment had been posted, and where he was Mentioned in Despatches. During one of his travels, he came across a large string of wooden beads. Although Baden-Powell claimed the beads had been those of the Zulu king Dinizulu, one researcher learned from Baden-Powell's diary that he had taken beads from a dead woman's body around that time[16] and indeed the bead form is more similar to dowry beads than to warrior beads. The beads were later incorporated into the Wood Badge training programme he started after he founded the Scouting Movement. Baden-Powell's skills impressed his superiors and in 1890 he was brevetted Major as Military Secretary and senior Aide-de-camp to the Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Malta, his uncle General Sir Henry Augustus Smyth.[9] He was posted to Malta for three years, also working as intelligence officer for the Mediterranean for the Director of Military Intelligence.[9] He frequently travelled disguised as a butterfly collector, incorporating plans of military installations into his drawings of butterfly wings.[17]

Page from My Adventures as a Spy (1915) in which Baden-Powell described spying activities, most of which allegedly took place in various countries bordering the Mediterranean between 1890 and 1893.

A flogging during the Ashanti campaign (1896); this drawing based on an original sketch by Baden-Powell

'Spies' hanged outside Bulawayo in 1896. Baden-Powell preserved a copy of this photograph in his Matabele Scrapbook and entitled it 'The Christmas Tree.'

Baden-Powell's representation of the execution he longed to see but missed (see p. 185).

-- Baden-Powell: Founder of the Boy Scouts, by Tim Jeal

In 1884 he published Reconnaissance and Scouting.[18]

Baden-Powell in 1896

Baden-Powell returned to Africa in 1896, and served in the Second Matabele War, in the expedition to relieve British South Africa Company personnel under siege in Bulawayo.[19] 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.[20] It was during this campaign that he first met and befriended the American scout Frederick Russell Burnham, who introduced Baden-Powell to stories of the American Old West and woodcraft (i.e. scoutcraft), and here that he wore his signature Stetson campaign hat and neckerchief for the first time.[9]

Baden-Powell was accused of illegally executing a prisoner of war in 1896, the Matabele chief Uwini, 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". Baden-Powell was also accused of allowing native African warriors under his command to massacre enemy prisoners including women, children and non-combatants.

After Rhodesia, Baden-Powell served in the Fourth Ashanti War in Gold Coast. In 1897, at the age of 40, he was brevetted colonel (the youngest colonel in the British Army) and given command of the 5th Dragoon Guards in India.[21] 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.[22] Using this and other methods he was able to train them to think independently, use their initiative, and survive in the wilderness.

Siege of Mafeking, 10 Shillings (1900), Boer War currency issued by authority of Colonel Robert Baden-Powell.

Baden-Powell returned to South Africa before the Second Boer War 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, Baden-Powell amassed stores and a garrison at Mafeking. While engaged in this, he and much of his intended mobile force was at Mafeking when it was surrounded by a Boer army, at times in excess of 8,000 men.

Baden-Powell was the garrison commander during the subsequent Siege of Mafeking, which 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 siege of the small town received undue attention from both the Boers and international media because Lord Edward Cecil, the son of the British Prime Minister, was besieged in the town.[23][24] 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 while moving between trenches.[25] Baden-Powell did much reconnaissance work himself.[26] 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.[24]

Baden-Powell on a patriotic postcard in 1900

Contrary views of Baden-Powell's actions during the siege argue 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.[27] However, in 2001, after subsequent research, Pakenham decidedly retreated from this position.[9][23]

During the siege, the Mafeking Cadet Corps 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. But 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, and became a national hero.[28] However, the British military commanders were more critical of his performance and even less impressed with his subsequent choices to again allow himself to be besieged.[24][27] Ultimately, his failure to properly scout the situation and abandonment of the soldiers, mostly Australians and Rhodesians, at the Battle of Elands River led to his being removed from action.[23][24]

Briefly back in the United Kingdom in October 1901, Baden-Powell was invited to visit King Edward VII at Balmoral, the monarch's Scottish retreat, and personally invested as Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).[29] The Order of the Bath is the fourth-most senior of the British Orders of Chivalry.

Baden-Powell was further sidelined from active command[24] and given the role of organising the South African Constabulary, a colonial police force. 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.[30] Also during this appointment, Baden-Powell selected the location of Catterick Garrison to replace 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.[31]

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.[9] Baden-Powell later claimed he was advised by King Edward VII that he could better serve his country by promoting Scouting.[32][33]

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. It has been claimed that 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".[34] It was rumoured that Baden-Powell was engaged in spying and Baden-Powell claimed that intelligence officers spread this myth.[17]

Scouting movement

Pronunciation of Baden-Powell
/ˈbeɪdən ˈpoʊ.əl/
Man, Nation, Maiden
Please call it Baden.
Further, for Powell
Rhyme it with Noel

—Verse by B-P

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.[35] Following his involvement in the Boys' Brigade 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, who founded the Woodcraft Indians. Seton gave Baden-Powell a copy of his book The Birch Bark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians and they met in 1906.[36][37] The first book on the Scout Movement, Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys was published in six instalments in 1908, and has sold approximately 150 million copies as the fourth best-selling book of the 20th century.[38]

Reviewing the Boy Scouts of Washington, D.C. from the portico of the White House: Baden-Powell, President Taft, British ambassador Bryce (1912)

Boys and girls[39] spontaneously formed Scout troops and the Scouting Movement had inadvertently started, first as a national, and soon an international phenomenon.[40] A rally of Scouts was held at Crystal Palace 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. Baden-Powell's friend Juliette Gordon Low was encouraged by him to found the Girl Scouts of the USA.

In 1920, the 1st World Scout Jamboree took place in Olympia in West Kensington, and Baden-Powell was acclaimed Chief Scout of the World. Baden-Powell was created a Baronet in 1921 and Baron Baden-Powell, of Gilwell, in the County of Essex, on 17 September 1929, Gilwell Park being the International Scout Leader training centre.[41] After receiving this honour, Baden-Powell mostly styled himself "Baden-Powell of Gilwell".

Three Scouting pioneers: Robert Baden-Powell (seated), Ernest T. Seton (left), and Dan Beard (right)

In 1929, during the 3rd World Scout Jamboree, he received as a present a new 20-horsepower Rolls-Royce car (chassis number GVO-40, registration OU 2938) and an Eccles Caravan.[42] 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.[42][43] Baden-Powell also had a positive impact on improvements in youth education.[44] 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.[45]

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 Founder's Day by Scouts and 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.[46]

Personal life

Olave Baden-Powell

In January 1912, Baden-Powell was en route to New York on a Scouting World Tour, on the ocean liner SS Arcadian, when he met Olave St Clair Soames.[47][48] 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.[49] The Scouts of England each donated a penny to buy Baden-Powell a wedding gift, a car (note that this is not the Rolls-Royce they were presented with in 1929). There is a monument to their marriage inside St Mary's Church, Brownsea Island.

Baden-Powell and Olave lived in Pax Hill near Bentley, Hampshire from about 1919 until 1939.[50] The Bentley house was a gift of her father.[51] Directly after he had married, Baden-Powell began to suffer persistent headaches, which were considered by his doctor to be of psychosomatic origin and treated with dream analysis.[9] The headaches disappeared upon his moving into a makeshift bedroom set up on his balcony.

Baden-Powells' grave at St Peter's Cemetery in Nyeri, Kenya

In 1939, Baden-Powell and Olave moved to a cottage he had commissioned in 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.[9] Walker also owned the Treetops Hotel, approximately 17 km out in the 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.[52]

Baden-Powell died on 8 January 1941 and is buried at St Peter's Cemetery in Nyeri.[53] 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 when she died (in 1977), her ashes were sent to Kenya and interred beside her husband.[54] The Kenyan government has declared Baden-Powell's grave a national monument.[55]

At this stage of the re-awakening of the Universe, the sacred symbolism represents it as a perfect Circle with the (root) point in the Centre. ImageThis sign was universal, therefore we find it in the Kabala also. The Western Kabala, however, now in the hands of Christian mystics, ignores it altogether, though it is plainly shown in the Zohar. These sectarians begin at the end, and show as the symbol of pregenetic Kosmos this sign image Image, calling it “the Union of the Rose and Cross,” the great mystery of occult generation, from whence the name — Rosicrucians (Rose Cross)!


-- Be Here Now, by "Ram Dass," aka The Lama Foundation

Children and grandchildren

Baden-Powell with wife and three children, 1917

• Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell (1857–1941), m. (1912) Olave St Clair Soames (1889–1977)[56]
• Arthur Robert Peter Baden-Powell (1913–1962) (later 2nd Baron Baden-Powell),[41] m. (1936) Carine Crause-Boardman
• Robert Crause Baden-Powell (b. 1936) (later 3rd Baron Baden-Powell)
• David Michael Baden-Powell (b. 1940) (current heir to the title)
• Wendy Dorothy Lilian Baden-Powell (b. 1944)
• Heather Grace Baden-Powell (1915–1986), m. (1940) John Hall King (1913–2004)
• Michael Robert Hall King (1942–1966), who died in the sinking of SS Heraklion
• Timothy John King (1946–1995)
• Betty St Clair Baden-Powell[57] (1917–2004), m. (1936) Gervas Charles Robert Clay (1907–2009)[58]
• Gillian Clay
• Robin Clay
• Nigel Clay
• Crispin Clay

In addition, when Olave's sister Auriol Davidson (née Soames) died in 1919, Olave and Robert took her three nieces, Christian (1912–1975), Clare (1913–1980), and Yvonne (1918–1995?), into their family and brought them up as their own children.

Personal beliefs

A World War I propaganda poster drawn by Baden-Powell

Tim Jeal, who wrote the biography Baden-Powell, argued that Baden-Powell's distrust of communism led to his implicit support, through naïveté, of fascism. Baden-Powell admired Benito Mussolini early in the Italian fascist leader's career. In 1939 Baden-Powell noted 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 Hitler does not practise himself."[9]:550

Some early Scouting "Thanks" badges (from 1911) and the Scouting "Medal of Merit" badge had a swastika symbol on them.[59]
[60] This was undoubtedly influenced by the use by Rudyard Kipling of the swastika on the jacket of his published books,[61] including "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 National Socialist Party in 1920, and when Nazi use of the swastika became more widespread, the Scouts stopped using it. According to a biography by Michael Rosenthal, Baden-Powell used the swastika because he was a Nazi sympathiser. By contrast, Jeal argues that Baden-Powell had been ignorant of the symbol's growing association with Nazism and that he had used the symbol for its centuries-old meaning of "good luck" in India. (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".[62] Based on the regime's view of Scouting as a dangerous espionage organisation, Baden-Powell's name was included in "The Black Book", a 1940 list of people slated for detention following the planned conquest of the United Kingdom.[63])


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.[64]:217–218[65]:48 Tim Jeal's later biography discusses the relationship and finds no evidence that this friendship was of an erotic nature.[9]:82 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 repressed homosexual.[9]:103 Jeal's conclusion is disputed.[66]:6


Cover of first part of Scouting for Boys, January 1908

Military books

Baden-Powell published books and other texts during his years of military service both to finance his life and to generally educate his men.[9]

• 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
• 1905: Ambidexterity (with John Jackson)[67]
• 1907: Sketches in Mafeking and East Africa
• 1910: British Discipline, Essay 32 of Essays on Duty and Discipline[68]
• 1914: Quick Training for War

Scouting books

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.[9] Currently, many pages of his field diary, complete with drawings, are on display at the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.

• 1908: Scouting for Boys
• 1909: Yarns for Boy Scouts
• 1912: 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[17]
• 1916: Young Knights of the Empire: Their Code, and Further Scout Yarns[69]
• 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: Last Message to Scouts[70]
• 1932: He-who-sees-in-the-dark; the Boys' Story of Frederick Burnham, the American Scout[71]
• 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

Compilation of articles and excerpts

• 1955: B.-P.'s Outlook: Selections from the Founder's contributions to "The Scouter" magazine from 1909–1940
• 1956: Adventuring with Baden-Powell

Drawings, paintings, and sculptures

Baden-Powell made paintings and drawings almost every day of his life. Most have a humorous or informative character.[9] Baden-Powell was a consummate artist, and his books are scattered with his pen-and-ink sketches, frequently whimsical. Unfortunately, there is no catalogue of his paintings, some of which appear in some of his books, and twelve hang in the British Scout Headquarters at Gilwell Park.

• 1905 Bust of Capt. John Smith[72]
• ???? The Blind Negro[citation needed]
• ???? The Vigil, now at British Scout HQ at Gilwell Park


Statue of Baden-Powell by Don Potter in front of Baden-Powell House in London

Memorial to Baden-Powell, "Chief Scout of the World", at Westminster Abbey

In 1937 Baden-Powell was appointed to the Order of Merit, one of the most exclusive awards in the British honours system, and he was also awarded 28 decorations by foreign states, including the Grand Officer of the Portuguese Order of Christ,[73] the Grand Commander of the Greek Order of the Redeemer (1920),[74] 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, and the Order of Polonia Restituta.
The Silver Wolf Award worn by Robert Baden-Powell is handed down the line of his successors, with the current Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, wearing this original award.

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 Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund with the "Großes Dankabzeichen des ÖPB.[75]:113

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.[75]:101 Baden-Powell was also one of the first and few recipients of the Goldene Gemse, the highest award conferred by the Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund.[76]

In 1931, Major Frederick Russell Burnham dedicated Mount Baden-Powell[77] in California to his old Scouting friend from forty years before.[78][79] Today their friendship is honoured in perpetuity with the dedication of the adjoining peak, Mount Burnham.[80]

Baden-Powell was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on numerous occasions, including 10 separate nominations in 1928.[81] He was awarded the Wateler Peace Prize in 1937.[82] In 2002, Baden-Powell was named 13th in the BBC's list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote.[83] As part of the Scouting 2007 Centenary, Nepal renamed Urkema Peak to Baden-Powell Peak.[84]


The family name legally changed from Powell to Baden-Powell by Royal Licence on 30 April 1902.[41]

• 1857–1860: Mr Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell
• 1860–1876: Mr Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell
• 1876: Sub-Lieutenant Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell
• 1876–1884: Lieutenant Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell
• 1884–1892: Captain Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell
• 1892–1896: Major Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell
• 1896–25 April 1897: Major (Bvt. Lieutenant-Colonel) Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell
• 25 April – 8 May 1897: Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell
• 7 May 1897 – 1900: Lieutenant-Colonel (Bvt. Colonel) Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell
• 1900–1901: Major-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell
• 1901–1907: Major-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, CB
• 1907–3 October 1909: Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, CB
• 3 October – 9 November 1909: Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, KCVO, CB
• 9 November 1909 – 1912: Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, KCB, KCVO
• 1912–1921: Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, KCB, KCVO, KStJ
• 1921–1923: Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, Bt., KCB, KCVO, KStJ
• 1923–1927: Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, Bt., GCVO, KCB, KStJ
• 1927–1929: Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, Bt., GCMG, GCVO, KCB, KStJ
• 1929–1937: Lieutenant-General The Right Honourable The Baron Baden-Powell, GCMG, GCVO, KCB, KStJ, Bt.
• 1937–1941: Lieutenant-General The Right Honourable The Baron Baden-Powell, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB, KStJ, Bt.


• Commissioned Sub-Lieutenant – 11 September 1876[85] (retroactively granted the rank of Lieutenant from the same date on 17 September 1878[86])
• Captain – 16 May 1883[87]
• Major – 1 July 1892[88]
• Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel – 25 March 1896[89]
• Lieutenant-Colonel – 25 April 1897[90]
• Brevet Colonel – 8 May 1897[91]
• Major-General – 23 May 1900[92]
• Lieutenant-General – 10 June 1907[93]



• Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) – 9 November 1909[94] (CB: 1901)
• Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) – 1 January 1923[95] (KCVO: 3 October 1909)[96]
• Knight of Grace of the Venerable Order of St John (KStJ) – 23 May 1912[97]
• Baronet – 1 January 1921[98] (dated 21 February 1923[99])
• Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) – 3 June 1927[100]
• Baron Baden-Powell, of Gilwell in the County of Essex – 17 September 1929[101]
• Member of the Order of Merit (OM) – 11 May 1937[102]


• Grand Officer of the Order of Christ of Portugal (GOC) – 7 October 1919[103]
• Grand Commander of the Order of the Redeemer of the Kingdom of Greece – 21 October 1920[104]
• Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog of Denmark – 11 October 1921[105]
• Grand Cross of the Order of the White Lion of Czechoslovakia – 6 November 1929[106]


Coat of arms of Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell

Coronet of a baron.
1st: a Lion passant Or in the paw a broken Tiltilatter the head a like Crown charged on the shoulders with a Cross Patée Argent and supporting with the paws a Sword Erect proper Pommel and Hilt Gold (Baden). This latter is not the crest of any Baden family in Britain but that of the Grand Duke of Baden in Germany, to which the Baden-Powells had no right.[107]
Quarterly: 1 and 4th, Per fess Or and Argent a Lion rampant gules between two Tilting Spears erect proper (Powell); 2nd and 3rd, Argent a Lion rampant proper on the head a Crown Vallary Or between four Crosses Patée Gules and as many Fleur-de-lis Azure alternately (Baden). As above, this latter is not the shield of any Baden family in Britain but that of the Grand Duke of Baden in Germany, to which the Baden-Powells had no right.[107]
Not shown here. Dexter: an Officer of 13th/18th Hussars in full dress his Sword drawn over his shoulder proper; sinister: a Boy Scout holding a Staff also proper.
Ar Nyd Yw Pwyll Pyd Yw (Where there is steadiness, there will be a Powell).


• Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) – 9 November 1909 (CB: 1901)
• Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) – 1 January 1923 (KCVO: 3 October 1909)
• Knight of Grace of the Venerable Order of St John (KStJ) – 23 May 1912
• Grand Officer of the Order of Christ of Portugal (GOC) – 7 October 1919
• Grand Commander of the Order of the Redeemer of the Kingdom of Greece – 21 October 1920
• Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog of Denmark – 11 October 1921
• Baronet – 1 January 1921 (dated 21 February 1923)
• Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) – 3 June 1927
• Baron Baden-Powell, of Gilwell in the County of Essex – 17 September 1929
• Member of the Order of Merit (OM) – 11 May 1937


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14. Palstra, Theo P.M. (April 1967). Baden-Powell, zijn leven en werk[Baden-Powell, His Life and Work, a True Story] (in Dutch). Den Haag: De Nationale Padvindersraad.
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31. Reported as "a Yorkshire division" in The Times, 29 October 1907, p.6; the Dictionary of National Biography lists it as the Northumbrian Division, which encompassed units from the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire as well as Northumbria proper.
32. Baden-Powell, Robert; Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Robert; Boehmer, Elleke (2005). Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship. Oxford University Press. p. lv. ISBN 978-0-19-280246-0. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018.
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38. Extrapolation for global range of other language publications, and related to the number of Scouts, make a realistic estimate of 100 to 150 million books. Details from Jeal, Tim. Baden-Powell. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-170670-X.
39. Mills, Sarah (2011). "Scouting for Girls? Gender and the Scout Movement in Britain". Gender, Place & Culture. 18 (4): 537–556.
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50. "Wey People, the Big Names of the Valley". Wey River freelance community. Archived from the original on 10 March 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2007.
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60. "Boy Scout medal with fleur-de-lis and swastika, 1930s". The Learning Federation. Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
61. "Origins of the swastika". 13 October 2017. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009 – via
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64. Brendon, Piers (1979). Eminent Edwardians. Martin Secker & Warburg. ISBN 0-436-06810-9.
65. Rosenthal, Michael (1986). The Character Factory: Baden-Powell and the Origins of the Boy Scout Movement. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-394-51169-7.
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67. Jackson (F.E.I.S.), John (1905). Ambidexterity, Or, Two-Handedness and Two-Brainedness. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. p. 258.
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71. West, James E.; Lamb, Peter O. (1932). He-who-sees-in-the-dark; the Boys' Story of Frederick Burnham, the American Scout. illustrated by Lord Baden-Powell. New York: Brewer, Warren and Putnam; Boy Scouts of America.
72. "Journal of the House of Delegates of the State of Virginia". The Library of Virginia. Archived from the original on 10 October 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
73. "Supplement to the London Gazette". London Gazette. 1 June 1920. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
74. "Decoration Conferred by His Majesty the King of the Hellenes"(PDF). The London Gazette. 22 October 1920. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
75. Pribich, Kurt (2004). Logbuch der Pfadfinderverbände in Österreich (in German). Vienna: Pfadfinder-Gilde-Österreichs.
76. Wilceczek, Hans Gregor (1931). Georgsbrief des Bundesfeldmeisters für das Jahr 1931 an die Wölflinge, Pfadfinder, Rover und Führer im Ö.P.B. (in German). Vienna: Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund. p. 4.
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79. Burnham, Frederick Russell (1944). Taking Chances. Haynes. xxv–xxix. ISBN 1-879356-32-5.
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106. "Edinburgh Gazette, 12 November 1929". Archived from the original on 15 February 2017.
107. Warren, Allen, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, retrieved 14 February 2018 She also quartered the Powell arms with those of the duke of Baden, to which she was not entitled: surprisingly, the College of Arms agreed to this.

Related readings: biographies

• Begbie, Harold (1900). The story of Baden-Powell: The Wolf that never Sleeps. London: Grant Richards.
• Kiernan, R.H. (1939). Baden-Powell. London: Harrap.
• Saunders, Hilary St George (1948). The Left Handshake.
• (in Dutch) Palstra, Theo P.M. (April 1967). Baden-Powel, zijn leven en werk. Den Haag: De Nationale Padvindersraad.
• Drewery, Mary (1975). Baden-Powell: the man who lived twice. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-18102-8.
• Brendon, Piers (1980). Eminent Edwardians. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-29195-X.
• Jeal, Tim (1989). Baden-Powell. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-170670-X.
• Hillcourt, William; Baden-Powell, Olave (1992). Baden-Powell: The Two Lives Of A Hero. New York: Gilwellian Press d/b/a Scouter's Journal Magazine. ISBN 0-8395-3594-5.
• (in French) Maxence, Philippe (2003). Baden-Powell, éclaireur de légende et fondateur du scoutisme. Perrin.
• Warren, Allen (2008) [2004]. "Powell, Robert Stephenson Smyth". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30520. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
• (in French) Maxence, Philippe (2016). Baden-Powell. Perrin.
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Re: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, by Wikipedi

Postby admin » Thu May 31, 2018 2:22 am

Trail of the Octopus: From Beirut to Lockerbie: Inside the DIA [EXCERPT]
by Donald Goddard with Lester K. Coleman



"After five months in the 'Home of the Woonie Bird', I was open to the first reasonable offer," [said Lester Coleman].

It came from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), which, as Coleman later discovered, served not only the nation's youth but also the military-industrial complex that had so exercised President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s.

Seated one day in his broom closet, writing copy and eating Krispy Kremes, Coleman took a call from Mark Clayton of the BSA National Public Relations Office. An Eagle Scout from Mobile had been selected to meet President Richard Nixon on the White House lawn, said Clayton. Was Woonie Radio interested in covering this event?

'Sure,' said Coleman. 'I'll take a tape feed of our Eagle Scout meeting the President of the United States. Great stuff. I'd like to ask him how it feels to get chosen out of four million Boy Scouts to shake his President by the hand. We'll do an interview, okay?'

Tongue intermittently in cheek, Coleman taped a few questions and answers and then, jokingly, asked Clayton if the Boy Scouts of America were looking for someone with a bit of broadcasting experience.

'Well,' said Clayton, surprised. 'Now that you mention it, yes. You mean you'd be interested in taking a job with us?'

Coleman looked around his broom closet newsroom, with its mops and pails and industrial-sized bottles of Mr. Clean, and sighed for his lost illusions.

'Sounds like an exciting opportunity to me,' he said.

Brought over from Britain in 1910 by Chicago newspaper publisher William D. Boyce with the idea of building character in his street-corner newsboys, Scouting had grown by 1972 into a nationwide movement, chartered by Congress, with a full-time professional staff of 4000 directed from BSA headquarters in North Brunswick, New Jersey.

After a preliminary meeting with Clayton in Mobile, Coleman was flown in for two days of interviews and put up in the Scout guesthouse, next door to a museum full of Norman Rockwell paintings, in the middle of a 30-acre game preserve criss-crossed with neatly tagged nature trails.

The job opening he had stumbled upon was in the public relations department, which already had a staff of 20 writers and photographers -- many of them former military public information officers -- under the general direction of Ron Phillippo, a cigar-smoking outdoorsman in a three-piece suit, whose secretary, Marcia Schwartz, and right-hand man, Russ Butkins, USN (retd) between them ran the place. Being all 'print people', with no practical experience of radio or television, they needed somebody who could get the Scout story 'on the air' for $12,000 a year.

Satisfied he was made of the right stuff, BSA offered Coleman the job, and in March 1972, a big cross-country moving van delivered the family's worldly goods to their new home in Heightstown, near Princeton, New Jersey, about 20 minutes by Toyota south of New Brunswick on Route 130. If not quite as he had imagined. Coleman had made the big time as the BSA's National Event Public Relations Executive.

A former Cub Scout with a school troop at eight, he soon discovered there was more to modern Scouting than rubbing damp sticks together in the wilderness. It was a franchise operation. With a network of regional offices, heavily staffed with former military personnel, to oversee 'the product', the BSA sold franchises to Local Councils in cities and towns across the nation. These councils, in turn, employed full-time professional staff to recruit volunteers and sponsors to run and finance Scout troops at neighborhood levels.

In overall charge of the operation was a Chief Scout, a full-time salaried executive of BSA, Inc., and a volunteer counterpart with the title of National President. In 1972, they were, respectively, Alden Barber, a polished, smooth-talking businessman who could have stepped out of any corporate boardroom, and Robert W. Sarnoff, chief executive officer of the Radio Corporation of America.

Coleman's connection with the big time was through the National Public Relations Committee, a volunteer group he was encouraged to cultivate for help and support. One of its members was Walter Cronkite, of CBS News.

'Can you imagine?'

Twenty years on, Coleman still remembers the excitement of hopping on a train to New York, taking a cab uptown from Penn station to the corner of 57th Street and 10th Avenue and walking in to tell the guard he was there to see Walter Cronkite.

'And then actually getting in to see him. Escorted down one narrow hallway after another, past Xerox machines, past dark studios with the ghosts of John Cameron Swazy and Edward R. Murrow, then into the CBS newsroom, into Cronkite's glass fishbowl of an office, and there he is -- thinner and younger-looking in person, wearing a khaki suit, loafers kicked off, feet on the desk, talking to me about the next Explorer Scout Olympics in Fort Collins, Colorado.'

Most of the national events Coleman worked on were organized by the BSA's Explorer Division, the then-new co-ed Scout 'product' for young people between fourteen and twenty, offering hands-on experience in the career fields that interested them.

It was the Explorer programme that finally married the Boy Scouts of America to the military-industrial complex. The military saw Scouting as a training ground for leaders who were also good team-players, disciplined, respectful of authority and imbued with ideals of service to God and country, while the business community saw it as a politically neutral means of indoctrinating youth in the principles of free enterprise capitalism and the American way.

Nobody had a bad word for Scouting. It was the perfect public relations vehicle for acquiring civic virtue on the cheap while continuing the ruthless pursuit of corporate self-interest in government and the market place. In government, all the way up to Federal level, sponsorship of Career-Interest Explorer Posts proved so popular among image-sensitive agencies such as the police that a special unit was set up at BSA headquarters to administer 'Law-Enforcement Exploring' and to work alongside existing departments responsible for Congressional Relations, Military Relations, Mormon Relations (the Boy Scouts of America is the official youth movement of the Mormon Church), Corporate Relations and so on.

As Coleman would discover at first hand, it was not so much that Scouting was controlled by the octopus as simply incapable of denying it a favor. When a two-star general in Washington called a retired colonel in North Brunswick to ask if the BSA could find a job for one of 'our people' from overseas, the only possible answer was, 'Yes, sir.'

In his two years at headquarters, Coleman came across several 'spooks' cooling off in executive niches of the Boy Scout Movement, and later became one himself. He also came to appreciate the mutual benefit of having a Boy Scout troop on every significant US military base around the world. It not only helped with the BSA's numbers game but served as a benevolent advertisement for the American way of life, as well as a convenient cloak for low-level intelligence gathering.

As with any franchise operation, growth was the bottom line. In 1972, the BSA's national advertising slogan claimed that 'Scouting today is a lot more than you think', but in fact it was a lot less. Under pressure from head office to meet ever higher 'sales' targets, Local Council staffs had begun to create imaginary Scout troops, in much the same way as Teamster union officials had once created 'paper' Locals, and to pad the rolls of existing troops with phantom members.

By 1974, the BSA had 6.5 million Scouts on its books, of which two million existed only in the minds of hard-pressed District Executives. It was too many. When somebody at last blew the whistle, not even the National Public Relations Office could explain away so great a discrepancy. The Scouting hierarchy collapsed from top to bottom, sending Chief Scout Alden Barber into the decent obscurity of Santa Barbara, California.

In 1972, however, still untarnished by scandal, the BSA plugged Coleman into the military-industrial complex through Tom Geohagen, Department of Public Affairs, US Steel, Washington, D.C. A short, white-haired man with big ears and a booming radio announcer's voice -- he had worked for years at NBC News -- Geohagen was chairman of a high-powered committee of media experts put together to publicize the National Explorer Presidents' Congress, an annual meeting in Washington of Explorer Post leaders from all over America. The event was Coleman's first assignment, and Geohagen liked his style. Appointing himself Coleman's mentor, he was soon urging him to 'use this Scout business' as a stepping stone to higher things, perhaps in government service, where he could make the most of his command of Arabic and his background in the Middle East.
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Re: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, by Wikipedi

Postby admin » Thu May 31, 2018 2:22 am

Boy Scout Movement and Theosophical Movement
by Theosophy Wiki
Accessed: 5/19/18



Robert Baden-Powell

The international Scout Movement was founded in 1907 by Robert Baden-Powell, a lieutenant general in the British army. His aim was to provide young people with wholesome activities such as camping and hiking, opportunity for self-development, and training in citizenship, leadership, and brotherhood. Theosophists quickly saw that the Scout Movement shared many of its values, particularly in providing opportunities for youth all over the world to engage peacefully with each other.

Dr. Annie Besant, President of the Theosophical Society based in Adyar, Madras, India often said that "there were two great Movements which stood for Universal Brotherhood. One was the Theosophical Society ... And the second, the World Boy Scout Movement."[1]

Scouting in India

Boy Scout troops were established in India as early as 1909 in Allahabad, but were open only to boys of English and Anglo-Indian families.[2]

Emblem of Boy Scouts Association in India

The beginnings of Indian Scouting

Hilda Wood wrote a detailed account of the early days of the Scout Movement in India.

The first movement of Boy Scouts in India was due indirectly to Mr. C. W. Leadbeater, who had spoken very highly of the training, and shown General Baden-Powell's book [Scouting for Boys] to his private secretary, Mr. Ernest Wood. The result of this was that in 1913, when Mr. Wood became Hon. Secretary of the Theosophical Education Trust, he introduced scouting at the High School at Madanapalle... where the first Troop was started under the leadership of Mr. Deobhankar. About a year later Mr. Wood arranged with Mr. [Frederick Gordon] Pearce, Assistant Commissioner for Boy Scouts in Ceylon, to send a thoroughly trained Scout Master to Madanapalle; the result was the arrival there of Mr. Aryarathna, who very soon trained a really first class Troop. Stimulated by this success, other Troups sprang up in various places.[3]

She described the many useful contributions of Indian Scouts to society in fighting fires, assisting pilgrims, and finding lost children. They made stretchers made simply of two staves and a turban to carry cholera victims to shelter. "During epidemics of plague, cholera an the like, the scouts are always to the fore, till at last the government and the people called upon the nearest Scout Master whenever help was required."[4]

Mr. Pearce wrote in some detail about the history of scouting in India in the 1918 Report of the Society for the Promotion of National Education:

The seed of the I. B. S. A. was planted in Madanapalle College in June, 1916, by Mr. G. P. Aryaratna, a Patrol-Leader of my old Troop at Mahinda College, Galle, Ceylon, whom I sent to Madanapalle in the hope that he would be able to develop Scouting there, since it had already shown itself so valuable as training for Ceylon boys. That hope was fulfilled, for the Troop he founded flourished amazingly and produced many splendid Scouts and proved conclusively, if proof were necessary, that the system was adaptable to Indian conditions...

In 1917 the Indian Boy Scouts Association took definite shape as an organisation distinct from Sir Robert Baden-Powell's. The reasons for this are plain enough. It was my private hope in December, 1916, that this Movement might be linked to the original Baden-Powell Movement, just as was the case with the Ceylon Troops I had organised in 1915 and 1916. I expressed this hope in a letter published in New India in December, 1916. I also wrote to Mr. Arundale on the subject. These hopes were, however, much damped by the fact that the requests sent by the Madanapalle Troop to the Baden-Powell officials were either ignored altogether or received unsatisfactory answers. Unlike in Ceylon, where the Baden-Powell Movement was organised from the first among Sinhalese boys and with full confidence in Sinhalese and Tamil Scoutmasters, the Baden-Powell Movement in India was limited to Europeans, Anglo-Indians, and a few Indian Christians, all under European Scoutmasters...

The Indian Boy Scouts Association took shape therefore throughout 1917 under the guidance and inspiration of Mrs. Besant, with Mr. Arundale, Lieutenant Tarini Sinha and Mr. Sanjiva Kamath as the chief organisers...[5]

In the Southern States of America during this period there were no integrated Scout troops. In 1918 the Boy Scouts of America's expert on race relations stated that it was futile to expect Southern whites to allow blacks to become Boy Scouts even in segregated troops. The Executive Board allowed the Southern whites to veto the formation of black troops, even when they offered to call themselves names such as the 'Young American Patriots.' In the north segregated troops were also the norm, although by the 1930s some integrated troops existed. [24]

After South Africa the Dominion closest to Baden-Powell's heart was India, and here too there was a 'colour question.' As early as 1916, he expressed himself in favour of Indians becoming Boy Scouts, [25] but when the Viceroy Lord Chelmsford vetoed the idea, [26] Stephe accepted the ban.

The situation was transformed by the emergence of a most unexpected champion of would-be Indian Boy Scouts. During her extraordinary career Mrs. Besant had been an atheist, a freethinker, a birth control pioneer, a Fabian socialist and the spiritual leader of the Theosophists. Throughout the 1920s, as President of the Indian National Congress, she was a dauntless campaigner for Indian Home Rule. During the course of 1916, Mrs. Besant, whose Theosophists ran a number of schools, started some troops of Indian Boy Scouts in Madras and Benares. The Governor of Madras, Lord Pentland, considered her a dangerous political agitator and interned her.

After her release, Mrs. Besant castigated Baden-Powell for toeing the official line. [27] When her Scouts began to multiply in thousands, Lord Pentland arbitrarily declared himself President of the Boy Scouts of India and began to promote his own Scouts in a bid to stop the spread of Mrs. Besant's. The Y.M.C.A. did the same and by 1918 had 200 Scoutmasters in training. But by then Mrs. Besant's boys numbered over 20,000. Baden-Powell knew it would be absurd not to attempt 'to get all the various Indian organizations together,' and in spite of the Viceroy’s hostility he decided ‘to take the Indian boys into the Movement …’ [28] He arrived in India on 7 January 1921, determined to unite with Mrs. Besant – a courageous and well-timed decision since it coincided with her brief period of support for the Government’s constitutional reforms. However, there were plenty of influential people eager to stop him doing a deal with ‘that horrible woman.’ [29]

The highlight of his visit was a great rally to which Mrs. Besant had promised to bring several thousand of her Scouts. These and Pentland’s Scouts had by now amalgamated but there were other groups of Indian boys also at the rally, such as the pro-Independence Seva Samiti. The ceremony did not quite go to plan. ‘It was arranged that Mrs. Besant would come out into the centre and take from me the Scout Promise. With all the dramatic force at my command I called upon her … to repeat after me the words of the Promise. At that moment my mind wandered … and for the life of me I could not remember the words … There was an awkward pause.’ Luckily Mrs. Besant, ‘picturesque in native costume,’ whispered the words, ‘which I then roared out in ringing tones.’ [30] A few months later he had the imagination to write to Mrs. Besant to ask her for stories about native Indian heroes which he wished to include in a new Indian edition of Scouting for Boys. [31] ...


1. Committee Men and Boy Men (1917-25)

In the summer of 1918, a Winchester Scoutmaster wrote to Baden-Powell deploring the 'schoolmasterly' type of mind that was 'de-souling' Scouting by 'throttling' it with routine. '"Spirit" is what matters -- "form" must be elastic enough to allow the spirit to express itself adequately in whatever conditions it is trying to work.' [1] Baden-Powell was so struck by this letter that he subsequently gave numerous Scouting speeches on the theme of 'The Spirit versus the Form."

At the end of the Great War, with so many of his promising young Commissioners and Scoutmasters dead, Baden-Powell had been left with an elderly Headquarters' Committee which Arthur Gaddum accurately described as moribund and out of touch. [2] As Baden-Powell looked at these soberly suited and wing-collared gentlemen sitting round the Committee table, they appeared more like the directors of a bank that the leaders of a vigorous youth movement. Their actions as well as their appearance convinced him that they cared less for the spirit than fore the form.

In India in 1921, Baden-Powell had met and taken a liking to a fat and cheerful businessman who had been helping Mrs. Besant with her boys. Sir Alfred Pickford, whose self-confident public manner belied his sensitive nature, had made a fortune in jute before returning to England in 1922. After buying a substantial Surrey estate where he settled down with his spinster sister, he offered his services to Baden-Powell and was soon the Chief Scout's most valued member of the Headquarters' Committee. Throughout the 1920s Baden-Powell considered 'Pickie' his heir apparent, and consequently Sir Alfred was frequently subjected to petty attacks in Committee by envious members. [2] He chaired a Publicity and Appeals Sub-Committee which the main Headquarters' Committee arbitrarily dismantled without speaking to him first, effectively throwing away two years' work. Baden-Powell was infuriated, but although he was now even more determined to get rid of the 'dead wood,' he would find it impossible to do so while a majority of the Committee fell into that category. [4]....

The invention of the Wolf Cubs was of a piece with his determination to make the Movement less formal and more responsive to the needs of the boys themselves. 'If God made the boy a creature of extreme and restless energy, with an inquisitive and eager mind, a sensitive little heart, and a romantic imagination, it is up to you to make full use of these instead of crushing them,' he told prospective Cubmasters. [12] Although 'the Cub gives in to the Old Wolf,' the overall emphasis was on self-discovery rather than discipline -- with acting, drawing and modelling receiving plenty of attention. 'Model the head of a monkey, only take care you don't make it too much like yourself!' Such jokes could be made by 'boy men' and 'elder brothers,' but hardly but the authoritarian 'officer Scoutmaster' of the Movement's earlier days.

In 1920 Baden-Powell wrote to Lord Hampton, the Assistant Chief Commissioner: 'I want to urge all County Commissioners to expand their camping arrangements and get woodcraft well to the fore as our prime activity everywhere.' [13] During the war he had appointed John Hargrave, a young Quaker, as the Commissioner for Camping and Woodcraft. Hargrave advised him that the only way 'for getting ahead with nature-craft' was to 'buy up chunks of nature and form open-air training schools ...' [14] He suggested Epping Forest and it was there, six months later, than an Essex District Commissioner learned that Gilwell Park, a decaying eighteenth-century house with over 50 acres of woodland, was for sale. A Scottish rubber magnate, Mr. W.F. de Bois MacLaren, offered to buy the estate as a camping ground for East End boys and as a training school for Scouters.

From the time of his first visit to Gilwell, Baden-Powell wanted to make the place more important than Headquarters. If Buckingham Palace Road was where the 'form' of the Movement was determined by the Committee men, Gilwell Park would be where the Movement's 'boy men' would guard 'the fountain head of the Scouting spirit.' [15] At Gilwell Scouters were to 'learn boyhood as boy men.' In his diary he noted, 'the right spirit causes the Movement to run itself -- no dependence on Imperial Headquarters needed.' [16] It was a bit like the nonconformist belief in an individual's direct access to God: a Scouter possessing the true spirit would need no priestly guidance from anyone, least of all an old codger on the Committee.

Once the Scouts had acquired Gilwell -- in no small measure due to John Hargrave's urgings -- the question arose as to who should run it. When Baden-Powell made Hargrave Commissioner for Woodcraft in 1917, he was not put off by his youth (he as 23 at the time) not by the fact that he had not been to a public school. Not even the young man's pacifism had discouraged him. Hargrave had served as a stretcher-bearer at Gallipoli; and, given Baden-Powell's usual insistence on it being the patriotic duty of every citizen to fight for his country, by his own standards he was being exceptionally broadminded in promoting Hargrave to such an important position. But in 1918, the Chief Scout hesitated to hand over Gilwell to his handsome young Commissioner.

Hargrave was an utopian who craved a way of life combining Seton's tribal dreams with a revival of medieval arts and crafts. He would tolerate industrial processes only provided they were used to free whole populations for his ideal outdoor life. Impressed initially by Hargrave's charismatic personality and his artistic talent, Baden-Powell's unease about his new Commissioner's 'ultra views, and the possibility of his going off at a wrong tangent' had grown steadily. [17] In Hargrave's Wigwam Papers (a series of articles which appeared in The Scout during 1916), he introduced a new category of 'Woodcraft Scouts' who would wear a loose sweater with buckskin fringes and moccasins. In spite of his problems with Seton (which flared up again in 1917), Baden-Powell noted tolerantly in his diary: 'Saw Hargrave -- no objection to his getting names of troops doing Seton Woodcraft in Scouting, but don't make it a branch of the Movement.' [18]

It is stated by those scholars who have studied the matter that Hargrave's rebellion was caused by the continuing militarism of the Scouts. [19] Hargrave himself certainly said so during 1920 and 1921; but his rift with Baden-Powell really dates from late February 1919 when, according to his own history of his breakaway movement, he held his first meeting of 'like minded men.' [20] That same February Baden-Powell had told Hargrave that he did not mean to appoint him Camp Chief of Gilwell Park.

In 1920, under the pseudonym of 'White Fox,' Hargrave began a series of articles for the London Scout Council's official organ The Trail. Quoting the socialist newspaper Our Circle, he attacked the Scout Movement for its militarism and its church connections. [21] He declared it absurd, in view of Baden-Powell's public pronouncements on the evils of war, that the 1919 revised edition of Scouting for Boys should retain references to shooting. In private, Baden-Powell conceded that such passages ought to have been omitted. [23] But with the evidence mounting that Hargrave was planning his own movement, Baden-Powell could not afford to be conciliatory. In August 1920 Hargrave became Head Man of the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift (an archaic Kentish dialect phrase meaning 'proof of great strength'), so his expulsion from the Boy Scouts the following January was hardly abrupt. Nor is it factually correct to suggest, as one scholar has done, that Hargrave began to organize his movement only after being expelled from the Scouts. [23]

Hargrave would have been a disastrous Camp Chief for Gilwell and might have done the Scouts serious damage if appointed. He was autocratic, vain and many of his views -- such as on the 'natural' inequality of the sexes and the role of leaders in society -- were of greater interest in Germany than in his own country. [24] Although his defection made Baden-Powell look over-trusting and gullible in the eyes of the Committee, the Chief Scout accepted what had happened philosophically and wrote: 'It is such a pity that so promising a young fellow, with his undoubted talents should go off the rails. ....

In 1922, 60,000 Cubs and Scouts assembled at Alexandra Palace to greet the Prince of Wales on his return from his world tour, with a ceremony called 'The Posse of Welcome.' The press responded favourably again -- as did George V, who promoted Baden-Powell to the highest rank in his personal order of chivalry. Already K.C.V.O., Baden-Powell was now gazetted G.C.V.O.

The year 1924 brought the Imperial Jamboree at Wembley, the World Camp at Foxlease and the Second International Jaboree in Denmark. At these events, Baden-Powell coupled pleas for peace and world brotherhood with denunciations of the Great War.

The present unsatisfactory conditions in the world are the after-effects of war -- that war that was to have ended wars ... But we have more nations in rivalry with one another than there were before, and more armed men in the world ready for war than ever existed in history. We civilized peoples, with our education and our churches, have little to be proud of in having committed this reversion to primitive methods of savagery for settling our disputes ... Schools merely continue their teaching of academic history, largely restricted to the more creditable doings of their own particular country, and with little regard to that of other nations ... The war and its upset of old ideas has given the opportunity for implanting entirely new ones. Buddha has said: 'There is only one way of driving out Hate in the world and that is by bringing in Love.' The opportunity lies before us where in place of selfishness and hostility we can enthuse good will and peace as the spirit in the coming generation ... We in the Movement can prove by example that such a step is possible ... [9]

-- Baden-Powell: Founder of the Boy Scouts, by Tim Jeal

Scouting in Indian schools

Most schools supervised by the Society for the Promotion of National Education placed great emphasis on scouting, which was an integral part of the curriculum. For example, the National High School at Hyderabad, Sindh, reported in 1918:

The appointments of a qualified Physical Instructor and of a trained Scout Commissioner have given a great impetus to Physical Culture and Scouting. Every class in the school takes Drill twice a week and scout games are very popular. Good grounds have been laid out for team games, and hockey, cricket and foot-ball are played with much zest. The scouts have formed a troop of their own, and their example is being followed by other local institutions. All the students are imbued with a fine spirit of service and did good service in putting down two big fires and serving as volunteers at two special Conferences at Karachi and Hyderabad. Their work on these occasions was publicly commended.[6]

The Andhra Jatheeya Kalasala, Masulipatam in Madras wrote: "Volunteering and relief-work is set as occasion arises as a lesson in self-discipline and organisation and a scout-section is a permanent adjunct of the Institution and its work."[7] The National Boys School in Benares City reported:

Scouting has become one of the chief activities of the school, and has had a most beneficial influence on the students, improving their health and spirits, and stimulating in them the spirit of service and an esprit de corps. Frequent camping excursions are made on holidays, and there have been instruction classes in first aid, ambulance, fire-drill, signalling, tracking, music, cooking, etc. During the Kumbha Mela [a major pilgrimage] at Allahabad, some of the Scouts and members of the Band of Service attached to the school did excellent work and impressed the authorities by their energy, high sense of duty and courage.[8]

The IBSA Scout camp scene below shows bridge building (left), stretcher bearing, fire rescue, and tent building.

1919 IBSA Scout camp

1919 Scouts at National HS, Teynampet, Madras

1919 Signaling at National HS, Madanapalle

1919 First aid at National HS, Madanapalle

Annie Besant and Indian Scouting

In 1918, Dr. Annie Besant organized the Indian Boy Scout Movement, with the aid of Mr. Pearce and Shri M. V. Venkateshwaran.

First-day cover celebrating Indian Scouting, with Annie Besant stamp, 1963

Lord Pentland, the then Governor of Madras [now Chennai], organized another Association confined to English and Anglo-Indian boys. These two organizations were popularly known as Besant Scouts and Pentland Scouts. When Lord Baden-Powell came to India in 1921 Dr. Besant, who liked him immensely, expressed her willingness to help a union in every possible way. One particular obstacle was that the Pentland Scouts insisted that even if the Indian Scouts joined them they should wear the Scout hat and shoes, whereas the Besant Scouts insisted on wearing the green turban and be permitted to go barefoot if they so desired. Baden-Powell did not consider that the Scout hat ... was anything essential as a part of the equipment of a Scout and readily agreed to the use of the turban. The amalgamation of the two organizations then took place, and Dr. Besant was appointed Honorary Commissioner for All-India of the Boy Scouts Association.[9]

Dr. Besant used her weekly national newspaper, New India, to promote Scouting.
For example, on May 23, 1923, an entire column of the paper was given to a description of a training camp for "Scouters" (Scout leaders) in Malayattoor, Cochin. About 25 men, representing all classes and castes, engaged in a full range of Scouting activities in a hilly forest location, demonstrating brotherhood and enthusiasm.[10] C. Jinarājadāsa, who worked closely with Mrs. Besant for many years, wrote:

To identify herself more closely with the Scout Movement, she had woven for her a silk sari of khaki colour, with a green border, and a turban in khaki on which was placed the Scout emblem. Whenever in her later years she was present at a Scout Rally she was always dressed in this Scout uniform.[11]

She wrote a message to the scouts at Adyar in 1929:

If I had a dozen sons – I have only one – I would send them all into the Scout Movement, as soon as they could enter its lowest grade. And I would send the daughters into the Girl Guides… Now do you think that I could say anything stronger than that, as a recommendation to you, who read this, in the way of advice as to joining the Scouts or the Guides…

Perhaps you may like to know that I took the Scout's pledge from our Chief Scout, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, here in Madras, at a big Scout Rally.[12]

Unknown Scout leader with Rukmini and George Arundale

Two years later she wrote.

Looking back over a long life, now that I am more than eighty years of age… I am inclined to say that I consider the part I took in the introduction of Indian boys and youths into the Scout Movement was one of the most useful steps in my life. It bought together the young of the two Nations and founded, I hope and believe, many friendships which will last after the two go out into the larger world… Games and athletic exercises are among the most pleasant and potent ways of forming lasting friendships..[13]

Dr. Besant was given the Silver Wolf Award by Lord Baden-Powell in 1932. It is the highest honor offered by the Scout Movement.

George Arundale and Indian Scouting

During his years as Principal of Central Hindu College, George S. Arundale became a Scout Officer, and he continued his work with the Scouts well into his term as president of the Theosophical Society, serving as Vice-President of the Provincial Council of the Boy Scout Association in the Madras Presidency.[14]

By 1933 when he began his term as TS president, the Scout Movement had expanded into at least 32 countries, with a total of 2,251,726 Scouts.[15]

In 1935 Dr. Arundale delivered a radio address on the Madras Corporation Broadcasting Station, describing the benefits of the Scout Movement to India:

If India is to achieve material well-being, if she is to become, within the great Commonwealth of Nations to which she belongs, a potent force for peace and international comradeship, she must have good citizens - boys and girls, men and women; for citizenship begins at birth, first with rights, but soon with duties.

The Scout and Girl Guide Movements exist to produce good citizens...[16]

Boy Scouts’ Hobby Club

The Boy Scouts' Hobby Club formed in 1923 at Mizar Lodge in Conjeeveram [now Kanchipuram] in south India. The objective was to encourage scouts worldwide to engage in correspondence to strengthen a sense of brotherhood by discussing hobbies. All members received the international magazine of the club, Brotherhood.[17]

Scouting in Sri Lanka

In Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), "the Baden-Powell Movement was organised from the first among Sinhalese boys and with full confidence in Sinhalese and Tamil Scoutmasters,"[18] circumstances very different from those experienced by early scouts in India. Scout troupes were established at several schools operated by the Buddhist Theosophical Society:

1913 – Dharmaraja College, Kandy
1914 – Mahinda College, Galle
1916 – Ananda College, Colombo

The principal of Mahinda College, Frederick Gordon Pearce, and Mr. G. P. Aryaratna, Patrol-Leader, established the very successful troop at Mahinda College. Both were recruited to help establish scouting in India.

Letter from Sidney A. Cook to Troup 38

Scouting in United States

Theosophists, like Americans generally, were very supportive of the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts. As early as 1913, Alma Kunz wrote a book review of the Boy Scout Handbook.[19] Adelia H. Taffinder saw the Boy Scout Movement as a natural adjunct to the Order of the Star in the East, and wrote in great detail about the requirements for Scouts.[20] The headquarters of the Theosophical Society in America, under the leadership of Sidney A. Cook, the Society's president, sponsored a scout troop in the 1930s. He encouraged the Diamond T Motor Truck Company, of which he was an officer, to support the Chicago Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The company received an illustrated brochure of appreciation.[21] Herbert A. Kern, Sr., an influential member of the Society, was chairman of the Southwest District of the Boy Scouts of America, Chicago.

Troop 38

The headquarters of the American Theosophical Society [renamed in 1934 to in Wheaton, Illinois sponsored a scout troop in the 1930s. TS member Albert F. Hardcastle and Donald Greenwood served as scoutmasters, and Society president Sidney A. Cook was chairman of the troop committee. Society staff members and other local Theosophists helped by raising funds. Helen Browne Freund, an opera singer, performed a benefit concert.

One of the services that the scouts performed was raising and lowering the American flag every day during the Society's 1934 summer convention. These are some of the troop's other activities:

Performed in a circus with other Scout troops.
Assisted at a horse and mule pulling contest at Colonel McCormick's farm performing first aid, parking cars, and delivering messages.
Attended Outdoor University, which was provided by Du Page Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Instruction was in campcraft, outdoor cooking, and nature study.
Participated in a winter rally where teams competed in drills, signaling, first aid, knot tying, and making fire by friction.[22]

Article about walnut project in The American Theosophist

1933 Walnut Tree Planting

On April 15, 1933, Troop 38 and the staff of the American Theosophical Society [renamed in 1934 to Theosophical Society in America] headquarters participated in the National Nut Tree Planting Project, which was a cooperative effort to plant one million trees each year for five years. Black walnuts and other varieties were collected by Boy Scouts from national shrines such as George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, Gettysburg battlefield, and Arlington National Cemetery, and shipped across the country. Theosophical Society staff members worked with Scouts to clear a 6000 square foot nursery bed, 15 feet by 400 feet in size, and together planted the 1700 nuts that were provided. Leading the effort was Mr. John S. Campbell, a member of the TS and Chicago Representative of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. After two years, the young trees were four feet tall, and were distributed to permanent locations in the local community. The first twelve went to an experimental farm near Wheaton, with the boys of Troop 38 present, along with their adult Theosophical Society leaders - Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, Albert F. Hardcastle, and Donald W. Greenwood.[23]

Staff members planting walnuts

Official letter from American Forestry Association

Offical certificate from American Forestry Association


1. C. Jinarajadasa, "Dr. Besant and the Scout Movement" The Theosophist 69 (November, 1947), 157.
2. Bharat Guides and Scouts web page.
3. Hilda Wood, "The Indian Boy Scouts," The Messenger 9.8 (January, 1922), 190.
4. Wood, 190.
5. "The Indian Scouts," Report of the Society for the Promotion of National Education, 1918 (Adyar, Madras, India: The Society for the Promotion of National Education, 1918), 46-47.
6. "The National High School, Hyderabad, Sindh" Report of the Society for the Promotion of National Education, 1918, 27.
7. "The Andhra Jatheeya Kalasala," Report of the Society for the Promotion of National Education, 1918, 40.
8. "The National High School, Benares City" Report of the Society for the Promotion of National Education, 1919 (Adyar, Madras, India: The Society for the Promotion of National Education, 1919), 79.
9. C. Jinarajadasa, "Dr. Besant and the Scout Movement" The Theosophist 69 (November, 1947), 156-157.
10. V. Ramanathan, "Scout Notes: the First Scouters' Training Camp, Cochin," New India (May, 23, 1923), 4.
11. C. Jinarajadasa, "Dr. Besant and the Scout Movement" The Theosophist 69 (November, 1947), 158.
12. Annie Besant, "Annie Besant – Scout" The Theosophist 64 (October, 1942), 51. Reprint of a message delivered March 7, 1929.
13. Annie Besant, "A Message to Indian Scouts" The Theosophist 52 (March, 1931), 420b.
14. George S. Arundale "How the Boy Scout Movement Helps the World" The Theosophist 56 (April 1935), 65.
15. Anonymous, "Boy Scouts: The Growth of the Movement" The Theosophist 57 (January, 1936), 381.
16. Arundale, 65.
17. S. R. Krishnan, "The Boy Scouts' Hobby Club" The Theosophist 44 (February, 1923), 558.
18. "The National High School," General Report of the T. S., 1918, 46-47.
19. AFK [Alma Kunz], Review of The Boys Scouts of American: Handbook for Boys The American Theosophist 14.12 (September, 1913), 1028.
20. Adelia H. Taffinder, "Scoutcraft in America" The Herald of the Star 6 (December, 1917), 636.
21. Perry A. Lint "An Expression of Appreciation." [illustrated brochure] Sidney A. Cook Papers. Records Series 08.08. Theosophical Society in America Archives.
22. Various pieces of correspondence. Sidney A. Cook Papers. Records Series 08.08. Theosophical Society in America Archives.
23. Frank Ridgway, "Day by Day Story of the Experimental Farm" Chicago Daily Tribune (November 11, 1935).
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George S. Arundale
by Theosophy Wiki
Accessed: 5/19/18



George S. Arundale

George Sydney Arundale (1878–1945) was an English Theosophist, educator, writer, and editor. He served as the third President of The Theosophical Society based in Adyar, India from 1934 to 1945.

Early years and education

George Sydney Arundale was born on December 1, 1878 in Surrey, England, the youngest child of the Reverend John Kay, a Congregational minister.[1] His mother died at childbirth, and George was adopted by his aunt, Francesca Arundale. Miss Arundale joined the Theosophical Society in 1881 and often welcomed Madame H. P. Blavatsky to her home[/b] at 77 Elgin Crescent, Notting Hill, London. George became a member in 1895 and joined the London Lodge. A. J. Hamerster recounted the affection that both HPB and Colonel Olcott had for the boy:

The Colonel, in his correspondence with George's adopted mother, refers to him as "the curly-headed angel of Elgin Crescent"; and I remember George himself recently, in one of the Friday evening "roof" talks here [Adyar], telling us of a visit to the Zoological Gardens in London, with H.P.B., who was then much of an invalid, sitting in a bath-chair, and how when he tripped and fell, H.P.B., though only able to move with great difficulty, almost hurled herself out of the chair to pick him up and console him.[2]

Young George was tutored for some time by C. W. Leadbeater, along with Dennie Sinnett and C. Jinarājadāsa, then attended schools in Germany, in Italy, and in England. In 1900 he was graduated from St John’s College, Cambridge.

Early education work for the Theosophical Society

When he was seventeen, George was admitted to the London Lodge by A. P. Sinnett. Two years later, at Dr Besant’s invitation, he went to India with his aunt to become Professor of History and English at the Central Hindu College, Benares (now Varanasi). In 1907 he was appointed Headmaster of the Central Hindu College School, and later Principal of the College. He was very popular with both teachers and students, for he had a great understanding of youth.[3] Clara Codd recalled that as Arundale walked around, he would have "Indian boys hanging on each arm. He was very fond of his scholars and they were very fond of him."[4] "After leaving the Central Hindu College, George Arundale at first accompanied Mr. J. Krishnamurti and his brother Nityananda to Europe to help them in their education. Being found unfit for active service in the War, he returned in 1916, at Mrs. Besant's request, to India, and became associated with her and other national leaders in the Home Rule for India campaign."[5]

Arundale was appointed as Principal for the former National University in Madras [now Chennai], where the Doctor of Letters honoris causadegree was confirmed upon him. The diploma was signed by Rabindranath Tagore.[6]

In 1918, he became Registrar for the Society for the Promotion of National Education, which provided support to Indian universities, colleges, and schools. As Registrar, he managed the membership rolls and collected subscription fees.[7]


George and Rukmini Arundale

In 1920 Mr. Arundale married Srimati Rukmini Devi, the sixth child a very well-known Theosophical Brahmin family. The ceremony was conducted by Alladi Mahadeva Shastri.[8] Rukmini Devi "was the first well-known Brahmin lady to break caste by marring a foreigner."[9] She and her family were ostracized by their Brahmin associates, but with support of Theosophists, the Indian public eventually adjusted to the marriage. She accompanied him on his worldwide lecture tours, and became well known to Theosophists in many countries.

Rukmini Devi gave an account of travel to England:

Dr. Arundale had a wide circle of friends in London. His father was a famous architect. I was told that he was invited by the Shah of Oman to renovate his Palace, since at that time, he was considered the best person to do it. The family was well known and they had many friends among the aristocracy and famous artists. Dr. Arundale himself was very popular. We stayed in the house of the Countess De la Warr and there were always people coming and going, garden parties, outings and shipping trips... Mr. Arundale took me to so many concerts and dances, we visited all the museums and art galleries and even among his friends, there were many great artists and painters. He used to play the piano very well, he could also compose music. He wanted me to see everything that the loved and appreciated in Western art.[10]

Theosophical work

Dr. Arundale reading

Beginning in 1910, Arundale frequently addressed Theosophical Conventions. After a brief period as General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in England, 1915–16, he returned to India to assist Annie Besant in her political activities.

In 1927 he undertook a lengthy lecture tour in Europe and the United States; Mrs Arundale and he were the guests of honor at the American Convention that year, and participated in the dedication of the headquarters building that was then being completed. Each year from 1931 to 1934, he undertook such lecture tours, greatly vitalizing the Theosophical work in the countries he visited."[11]

Social activism and imprisonment

Arundale became the Organizing Secretary of the All-India Home Rule League. He was interned, under house arrest, with Annie Besant and B. P. Wadia, for three months in 1917, under the Defence of India Act, 1917. His official biography states, "From 1924 to 1926 he was President of the Madras Labour Union, which he had been instrumental in forming, and through which he successfully secured a higher minimum wage and less working hours for the working man."[12]

General Secretary in Australia

Dr. Arundale speaking to radio audience.

He became General Secretary in Australia, 1926, where, in addition to his Theosophical duties, he engaged in humanitarian and political work. Bryon Casselberry served as Assistant General Secretary.[13]

Arundale helped to set up the 2GB Broadcasting Station and became its first Chairman of Directors. He lived at The Manor and assisted Bishop Leadbeater in preparing that Theosophical center for its important future. The section journal Theosophy in Australia was renamed to Advance Australia and reshaped as "a monthly magazine of Australian Citizenship and Ideals in Religion, Education, Literature, Science, Art, Music, Social Life, Politics. No. 1 began with July [1926]. There are editorials on the Indian crisis, religious tolerance, food reform, child welfare..."[14]

General Secretary in India

In 1928, Dr. Arundale became General Secretary in India, but he did not seek re-election.

President of the Theosophical Society

George Arundale

In this account of the Arundale presidency,

When Dr Besant died in 1933, Dr Arundale was elected President of The Theosophical Society and began from 1934 to work out a Seven Year Plan which included the development of Adyar, and ensuring the solidarity of the Society. With well-prepared publicity material next year he launched a ‘Straight Theosophy’ Campaign, that encouraged the study of basic Theosophical principles, and culminated in the fine Diamond Jubilee Convention at Adyar in 1935. Lodges were urged never to forget their primary purpose of instructing members in Theosophy, using a language that could be understood. The next campaign was entitled ‘There is a Plan’. In 1935 three books of Dr Arundale in which he set forth his conceptions of human and spiritual values, were published: You; Freedom and Friendship and Gods in the Becoming. In 1936 he presided over the Fourth Theosophical World Congress at Geneva, when he decided the third Campaign should be for ‘Understanding’ which, proving successful, was extended into 1938. After that, ‘Theosophy is the Next Step’ was the theme, but the Second World War broke out and not much could be done. He then issued ‘Letters’ to Sections which were widely used and helpful. By 1936 there was a visible improvement in the membership of a number of National Societies, indicating that the President’s vigorous policy was taking effect. The Campaigns were creating new interest and activity. In 1937 Arundale gave a lecture on Symbolic Yoga at the Convention, using his material for ‘roof-talks’ at Adyar, and for his addresses later when on tour in Europe and America. These appeared as a book called The Lotus Fire: a Study in Symbolic Yoga.

However, due to war conditions, travel outside India was not easy. The competent and devoted workers in every Section carried the Society forward under his direction. But all over Europe Lodge after Lodge and Section after Section was forced to close. Increasingly, Dr Arundale devoted himself to the inner side of the work in an endeavour to assuage the suffering of mankind. In an attempt to awaken people to a greater sense of responsibility, he started a small weekly paper in Madras called Conscience. He welcomed to Adyar Dr Maria Montessori and her son, Mario Montessori, who came to India but were unable to return to Italy because of the war. During their stay in Adyar, they trained teachers from India and neighbouring countries in the well-known Montessori method of child education.

In 1940 Dr Arundale set up a Peace and Reconstruction Department so as to have a Charter for World Peace ready when the war ceased. Each year he stressed that members should spread ‘the mighty Truths of Theosophy’, undertook tours in India, and supported the art and educational institutions and activities of Rukmini Devi. He worked hard to build a better understanding on the part of Indians of the position of Great Britain in the West, and for a still more liberal attitude on the part of Great Britain towards India. In 1941 Dr Arundale was conferred the honorary degree of Vidyâ-Kalânidhi, meaning ‘Storehouse of Art and Wisdom’, by the old and much respected institution Shri Bharat Dharma Mahamandal, Benares (now Vârânasi), for his ‘extraordinary merits and excellent qualities’. Dr Arundale’s two special themes were: the unity of India and the development of greatness in the individual.[15]

In addition to these activities, Dr. Arundale introduced two new serial publications. The International Theosophical Year Book was issued annually from 1937-1942. Wartime stresses on the Society and its staff prevented continuation of this useful publication. The Theosophical World, which changed title to The Theosophical Worker in 1939, was a monthly member newsletter published from 1936-1946.


Mr. Arundale became a Co-Freemason in 1902, joining the Order Le Droit Humain. In 1935 he became the Most Puissant Grand Commander, Eastern Federation, and Representative of the Supreme Council.

Liberal Catholic Church

In 1926, he became Regionary Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church in India.

Unknown Boy Scout with George and Rukmini Arundale

Boy Scout movement in India

"Dr Arundale was known not only for his Theosophical work but also for his interest in ... the Indian Scout movement, being for some years Provincial Commissioner for Madras Province."[16] "In the Central Hindu College he was the captain of the College Cadet Corps, and later became the Deputy Chief Scout of the Indian Boy Scout Movement, which in 1917 amalgamated with Lord Baden Powell's movement at the latter's special request. In appreciation of Dr. Arundale's great services to Scouting, Lord Baden Powell presented to him him own Scout badge."[17]

Later years

Dr. Arundale's official biographical notes on the Theosophical Society, Adyar Web page describe his last months:

"In 1945 he was advised complete rest for he was gravely ill, and despite all the care and attention given to him, he passed away on 12 August, just as the news that the world war had ended spread throughout the world. One of the finest contributions made to the Society’s work by Dr Arundale is best described by another slogan he invented — ‘Together Differently’. Repeatedly and insistently, he emphasized in his writings and talks that differences of outlook and opinion could only enrich the work of The Theosophical Society. Another important contribution was the emphasis he gave to straight Theosophy in the campaign which he initiated under that name. It cannot be said that any one of his contributions was more important than another, but the two mentioned above did unquestionably bring about a definite change in the minds and hearts of the membership, and sharply emphasized once more the freedom of individual thought inherent in Theosophical teachings. [18]

Rukmini wrote of his decline:

From 1942 onwards Dr. Arundale's health had been slowly deteriorating. He was such an uncomplaining, cheerful person that I never knew how seriously ill he was. He was highly diabetic but because of his principles would not take medicines which were produced by killing animals. I would pester him to come with me on my dance tours never realizing what a great effort he was making to please me. He passed away in 1945. Till the last moment I was so sure that he would be cured. He had always been there to take care of things but he was also preparing me in many ways - I can see it now - to stand on my own.[19]

Mrs. Arundale traveled to Haridwar and Rishikesh to immerse his ashes.[20]

Stamp from Maryland Lodge, 1937.

Honors, awards, and memorials

In 1935, Dr. Arundale was presented with the Subba Row Medal for his contributions to Theosophical literature.

The Shri Bharat Dharma Mahamandal of Benares [a university] conferred upon Dr. Arundale in 1942 the national honor of Vidya-Kalanidhi, which means "storehouse of art and wisdom.” The diploma was signed by His Highness the Maharajadhiraj of Darbhanga, the General President of the university.[21]

In 1937, the Maryland Lodge of the Theosophical Society in America produced stamps with the image of Dr. Arundale for use by American members.[22]

In 1932, an American lodge was established in Santa Barbara, California as the "Arundale Group."


Dr. Arundale wrote over 2200 articles for Theosophical periodicals, being especially prolific during the years that he served as President and as editor of The Theosophist. The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists articles under George S Arundale, GS Arundale, and GSA.

These are books and pamphlets that he wrote, in chronological order.

• The Growth of National Consciousness in the Light of Theosophy. Madras: Theosophist Office, 1911. "Four lectures delivered at the Thirty-fifth annual convention of the Theosophical Society, held at Adyar, on December 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th, 1910."
• Brotherhood: a Series of Addresses. Benares, India: Rai Iqbal Narain Gurtu, 1913.
• Indian Students and Politics. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1914. Adyar pamphlets; no. 44. Available at Canadian Theosophical Association.
• Thoughts on "At the Feet of the Master". Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1918. Second edition 1919. Available at Hathitrust.
• The Way of Service. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1913. Available at Translated into German, French, and Tamil.
• Man's Waking Consciousness. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1920.
• The Real and the Unreal: being the four convention lectures delivered at Adyar at the forty-seventh anniversary of the Theosophical Society, December, 1922. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1923. Lectures by Annie Besant, C. Jinarajadasa, and George Arundale.
• Bedrock of Education. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1924.
• Thoughts of the Great, to Remind Us "We Can Make Our Lives Sublime"; gathered from time to time for personal guidance. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1924.
• The Ashrama Ideal. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1924. The Brahmavidya Library. no. The opening lecture of the second session of the Brahmavidyãshrama, Adyar, October 2, 1923.
• Understanding Godlike: Poem. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1925.
• Nirvana: a Study in Synthetic Consciousness. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1926. Wheaton: Theosophical Publishing House, 1978. Translated in to French, Spanish, German.
• "The Lord is Here". Adyar, Madras,India: Kalakshetra, 1927. Pamphlet.
• America: Her Power and Purpose. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1928. Booklet.
• The Life Magnificent. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1928.
• The Glory of Sex. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1928. Booklet.
• Some Intolerable Tyrannies. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1928. Booklet.
• Shadows and Mountains. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1928. Pamphlet.
• Go Your Own Way. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1928.
• Mount Everest: Its Spiritual Attainment. Adyar, Madras; London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1933, 1978. Translated into German, Russian, Dutch, Polish.
• My Work as President of the Theosophical Society: A Seven Year Plan; the Spirit of Youth. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1934. Translated into Dutch, Gujarati.
• Freedom and Friendship: the Call of Theosophy and the Theosophical Society. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1935.
• You. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1935. Slightly revised - Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973. Translated into French, German.
• The Science of Theosophy. London: The Theosophical Society in England, 1935.
• Theosophy as Beauty. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1936. Adyar pamphlets ; no. 208. Available at Canadian Theosophical Association.
• Gods in the Becoming: A Study in Vital Education. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1936.
• Education for Happiness. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1938.
• The Warrior Theosophist. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1938.
• Kundalini: An Occult Experience. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1938. Wheaton: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974. Translated into Spanish.
• Peace and War in the Light of Theosophy: Quotations from Writings and Addresses of George S. Arundale. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1938.
• A Character for Indian Youth. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1939.
• The Lotus Fire: A Study in Symbolic Yoga. Adyar, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1939. Wheaton: Theosophical Publishing House, 1976.
• A Guardian Wall of Will: a Form of Tapas-Yoga. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1939. Pamphlet. Available on Anand Gholap Web page.
• A Fragment of Autobiography. Adyar, Madras,India: Kalakshetra, 1940.
• The Night Bell: Cases from the Case-book of an Invisible Helper. Adyar, Madras, India: Vasanta Press, 1940. Enlarged second edition, 1941.
• From Visible to Invisible Helping. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1941.
• Adventures in Theosophy. Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1941.
• Conversations with Dr. Besant, September 20th-October 1st, 1933, on the high seas between Los Angeles & Suva. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1941. Pamphlet.
• Essentials of an Indian Education. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1942. Written with Annie Besant.
• Under the Weather. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1943.
• Inaugural Addresses of Four Presidents of the Theosophical Society. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1946. Lectures by H. S. Olcott, Annie Besant, George S. Arundale, C. Jinarajadasa.
A commemorative book about Dr. Arundale was compiled by friends after his death:
• Personal memories of G.S. Arundale, third President of the Theosophical Society, by some of his numerous friends and admirers. London, Wheaton, IL [etc.] Theosophical Publishing House, 1967.


1. A. J. Hamerster, "Our New President," The American Theosophist 22.8 (August, 1934), 179-182.
2. A. J. Hamerster, "Our New President," The American Theosophist 22.8 (August, 1934), 179-182.
3. "George Sydney Arundale (1878 - 1945)," Theosophical Society, Adyar Web page. [1]
4. Clara Codd, So Rich a Life (Pretoria: Institute for Theosophical Publicity, 1956), 172.
5. A. J. Hamerster, "Our New President," The American Theosophist 22.8 (August, 1934), 179-182.
6. A. J. Hamerster, "Our New President," The American Theosophist 22.8 (August, 1934), 179-182.
7. Report of the Society for the Promotion of National Education for the Year 1918, (Adyar, Madras, India: Society for the Promotion of National Education, 1918). Kunz Family Collection, Records Series 25.01, Theosophical Society in America Archives.
8. ”Sarada Hoffman,” KutcheriBuzz Website ... sarada.asp, accessed February 28, 2012.
9. Joseph E. Ross, Spirit of Womanhood, privately published by the author, 2009: vii.
10. Rukmini Devi Arundale, "Rukmini on Herself," Rukmini Devi Arundale: Birth Centenary Commemorative Volume, Shakuntala Ramani, ed., (Chennai, India: The Kalakshetra Foundation, 2003), 26.
11. "George Sydney Arundale (1878 - 1945)," Theosophical Society, Adyar Web page. Available at Adyar Web page.
12. "George Sydney Arundale (1878 - 1945)," Theosophical Society Web page. Accessed Adyar Web page on November 4, 2013.
13. "News Items" The Messenger" 14.4 (August 1926), 65.
14. "In Australia" The Messenger" 14.4 (September 1926), 77.
15. "George Sydney Arundale (1878 - 1945)," Theosophical Society Web page. Accessed Adyar Web page on November 4, 2013.
16. "George Sydney Arundale (1878 - 1945)," Theosophical Society, Adyar Web page. [2]
17. "Olcott Scout Benefit Performance," The American Theosophist 22.8 (August, 1934), 188.
18. "George Sydney Arundale (1878 - 1945)," Theosophical Society, Adyar Web page. [3]
19. Rukmini Devi Arundale, "Rukmini on Herself," Rukmini Devi Arundale: Birth Centenary Commemorative Volume, Shakuntala Ramani, ed., (Chennai, India: The Kalakshetra Foundation, 2003), 64.
20. Ibid., 64
21. "Honor for the President," The American Theosophist 30.6 (June 1942), 142. Reprinted from The Theosophical Worker, February, 1942.
22. Stamp produced in 1937 by Maryland Lodge. Scanned from correspondence of George De Hoff to Sidney A. Cook. October 11, 1936. Records Series 08.05. Sidney A. Cook Papers. Theosophical Society in America Archives.

Additional resources

• The Theosophist, Vol. 66, No. 12, September 1945 (Commemorative Issue).
American Section, study course on Theosophy and Theosophical Society (Theosophical Society Archives).
• Dixon, Joy, Divine Feminine: Theosophy and Feminism in England (London: John Hopkins, 2001)
• Lutyens, Mary, Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening (London: John Murray, 1975)
• Lutyens, Mary, The Life and Death of Krishnamurti (London: John Murray, 1990)
• Meduri, Avanthi (ed.), Rukmini Devi Arundale (1904-1968): A Visionary Architect of Indian culture and the Performing Arts (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2005)
• Ransom, Josephine. The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Book of the Theosophical Society. Theosophical Publishing House, 2005.
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Re: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, by Wikipedi

Postby admin » Thu May 31, 2018 2:28 am

Part 1 of 3

Baden-Powell: Founder of the Boy Scouts [EXCERPT]
by Tim Jeal




1. 'A Grand Thing for Me': The Ashanti Campaign (1895-96)

The country to which Lord Wolseley was sending Baden-Powell was one in which he himself had served with characteristically crushing impact. In 1873, just after enduring the seventh full-scale invasion of the Gold Coast by the Ashanti in as many decades, the British Government decided to send Sir Gamet Wolseley to punish them. He did so the following year with his usual thoroughness, and by the Treaty of Fomena required the Ashanti ruler to pay a massive indemnity of 50,000 ounces of gold and to renounce all claims to sovereignty over half-a-dozen neighbouring tribes. The Ashanti would also have to abandon 'human sacrifices' and keep open the road linking their capital of Kumasi with the Gold Coast.

A year later the Governor of the Gold Coast, Mr G. C. Strahan, sent a despatch to his masters in the Colonial Office in which he lucidly spelled out their dilemma. Because Wolseley and his 2,000 soldiers had broken the power of the Asantehene (or ruler of Ashanti), he had no control over tribes which had formerly been his vassals and consequently could not stop the inter-tribal raids which were already damaging trade. But if the British were to allow the ruler of Ashanti to grow strong again, in time he would once more wage war on the Gold Coast. [1]

For a decade the Colonial Office pursued a policy defined by an astute Under-Secretary as 'masterly inactivity'. [2] Then in the mid-1880s the Colonial Office began to receive warnings from British traders about French and German ambitions in the region. The London and the Manchester Chambers of Commerce urged a more energetic policy in West Africa, not only to keep out foreign competition but also to revive stagnating trade. They felt that the presence of a British Resident in Kumasi would prove a stabilizing influence. Believing that such a move would simply hasten the incorporation of Ashanti into the Gold Coast Colony, the British Government preferred to do nothing. By 1893, however, the acting Governor of the Gold Coast had been converted to the view that 'the Ashanti have exercised such a baneful influence on the English settlements of the Gold Coast in years past ... and have so constantly interfered with trade that it should be a settled policy of H.M. Government to expedite the annexation of Ashanti with all reasonable and proper means.' [3]

It only awaited the arrival of a Colonial Secretary in favour of Imperial expansion in Africa to set the ball rolling. With the appointment of Joseph Chamberlain in June 1895, the moment had come.

Chamberlain lost no time in elaborating his doctrine. 'I regard many of our colonies,' he declared in August 1895, 'as being in the condition of undeveloped estates, and estates which can never be developed without Imperial assistance.' [4] The new Colonial Secretary saw at once that, if the Gold Coast was ever to prosper, Ashanti would have to be annexed. So early in September he told the new Governor, Mr W. E. Maxwell, to send an ultimatum to the [King] Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh. In December 1893 a Permanent Secretary in the Colonial Office had proposed that: 'If we decide for protection [declaring Ashanti a British Protectorate], we should begin by demanding a large sum for indemnity in respect of recent events [Ashanti raids on the Gold Coast] to be withdrawn if Prempeh asks for protection.' [5] This was power politics at its most cynical.

In Maxwell's ultimatum, Prempeh was declared not to have observed the terms of Wolseley's Treaty of Fomena. He had failed to pay the whole of the financial indemnity (which he must now remit in full), had attacked tribes friendly to the British Government, had checked trade and had permitted the continuance of human sacrifice. Prempeh was also informed that he would have to accept a British Resident at Kumasi forthwith. For the Governor suddenly to invoke a 22-year-old treaty without immediate grounds for complaint struck Prempeh as extraordinarily unjust. Full payment of the absurdly large indemnity had never been expected or there would have been agitation for it years ago; nor was it reasonable to blame him for having failed to establish peaceful conditions in Ashanti (conducive to the growth of trade) without first having permitted him to impose his authority upon subject tribes. But since the chiefs of these tribes were endlessly seeking sanctuary in the Gold Coast and appealing to the Governor for protection, Prempeh had often been thwarted. Nor did he think it fair to describe as 'human sacrifices' death sentences required by the Ashanti legal system for a range of crimes no more extensive than that obtaining in England 100 years earlier.

Believing that an appeal to Queen Victoria -- over the heads of Governor Maxwell and his colleagues -- would secure justice for him, Prempeh sent an embassy to England and ignored the ultimatum. This was a serious mistake. His ambassadors were refused an audience with the Queen; nor were they received by the Colonial Secretary, who believed that Prempeh had only sent these envoys as a delaying tactic and would disown on their return whatever they negotiated in England. Chamberlain therefore asked the War Office for assistance, and in due course Lord Wolseley prepared an expeditionary force. Ashanti would receive British 'protection' whether its ruler and its people wanted it or not.

In the House of Commons Chamberlain chose to represent himself and the Government as acting solely in the interests of Ashanti and the Gold Coast. For decades, he said: 'This district of Africa, which is rich in natural resources, has been devastated, destroyed and ruined by inter-tribal disputes, and especially by the evil Government of the authorities of Ashanti.' [6] Wolseley's 1874 expedition had created a power vacuum and consequent chaos. In 1896 the intention was to fill the vacuum with British rule.

Most Victorian army officers longed to fight, considering with Lord Wolseley that the sentiment '"war is a horrible thing", is a nice heading, but only for a schoolgirl's copy book'. [7] 'It is only through experience of the sensation,' wrote the Commander-in-Chief, 'that we learn how intense, even in anticipation, is the rapture-giving delight which the attack upon an enemy affords ... All other sensations are but as the tinkling of a doorbell in comparison with the throbbing of Big Ben.' [8] Stephe's only fear as he prepared for departure was 'that the enemy will give in altogether'. The same sentiments were echoed by the vast majority of his brother officers. Like them, he wanted to go not simply for the sake of a fight but to gain promotion. Thanks to their superior weapons, few white soldiers were likely to die at the hands of their enemies during campaigns against Africans. Such 'little wars' were often viewed almost as a superior kind of sport -- 'manhunting', as Baden-Powell described tracking down enemy patrols
. Nevertheless the reputation of West Africa as the white man's graveyard had earned that region real respect -- principally, but not by any means entirely, on account of disease. In 1824 the Governor of the Gold Coast and most of his 500-strong force were killed by 10,000 Ashanti. Sir Charles McCarthy's gold-rimmed skull had been the drinking cup of Ashanti rulers until Lord Wolseley's arrival half a century later.

When Stephe boarded the train at Euston, bound for Liverpool, he was seen off by his brothers Frank and Baden, and by 'about a million of the public. . . although it was past midnight, cheering and singing patriotic songs as if we were off to fight the French.' [9] Baden-Powell would have known that Wolseley's triumph of 1874 had been bought at the expense of 300 British casualties, the majority from disease. He was warned about malaria by Wolseley himself, who recommended him to 'take a double set of mosquito curtains to rig over my bed at night, to keep out the malaria'. Once inside the curtains Baden-Powell was advised to smoke a pipe of tobacco. Since insects dislike smoke this was excellent advice -- given, incidentally, before the Anopheles mosquito had been identified as the culprit. [10] Baden-Powell dutifully smoked until the damp climate rotted his tobacco. [11]

Sir Baker Russell and Kenneth Mclaren came aboard the transport at Liverpool to say farewell. Sir Baker gave Stephe a short sword-bayonet which he had found effective in hand-to-hand fighting against the Ashanti in 1874. 'The Boy' handed over a compass -- an indispensable aid in the tropical forests which covered much of West Africa. During the voyage Baden-Powell read Sir William Butler's The Story of a Failure, an account of the author's inability in 1874 to stop the Native Levy from melting away into the forest after the Ashanti capital had been taken. Butler's force had come from a single tribe, and Baden-Powell determined not to make the same mistake in recruiting his own men.

'The job for my force,' Baden-Powell wrote, 'was to go ahead of the main body which was composed of white and West Indian troops, to scout in the bush some days ahead, and to ascertain the moves and whereabouts of the enemy. Also we had to act as pioneers in cutting a path and making a roadway through the jungle for the troops to follow ... ' [12]

On arrival at Cape Coast Baden-Powell and his subaltern, Captain H. W. Graham, recruited their 800 men from six tribes, the largest contingent being furnished by King Matikoli of the Krobos. It amused Baden-Powell that these local chiefs were known as kings, and it appealed to his sense of humour to fine them a few shillings for some paltry irregularity. [13] Actually assembling the Levy was far harder than obtaining promises of men from the various chiefs. Noon on 16 December was the time ordained for the Levy to parade for the first time outside Cape Coast Castle.

The parade-ground outside the castle lies like an arid desert in the midday sun, and the sea-breeze wanders where it listeth. Not a man is there. It is a matter then for a hammock-ride through the slums of the slum that forms the town. Kings are forked out of the hovels where they are lodging, at the end of a stick; they in their turn rouse out their captains, and by two o'clock the army is assembled. Then it is a sight for the gods to see 'The Sutler' putting each man in his place. The stupid inertness of the puzzled negro is duller than that of an ox; a dog would grasp your meaning in one-half the time. Men and brothers! They may be brothers, but they certainly are not men. [14]

The last two sentences of this passage, which appeared in Baden-Powell's published account of the Campaign, have been quoted by both his recent detractors, Piers Brendon and Michael Rosenthal, to show that he was an unrepentant racist. In fact, passages almost as critical of Africans were written by two of the nineteenth century's greatest missionaries, Robert Moffat and David Livingstone, both of whom developed close and affectionate relationships with individual Africans. Livingstone wrote of a tribe that he esteemed more than many as being 'totally lacking in all self-respect, savage and cruel under success, but easily cowed and devoid of all moral courage'. [15] From the Africans' point of view, Baden-Powell's arrival presented them with an interesting opportunity for earning money and trade goods. Naturally they hoped to secure whatever advantage they could without endangering their lives or exhausting themselves unduly. Being accustomed to having his orders promptly obeyed and his prearranged appointments kept, Stephe made the common European mistake of supposing that Africans whose way of life did not require the punctuality demanded of factory workers were too stupid to run their affairs in an organized fashion. By his statement 'they may be brothers, but they certainly are not men', he did not mean to relegate them to membership of some sub-species. His preoccupation with 'making men' out of his raw young soldiers gives an indication of what he really meant. Somebody who was 'not a man', in the sense of being self-reliant and hardy, was 'a waster' or 'a jellyfish' in Baden-Powell's argot, but he would not have intended to imply that an African 'jellyfish' was not a human being. The fact that he wrote openly about Africans in this way, for publication, shows that he expected most of his readers to share his views, as indeed they did. He called Africans 'Diggers' or 'savages', as did most Britains of all classes during the 1890s.

From Stephe's point of view he was paying his Africans a generous wage to serve in the Levy (they were being paid as much as the privates among the expedition's 2,000 British soldiers), but they saw no reason why they should not try to extract more from him and find out how little they could get away with doing. Although Baden-Powell misunderstood his recruits en masse, he developed excellent relationships with individuals and relied very heavily upon one man in particular, Chief Andoh of the Elmina tribe, to whom he dedicated his book The Downfall of Prempeh, calling the chief, 'My Guide, Adviser and Friend'. In writing to Lord Wolseley, who considered that the negro would have remained 'more useful if we had never emancipated him', [16] Baden-Powell never pandered to his Commander-in-Chiefs prejudices. Instead, he described Chief Andoh as 'one of the very best and nicest natives I ever met'. [17]

Baden-Powell ruled out the possibility of a serious mutiny by enrolling numerous different tribal contingents, but this presented him with severe linguistic and organizational difficulties. Nevertheless the various groups worked well at different tasks. Building bridges was one of the Levy's most important jobs and Baden-Powell was impressed by the coastal tribesmen's mastery of knots which they used in making fishing nets. By knotting lengths of creeper they could bind substantial wooden structures together. Yet these same men caused an early crisis by refusing to march because they had insufficient salt in their ration. Not having enough salt to grant their request, he tried to reason with them; having wasted several hours in fruitless negotiation, he 'called out to the King to warn his men that I was now going to fetch out our old friend "the whip that talks" and that the last man in camp would be the one he would talk to. I moved with a joyous step to my tent, and when I came out a minute later and gave one resounding crack with my hunting crop, the whole party had scrambled to their feet and were already humping their packs up on to their shoulders.' [18]

Stephe adopted as his personal catch-phrase: 'A smile and a stick will carry you through any difficulty.' If smiling persuasion failed, the stick or whip remained in reserve.
Whether he ever used either is uncertain. [19] He himself denied it; but Harold Begbie, his first biographer, contradicts him -- although no evidence exists, and when Begbie's book was in preparation Stephe himself was in Mafeking and therefore unable to comment. Floggings undoubtedly took place in Baden-Powell's column, as in the main force, with the number of lashes limited to twelve in general orders, and these only to be delivered in the presence of a commissioned officer. [20] One such punishment was sketched by Baden-Powell, and a slightly altered version of this was later published in The Graphic [see second photo section]. [21]

A flogging during the Ashanti campaign (1896); this drawing based on an original sketch by Baden-Powell

Most nineteenth-century European travellers, in command of hundreds of African porters, had resorted to floggings and threats of summary execution when placed in circumstances often much less dangerous than those in which Baden-Powell and his subaltern regularly found themselves. [22] Had they ever capitulated to malingerers, it would have doomed the further progress of the Levy, and very likely of the whole expedition, which relied upon the advance party to clear the ground and give warning of the enemy's presence. In dense forests men who knew the terrain, even if armed with spears, could easily surprise and even annihilate a better equipped force. Their 500 Africans were armed with primitive flindocks and issued with red fezes, but these accoutrements did not make them any less indisciplined. Most of the tribal groups were unable even to communicate with one another, except through interpreters.

'In addition to the "whip that talks" I had also another moral persuader in the shape of Isiqwi-qwa, a Colt repeating carbine. This weapon could bang away from its magazine a dozen rounds if need be as fast as a man could fire.' By means of a demonstration on some paw-paw fruit, Baden-Powell usually managed to defuse potentially explosive situations. [23] But since he and Graham could have been murdered in their sleep with the greatest of ease, Baden-Powell engaged a 'special body-guard of eight hammock men from Sierra Leone. Their country manners and customs and language, being entirely alien to those of my larger contingent, would keep them as a corps d'elite, a thing apart, a reliable guard.' [24] He faced a real crisis when these very men turned against him, but again his Colt repeater saved him. He had been confronted on a deserted path by all eight hammock men, whose demeanour left him in no doubt that they meant trouble. Raising his Colt and releasing the safety-catch, Baden-Powell ordered them back to camp and to his great relief, they obeyed. Stephe's African factotum (a member of the Hausa tribe) punished the miscreants in local style.

He cut down a small tree so that it lay about a foot above the ground, and he made the whole lot of eight men sit on the ground and put their legs under the tree with their feet projecting on the far side; then each man had to lean over and touch his toes with his fingers; the Hausa then came along and tied every thumb to every great toe. This was his idea of a stocks and there he left them for the night. The prisoners, however, devised a method of obtaining release -- or thought they did. One of them started to yowl in a miserable way at the top of his voice and as soon as his breath ran out, the yowl was taken up by the next, and so it went on in succession. This they hoped would disturb me to such an extent that I should order their release. But before I could suggest a remedy the Hausa himself had devised one. He cut a thin whippy cane and went to the singer and smote him across the back, and then stood up by the next man ready to smite the moment he began his song. The singing stopped like magic and was not resumed. [25]

There are many accounts of the predicament of whites in remote parts of Africa, and all confirm the importance of maintaining a bold front and behaving as if invulnerable. In The Flame Trees of Thika, Elspeth Huxley wrote about white settlers in Kenya at a later date, but her thesis applies equally to isolated white officers leading large numbers of Africans three decades earlier.

Respect [wrote Mrs Huxley] was the only protection available to Europeans who lived singly, or in scattered families among thousands of Africans accustomed to constant warfare and armed with spears and poisoned arrows . . . This respect preserved them like an invisible coat of mail or a form of magic, and seldom failed; but it had to be very carefully guarded. The least rent or puncture might, if not immediately checked, split the whole garment asunder and expose the wearer in all his human vulnerability ... Challenged, it could be brushed aside like a spider's web. [26]

On this expedition Baden-Powell constantly demonstrated his canniness in dealing with his men. They constructed their bridges carefully because, on completion, he obliged the builders to jump vigorously upon them. But canny or not, it took all Baden-Powell's skill to persuade his men to cross the river Prah after some of his Adansi scouts returned with intelligence that Prempeh and the Ashanti meant to lure them all forward and then fall upon the column's rear. News that some of the Ashanti were armed with modern Snider rifles proved very damaging to morale, since the Levy had nothing better than antiquated flintlocks. [27] The Gold Coast proverb: 'Softly, softly, catchee monkey,' proved extremely helpful to Baden-Powell. [28] He divided the Levy into small companies of about twenty men under a 'Captain' responsible for their conduct. [29] Stephe was not helped when Graham was laid low by malaria, and the two officers sent to replace him suffered the same fate. 'As for me,' Baden-Powell told Wolseley, 'I have not yet had time to get anything worse than a healthy appetite.' [30]

On 27 December 1895 the Levy crossed the river Prah -- the huge dug-out ferry making numerous journeys before the whole force and its equipment were deposited on the far side. During the next few days the forest became thicker, and the path narrower. If the scouts were bringing in accurate information, the Ashanti king was assembling an army of 8,000 warriors. In early January, as Baden-Powell's men drew closer to Kumasi, the Ashanti capital, he gave orders to move only by night.

It was as dark as pitch, one's only guide to the path was the white rag or package on the next man in front. With stick in hand, one groped one's way through the deep, dense gloom ... Now a jerk down as one stepped off a hummock, now a stumble over a root, now caught in a prickly creeper, now ploughing through the holding swamp; and all around the deep silence of the forest, only broken by the rare crack of a trodden stick. One could scarcely believe that several hundred people were with one, moving -- slowly, it was true, but still moving -- ever forward. The carriers carried, in addition to their loads, their own packages of food and furniture -- the furniture consisting of a mat, the food of plantains and dried fish . . . Fallen trees were frequent and tangled bush and streams combined to check and break the column. Each man took his several seconds to negotiate the obstacles, and lost a few yards of distance in doing so, thus every minute saw the column growing longer. This could only be remedied by frequent halts and slow marching at the head. . . Then the whisper passed that the scouts had discovered the enemy. Suddenly a flicker and a flare of light in the bush well to our right. Enemy? No, it is the advanced scouts on our road, who think they have discovered an ambush. They creep round the particular thicket they suspect, then suddenly lighting brands, they hurl them into the hiding place to light up the hoped-for target. This time they draw blank . . . The march does not appear so tedious or so slow when one moves among the scouts. These fellows are on the qui vive all the time -- now stopping to listen, now diving into the bush, with scarce a rustle, to search the flanks, nor is their watchfulness too great for the occasion, for twice we came upon the glowing logs of outpost fires that have hastily been quitted; but those are the only signs of men. [31]

In the early stages of the march the British troops had liked to chant their song:

Oh Prempeh, Prempeh,
You'd better mind your eye;
You'd better far be civil,
Or else you'll have to die,
And your kingdom of Ashanti,
You'll never see it more,
If you fight the old West Yorks
And the Special Service Corps.

In fact from the very beginning Prempeh gave every sign of wishing to be 'civil'. The first evidence of his unwillingness to fight came on 8 January, but his envoys were not trusted. On 11 January Major Gordon, who had taken over from Graham as second-in-command of the Levy, sent a note to Baden-Powell: 'Had great palaver ... The King had sent his two little sons as hostages covered with golden ornaments. I coveted the latter but would have nothing to do with the former, and repeated my message that nothing could be done except at Kumasi, and there in Prempeh's presence ... ' [33] Since Prempeh had sent his sons in person, their message ought to have been considered trustworthy. It is not clear whether Gordon or Baden-Powell relayed everything they knew to Sir Francis Scott, the commander of the expedition. They may have prevented intelligence getting back to the main body in an effort to deny Prempeh a peaceful conclusion. Certainly they both wanted proper 'active service' -- but so too did Sir Francis, who must have feared being made to look foolish, with his gigantic force, if Prempeh refused to fight. By his determination to march into Kumasi, Sir Francis and his staff may well have been hoping to provoke resistance.

On 15 January the Levy arrived at the village of Ordasu, a mere two days' march from Kumasi, to be greeted by another embassy, this time offering complete and unconditional submission. Yet even now Baden-Powell and Gordon affected to be unconvinced. 'In spite of all assurances we cannot trust to what the Ashantis say,' wrote Stephe. [34] But two days later in Kumasi as the main body of British troops marched in, Prempeh told General Sir Francis Scott that it had always been his intention to submit to the Governor of the Gold Coast as soon as he entered the town. But Stephe still doubted his good faith and during the night, he and some of his Adansi scouts lay in hiding close to Prempeh's residence in case he tried to escape under cover of darkness. Prempeh stayed where he was, and Baden-Powell and his men only succeeded in scaring a number of the King's counsellors on their way back to their huts. His men also pounced on several of their armed servants, and he himself wrestled one of these men to the ground. As with so many of Baden-Powell's accounts of his adventures, this incident was later inflated to such an extent that the servant became 'Prempeh's Chief Scout'. For Mrs Wade's biography, Stephe obligingly drew a sketch of this incident, writing under it: 'Capture of Prempeh's Chief Scout 1895.' (The date should have been 1896.) In The Downfall of Prempeh (Baden-Powell's published account of the campaign) he entitled one of the drawings: 'Capture of one of Prempeh's scouts by the author.' [35] The text, however (p. 121), makes it clear that the man was merely a servant who had done no harm to anyone. Robbed of his weapon, he was at once released.

The following day the whole of Sir Francis Scott's force paraded in a closed square on the open space in the centre of Kumasi. Prempeh, who had obviously hoped for better terms because of his offer to submit, was outraged to be ordered to kneel down in the presence of his people and hug the knees of Governor Maxwell, who was seated next to Sir Francis Scott and his staff officer, Colonel Kempster, on a dais made of biscuit tins. The Governor announced that, since the terms of the Treaty of Fomena had not been observed, he would not conclude another treaty unless the expense of the present expedition were met at once. When asked to pay 50,000 ounces of gold, Prempeh was astounded; the most he could manage immediately, he said, was 700 ounces. Whereupon Maxwell arrested not only him but his mother and father, his brother, his uncles, and a dozen of his advisers. The detention of Prempeh, whom Maxwell wished to deport to a remote island, came as a great shock to the Ashanti and to the Colonial Secretary. 'Remind Maxwell,' minuted an exasperated Chamberlain, 'that if Prempeh agreed to ultimatum and paid indemnity no further steps would be taken against him. He has submitted, and as to the indemnity if he has no money he cannot pay ... Mr Maxwell must give us much better reasons [for his action] than any adduced at present.' [36]

Maxwell justified himself by saying that, since Prempeh had neither been defeated in the field nor even suffered the destruction of his principal towns, it would be impossible to convince his people that British authority had to be respected in future unless something dramatic were done. 'To have been satisfied by mere words, whether the verbal supplication of a frightened but unpunished savage, or written promises, would have been folly.' [37] Chamberlain was probably more influenced by the reflection that,
since the British Government could claim legitimacy neither through a treaty with the lawful government of Ashanti nor by right of conquest, Prempeh, if left at liberty, would have been entitled under international law to sign a treaty with France or Germany. [38]

The rank and file members of the British force might have felt more sympathy for Prempeh had they not discovered large numbers of decapitated bodies and skeletons in the town. As indicated earlier, these corpses did not as they supposed belong to hapless victims of 'human sacrifice', but were the bodies of condemned criminals who had been brought to Kumasi from all over Ashanti for execution. Death was not dealt out arbitrarily for the amusement of the King and the executioners, as claimed by Baden-Powell. [39] Nevertheless the skeletons put paid to any sympathy the British might otherwise have felt for Prempeh. Stephe, however, expressed no disgust. 'If you want a few hundred fresh skulls,' he informed his artist brother, Frank, 'I can send them to you with very little difficulty.' [40] Frank declined this offer. When Baden-Powell was despatched to nearby Bantama with orders to find the royal treasure, he found instead a large brass bowl about the size of a hip-bath and as deep. He was delighted to learn that this container was the very one used to collect the blood which regularly flowed from the necks of those executed. As he told Frank, this was a souvenir which he would certainly be bringing home. [41] He later presented it to the Royal United Services Institution. The discovery of the 'blood bowl', as he called it, made up for the disappointment of not being able to bring back a gold snake and gold sword, both of which he had been obliged to give up to the Colonial Office along with other golden artifacts. Nevertheless he kept back, illicitly, some gold jewellery which he would one day have made into earrings for his wife.

Prempeh would live in exile for 25 years in the Seychelles, where he became a Christian and attended church wearing a top hat and frockcoat. By then his son was a Boy Scout. Baden-Powell would later claim that the Scouts' staff originated in Ashanti as the forked stick with which Captain R. S. Curtis, of the Royal Engineers, had lifted up the telegraph wire to hang it out of harm's way in the branches above the track. [42]The Krobo fishermen's knots and their skill at bridge-building had suggested knots (and indeed bridge-building) as important elements in the Boy Scout programme.

At the start of the wearying 150-mile march back to the coast, Baden-Powell wrote to Lord Wolseley, bemoaning the fact that 'the Ashanti have caved in without a fight ... We are a very sad camp in consequence ... ' [43] By the time Cape Coast Castle had been reached, half the force was suffering from dysentery and malaria. Over three-quarters of the officers were laid up, and two senior members of the staff were mortally ill. One of these -- Prince Henry of Battenburg, a son-in-law of Queen Victoria -- died during the voyage home.

By contrast, Stephe, after a week of non-stop marching through the tropical rain forest, was in excellent health. To have kept control over nearly 1,000 untrained Africans for six weeks, and to have kept them together through some of the most difficult terrain in Africa, was a great achievement. To have kept fit, too, also had nothing to do with luck. Apart from sleeping inside double mosquito curtains, he had taken great care of his feet and had always had a dry change of clothes to put on. Baden-Powell, aged 39, was a very different proposition from the young man who had begged to come home from India. His slight build now belied his toughness. [44]

On his return to England, Baden-Powell was immediately promoted to the rank of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel. He had also achieved a lucrative journalistic scoop when, through pure good fortune, he had got his copy through to the Daily Chronicle (which retained his services), predicting the imminent surrender of Kumasi just before a tree fell on the telegraph wire and stopped all communication for several days. He was paid five guineas a column by the Daily Chronicle, and a lump sum of £170 from The Graphic for his sketches. He was also offered an advance of £100 by Mr Methuen to turn his diary into a book. 'Did I tell you,' he wrote uneasily to his aunt, Lady Smyth, 'I've given in to pressure and agreed to become an author. I am very much ashamed of myself -- and the publishers would not take the book if, as I proposed, it was to be anonymous. But the lure was offered, my debts stared at me, and I fell.' [45] Given Stephe's inclusion of the picture of himself capturing the 'Chief Scout', his efforts to persuade Methuen to publish anonymously are unlikely to have been vigorous.

Sir George Baden-Powell set the final seal of success on the expedition when he hosted a celebratory dinner at the House of Commons. Guests included Lord Wolseley, Mr W. St. John Brodrick, soon to be Secretary of State for War, Viscount Goschen, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Curzon, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and General Sir Reginald Gipps, the Military Secretary at Headquarters. [46] The expedition itself ended in a curious way which eerily anticipated Stephe's next appointment.

On arrival at the London docks, a big ship entered the dock just ahead of us and as she did so a band on the wharf struck up 'See the Conquering Hero comes', and a large posse of generals and staff officers from the War Office formed up on a red carpet to receive her as she moored at the quay. As our ship was then warped in to the opposite side of the dock the band suddenly ceased playing and the bandsmen, together with generals and staff, were observed scuttling round the dock, hastily leaving the first ship in order to come round and welcome us. There had been a slight mistake. The first ship proved to be the transport bringing from South Africa as prisoners the officers and men implicated in the Jameson Raid, [*] for trial and punishment at home. [47]

The Jameson Raiders included in their number almost the entire police force of Rhodesia, and their removal had not gone unremarked by the Matabele. In any future emergency in Matabeleland, or anywhere else in Africa, Lord Wolseley would know that in Lieutenant-Colonel Baden-Powell he had one officer upon whom he could call with unreserved confidence.
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Re: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, by Wikipedi

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Part 2 of 3

2. Mistake in Matabeleland (1896-97)

After much wining and dining in London, since 8 St George's Place was let, Stephe accepted an invitation from George and Frances to join them at Coryton Park, their country house in Devonshire. There he got on with his book and his commissioned articles. He also played with his baby niece and listened politely to George's arguments in favour of what he now called 'double blessedness'. [1] By the middle of March he was back with his regiment in very different surroundings: a barracks at the end of the Falls Road in Belfast.

There he and his subaltern shared a small house 'bearing the romantic name of Eno Villa', ('romantic' because even then Eno's Liver Salts were famous). His squadron's horses were stabled with the nags which pulled the city's trams; and the regimental drill ground was nothing better than a boggy field. 'I had in consequence to carry out riding instruction on the main road, which was hard on the horses' legs and considerably interfered with the traffic.' It was also dangerous for inexperienced riders; in the last week of April a trooper fell from his horse and fatally fractured his skull. Baden-Powell was officiating at his funeral when an urgent telegram was handed to him. The sender was General Sir Frederick Carrington, who informed Stephe that in three days' time he was sailing for South Africa, en route for Rhodesia, and wanted to take him as his Chief Staff Officer. Baden-Powell thrust the order of service into the hands of his subaltern and rushed out of the graveyard. It would take him two days to get to London, leaving him 24 hours in which to assemble his kit, see his family, get leave from his colonel and travel to Southampton for embarkation. A letter of confirmation from the War Office was already on its way. [2 ]Carrington had offered Stephe the same job three years earlier, but this time the position was much graver. When the Secretary of State for the Colonies had asked Lord Wolseley to nominate a suitable officer to command the British forces likely to be required, the Commander-in-Chief had named Carrington. [3] Rhodes and the directors of the British South Africa Company, which administered Rhodesia, would have preferred Colonel H.C.O. Plumer. [4] Luckily for Baden-Powell, brother George had been able to influence the course of events.

Through good luck or contrivance, Lord Wolseley visited George at his house in Eaton Square on 14 April, and George was able to press him to appoint Carrington instead of Plumer. [5] Three days later Sir Frederick Carrington had been nominated to command the Imperial forces earmarked for Rhodesia. Stephe's appointment as Chief Staff Officer had then been a foregone conclusion.

In West Africa the skulls and skeletons had satisfied the British troops that their cause was just and that, freed from what George Baden-Powell described as 'barbaric despotism', the Ashanti would lead healthier and more prosperous lives under the British flag. [6] In Rhodesia the same comfortable belief had been entertained by the settlers in 1893 on the eve of Dr Leander Starr Jameson's invasion of Matabeleland. King Lobenguela, so the argument ran, was an arbitrary tyrant whose people would welcome the overthrow of a repressive military system and a new era of peace and progress. But, as events would shortly show, this was wishful thinking. The subjects of Lobenguela, like those of Prempeh and of the Khalifa in the Sudan, had no desire to be liberated and showed themselves willing to die in tens of thousands in order to avoid British 'protection'. 'It does not seem within the bounds of common sense,' a perceptive white Rhodesian policeman told his men, 'to suppose that a nation of ferocious savages will allow us quietly to take possession of a country which is virtually theirs by right of conquest without in any way resenting it. To imagine it even is a direct insult.' [7]

At this date Rhodes saw the country primarily as a base from which to launch further acquisitive forays and to thwart any similar northward movements by the Portuguese or the Transvaal Boers. Consequently he left the administration of the country almost entirely in the hands of his friend and associate Dr Jameson. Unfortunately the flamboyant doctor was surrounded by a group of young aristocrats described by the later Administrator, Lord Grey, as having 'the jolly reckless spirit of adventure aimed at making a million in half-an-hour and then clearing off home to Piccadilly'. [8] Jameson granted his favourites vast tracts of the country, setting aside for the Matabele wholly unsuitable reserves. The Matabele's herds were disposed of in the same cavalier way.

The Matabele Campaign. Map drawn by Baden-Powell 1896

The Matabeleland Native Police raised in 1894 (although Matabele themselves) soon gained a reputation among their own people for brutality and lawlessness. Terrorized by the police, exploited by white Commissioners and squeezed out by adventurers, the Matabele knew they could only preserve their way of life by fighting. The ideal opportunity arose in January 1896 when Jameson led the majority of Rhodesia's white police on his famous 'Raid', which ended with inglorious defeat and capture in the Transvaal. Shortly afterwards, a severe outbreak of rinderpest and a drought decimated the Matabele's cattle. This proved the final goad which stung them into violent insurrection. Their rebellion was well planned and coordinated, but the premature slaughter of some outlying farmers lost the Matabele the impact of total surprise. Forewarned, the white inhabitants of Bulawayo, Gwelo and Tuli armed themselves to the teeth and prepared defences. The first murders took place on 24 March 1896, and six days later there was not a white man left alive in the outlying districts of Matabeleland. The rebels would eventually murder 314 white settlers. As a proportion of a population of little more than 3,000 in southern Rhodesia the statistic was horrifying.

These killings occurred before Baden-Powell's arrival, but he subsequently heard harrowing accounts.

A bride, just out from home, had her dream wrecked by a rush of savages into the farmstead. Her husband was struck down, but she managed to escape to the next farm -- only to find its occupants fled. Ignorant of the country, the poor girl gathered together what tinned food she could carry, and, making her way to the river, made herself a grassy nest among the rocks. . . For a few terrible days and nights she existed there, till the Matabele came upon her tracks, and shortly stoned her to death. [9]

Other whites who had been present at the time of the murders wrote about tiny groups of men, women and children, outnumbered by hundreds or even thousands of Matabele, fighting to the last cartridge, and then being speared, burned or bludgeoned to death. [10] The murders which aroused most fury were those perpetrated by Africans who knew their victims personally. Many of the people killed had been popular locally. As one of the rebels explained later, 'These white people were our friends ... We had no grievance against them, but killed them merely because they were whites.' [11] Violent emotions were aroused by the murder of women and children.

In Bulawayo the whites answered these atrocities with mass executions of 'spies', who were condemned on the flimsiest of evidence. 'There is a tree,' wrote Frank Sykes, a settler, 'known as the hanging tree to the north of the town, which did service as gallows. Hither the doomed men were conveyed. On the ropes being fastened to their necks, they were made to climb along an overhanging branch, and thence were pushed or compelled to jump into space ... ' [12] Olive Schreiner published a photograph of this tree, with three men hanging from its branches, in her book Trooper Peter Halkett of Mashonaland (1897). A group of white settlers look on with satisfaction or indifference. According to Miss Schreiner, the condemned men had been forced to jump from the branches by the firing of repeated volleys of buckshot. [13] Baden-Powell acquired a copy of this photograph and pasted it into his scrapbook of campaign memorabilia. He wrote above the picture, 'The Christmas Tree', which was the name the locals used. [14]

'Spies' hanged outside Bulawayo in 1896. Baden-Powell preserved a copy of this photograph in his Matabele Scrapbook and entitled it 'The Christmas Tree.'

Baden-Powell arrived in Bulawayo on 3 June; he had left Cape Town on 19 May and completed the last ten days of the journey in a memorable coach -- 'a regular Buffalo-Bill-Wild-West-Deadwood affair hung by huge leather springs'. [15] A week earlier Captain Michael MacFarlane, ex-9th lancers, had led 200 men of the Bulawayo garrison against an enemy force eight times larger. Although there were said to be 10,000 Matabele in the district, those facing MacFarlane had broken and fled. A few days later Bulawayo was reinforced by Colonel Plumer's Matabele Relief Force of 600 men recruited in Kimberley and Mafeking. Two hundred and fifty men came in from Salisbury and Gwelo under Colonel Beale, and a further 200 half-castes, or Cape Boys, arrived from the Cape Colony. [16]

As Chief Staff Officer to Sir Frederick Carrington, Baden-Powell was expected to take charge of the office work connected with commissariat, transport, ordnance, remounts and medical supplies for all these men, as well as for the troops in transit from Britain. From a small tin-roofed shed, Stephe struggled to cope with insoluble problems. Supplies throughout the country were nearly exhausted, and because the rinderpest had killed most of the transport animals he found it hard to keep the troops in food, let alone build up a reserve for the rainy season. [17] But he loved the atmosphere of the place. 'Streets filled with crowds of the most theatrical looking swashbucklers and cowboys. . . All men dressed in Boer hats and puggree, flannel shirt, breeches and puttees; so sunburnt it is hard to tell at first sight, whether a man is English, half-caste, or light Kaffir.' [18]

Late on the evening of 5 June, just as Baden-Powell was closing up his office, Sir Charles Metcalfe (consulting engineer of the British South Africa Company) burst in, followed by Frederick Russell Burnham, an American scout also employed by the Company. They had been visiting Colonel Beale's camp seven miles out of town when they had almost stumbled into a large enemy impi. At 3:00 a.m. Baden-Powell crept out to look at the Matabele; and later that morning, accompanying Beale's 250 men, he took part in his first and only cavalry charge against an enemy.

As we came up close, the Diggers let us have an irregular, rackety volley, and in another moment we were among them. They did not wait, but one and all they turned to fly, dodging in among the bushes, loading as they ran. And we were close upon their heels, zigzagging through the thorns, jumping up now and then, or pulling up, to fire a shot (we have not a sword among us, worse luck!), and on again. . . Everywhere one found the Kaffirs creeping in to bushes, where they lay low until some of us came by, and then they loosed off their guns at us after we had passed. . . Presently I came on an open stretch of ground, and about eight yards before me was a Kaffir with a Martini-Henry. I felt so indignant at this that I rode at him as hard as I could go, calling him every name under the sun; he aimed -- for an hour, it seemed to me -- and it was quite a relief when at last he fired, at about ten yards distance, and still more of a relief when I realised that he had clean missed me. Then he jumped up and turned to run, but he had not gone two paces when he cringed as if someone had slapped him hard on the back, then his head dropped and his heels flew up and he fell smack on his face, shot by one of our men behind me. . . I had one close shave. I went to help two men who were fighting a Kaffir at the foot of a tree, but they killed him just as I got there. I was under the tree when something moving over my head caught my attention. It was a gun barrel taking aim down at me, the firer jammed so close to the tree-stem as to look like part of it. Before I could move he fired, and just ploughed into the ground at my feet. [19]

The whites suffered only four men seriously wounded and four horses killed. In his report for Carrington Baden-Powell put the Matabele dead at 200 men. [20] He admitted afterwards that 'this was a very one-sided fight, and it sounds rather brutal to anyone reading in cold blood how we hunted them without giving them a chance -- but it must be remembered we were but 250 against at least 1,200. Lord Wolseley says "When you get niggers on the run, keep them on the run," this we did ... ' [21] In comparison with much that appeared in the local press, Baden-Powell's remarks seem quite mild. The Matabele had tried to wipe out all the whites in Rhodesia and might even have succeeded. Their intended victims inevitably felt resentful.

After his first fight against the Matabele, Baden-Powell reflected uneasily upon the blood-lust of the settlers who had fought with him.

I did not at the time fully realize the extraordinary bloodthirsty rage of some of our men when they got hand to hand with the Kaffirs, but I not only understood it, but felt it to the full later on, when I too had seen those English girls lying horribly mutilated and the little white children with the life smashed and beaten out of them. . . Don't think from these remarks that I am a regular nigger-hater, for I am not. I have met lots of good friends among them -- especially among the Zulus. [22]

The battle of 6 June turned out to be a turning point in the campaign. The Matabele now withdrew from the Bulawayo area, splitting into two separate groupings, one centred at Taba Zi Ka Mambo 59 miles northeast of Bulawayo, and the other, commanded by half a dozen chiefs, in the Matopo Hills 20 miles southwest of the town. This region of granite hills was honeycombed with caves and hidden fissures which offered the Matabele an ideal headquarters from which to continue a guerrilla war.

Now that offensive operations against the Matabele had to be undertaken many miles away from Bulawayo, the problems of transport and supply became even more acute, causing an unwelcome increase in Baden-Powell's workload. Nevertheless on 12 June, he managed to get away for a couple of days and nights with the American scout, Burnham, on an expedition to the Matopo Hills. The Matopos were justly described by one Rhodesian old-stager as 'a ghastly country for fighting. One ought to be a goat or a mountain sheep to climb about the granite kopjes.' [23] But Baden-Powell found it immensely exhilarating clambering over the great boulders seeking to establish the precise whereabouts of a Matabele impi. During the following months he managed to make six more excursions to the Matopos, generally with two or three companions. He was delighted to discover that some Matabele had been heard calling him 'Impeesa': the hyena or creature that skulks by night. Thinking it sounded more complimentary, Baden-Powell changed the hyena into a wolf, producing 'the wolf that never sleeps' as his own translation. The best-known and most resourceful scout on the whites' side was Jan Grootboom, a Cape Boy, who would soon make the dangerous initial contacts with the Matabele which preceded Rhodes's first indaba (meeting) with the Matopo chiefs. On several occasions Baden-Powell went out scouting with Grootboom, who had a high opinion of Stephe's bushcraft, praising his skill in avoiding detection. 'If they [the Matabele) want to shoot him, they must go after him, and catch him out where he hides.' [24]

On 16 July, when Colonel Plumer opened his all-out campaign to defeat the Matabele in the Matopos, he chose Baden-Powell as guide to his entire force of over 1,000 men and put him in command of the 300-strong advance guard. Morale was high since ten days earlier, at the cost of ten lives, Plumer had knocked out the only other centre of Matabele resistance at Taba Zi Ka Mamba. But within a week of the troops' arrival in the Matopos it was clear that no such early success would be achieved in this broken country against an enemy well supplied with firearms (mainly provided by deserting native policemen). The strongholds of individual chiefs were attacked in succession. On each occasion the rebels were compelled to evacuate their kopjes, but they simply moved on to similar defensible hills. Now it was the turn of the whites to suffer losses and by 24 July twenty whites had been killed, even though the Cape Boys invariably formed the first wave in each scrambling attack on a hill stronghold. During this period Baden-Powell went on a number of intelligence-gathering patrols, trying to discover positions from which the Matabele might be surprised. He had little success.

On 5 August Plumer's force attacked the hill stronghold of an important rebel chief called Sikhombo. This onslaught was a failure since the Matabele remained in possession, although attacked by Plumer's entire force. Seven whites died, all but one of them either officers or N.C.O.s. These casualties drove home to all involved that if every stronghold cost as many lives, a much larger force would be required to crush the enemy in the Matopos. Two of Plumer's most popular officers had been killed, and the entire force was demoralized. 'It is a sad shock,' Stephe wrote next day, 'to sit in one's little mess of half a dozen comrades once more, and to find two of them are missing.' [26] He also reflected upon the arbitrary suddenness of death. He had attended the burial of a sergeant-major during a lull in the fighting. 'Curious -- within an hour of being as full of life and energy as any of us, he was dead and buried and had a cross up over his grave.' At one stage during the fighting Baden-Powell talked at some length to a trooper. 'Next time I saw him he was hanging across a horse's back with some of his brains bulging from his short-cropped hair. ' [27]

The day after the bloody stalemate at Sikhombo's stronghold, Cecil Rhodes joined Colonel Plumer and Sir Frederick Carrington at their camp. The British troops already in Rhodesia were costing his British South Africa Company £4,000 a day, and Carrington was now convinced that many more men would be needed to clear the Matopos. Rhodes therefore decided to abandon his idea of total victory, and instead elected to try negotiating with the Matabele.

The Colonial Office's representative, Sir Richard Martin, supported a policy of dealing severely with the chiefs but granting an amnesty to their followers if they laid down their arms. Rhodes considered this a recipe for prolonging the fighting; the chiefs would never give up while the threat of imprisonment or execution hung over them. [28] He admired strong leaders and had much less sympathy with their followers.

The day before Plumer's failure, Baden-Powell had unwittingly stumbled upon the means of opening negotiations with the Matabele chiefs. On that day he had been scouting with Grootboom, Richardson (the Native Commissioner in the Matopos) and three native boys when they caught an old Matabele woman who turned out to be a niece of M'zilikatze, King Lobenguela's predecessor, and the mother of a leading chief in the Matopos. [29] On 10 August, before he left the Matopos for Bulawayo, Baden-Powell took the old woman back to where her kraal had been before it had been burned down. 'There we built her a new hut, hoisted a white flag, gave her two cows and some corn, and an old woman prisoner to look after her. We told her all our conditions for peace and left her there.' [30] Baden-Powell had hoped to play a part in actually assembling the opposing parties for their first session of negotiations. Instead Carrington gave him command of a squadron of the recently arrived 7th Hussars with orders to complete the pacification of the northeast of the region. After Stephe's departure, the old woman relayed the terms which he had left with her to the leaders of the rebellion. As a direct result Jan Grootboom and John Colenbrander, a prominent settler, managed to organize the first series of meetings between Cecil Rhodes and the eight principal chiefs in the Matopos.

Baden-Powell later noted down in his diary the Matabele's grievances, as expressed to Rhodes, and after this list added Rhodes's pledges to them. He accepted that the Native Police had been brutal and promised to disband them. He promised to reform the company's Native Administration and to dismiss corrupt white Native Commissioners. He made a promise, which he honoured, that none of the Matopo chiefs would ever be put on trial if they laid down their arms. Baden-Powell recorded the answer made by Sikhombo, spokesman for the Matabele, and acknowledged its truthfulness. 'When asked why the rebels had not stuck to legitimate war instead of murdering women and children, Sikhombo replied that the whites had begun that game -- (this afterwards appears to be true. Some women were killed by Crewe on Arthur Rhodes's farm)'. [21]

Baden-Powell admired Rhodes's bravery in going with three unarmed men to meet the Matopo chiefs. He was 'captivated' by the millionaire's energy and ambition. 'I am a barbarian,' wrote Rhodes. 'I believe with Ruskin that all healthy men love to fight, and all women love to hear of such fighting . . . I love the big and the simple ... Expansion is everything . . . I would annex the planets if I could.' [32] Rhodes agreed with Kipling that: 'England is a stuffy little place, mentally, morally, and physically. ' [33] For many years Baden-Powell would express an identical opinion. He felt very privileged to be taken aside by Rhodes one day and given the answer to the question that had puzzled so many people about the Jameson Raid. Had Rhodes warned Jameson before the Raid, or given him direct instructions? Rhodes told Baden-Powell that he had telegraphed shortly before Jameson set out: 'Read Luke Chap XIV, verse 31-32 (What king going to make war against another does not first see whether he can meet 20,000 with 10,000, or whether it is better to send an "ambassage" while the other is yet a great way off.)'. Baden-Powell did not say whether or not he found this retrospective wisdom convincing. [34]

The area to which Stephe had been ordered to proceed was the Somabula Forest, 100 miles northeast of Bulawayo -- a place apparently teeming with rebels. After being defeated by Plumer at Taba Zi Ka Mambo, Mkwati, the single most important chief in this part of the country, had rallied his followers in the forest. These men, like their leaders, were either of the Makalaka or Maholi tribes; they were not Matabele. In fact, Mkwati and his father-in-law, Uwini, were enraged by news of negotiations in the Matopos. They expected the Matabele chiefs to make favourable terms with the whites, who would then be free to crush all the non-Matabele tribes in the country. Consequently Mkwati and Uwini created their private police force to prevent any Matabele resident in their area from surrendering. [35]

Quite early on during his time in Matabeldand, Baden-Powell had learned that the rebellion was being underpinned by the priests of the Mlimo, an unseen deity of the Makalaka people. This religious system had been adopted by the Matabele, although most of the Mlimo's priests and warrior-chiefs were Makalakas. Baden-Powell thought there were three priests and four chiefs serving the cult. Since the priests were not Matabele, the messages they received from their god in their cave shrines were not in favour of negotiation. Baden-Powell knew that the priests often told their followers that the white men's bullets would be turned to water if they attacked bravely. [36]

Earlier in the campaign, Burnham and a Native Commissioner called Armstrong had shot a priest of the Mlimo in the southwest of the country, but had persuaded Lord Grey, the company's Administrator, and many others in Bulawayo that they had killed the Mlimo. Baden-Powell was always better informed about the cult, and almost from his first week in the country knew that the god was not believed to inhabit any single priest. [37]

When Stephe arrived in the Somabula Forest and took command of his column of 356 men that had preceded him there, Chief Uwini had just been captured during an attack on his stronghold. 'He was badly wounded in the shoulder, but, enraged at being a prisoner, he would allow nothing to be done for him; no sooner had the surgeon bandaged him than he tore the dressings off again. He was a fine, truculent-looking savage, and boasted that he had always been able to hold his own against any enemies in this stronghold of his, but now that he was captured he only wished to die.' [38]

With the help of an interpreter Baden-Powell asked Uwini to order his people to surrender, but the chief refused. 'He is,' Baden-Powell conceded, 'a plucky and stubborn old villain.' [39] But Uwini's capture posed an awkward problem for him. The chief could not realistically be taken on with the troops for a two-week patrol. Alternatively, if he were sent back on the five-day journey to Bulawayo a rescue might be attempted and a sizeable force would therefore have to accompany him. Gwelo was a possibility since it was considerably closer, and Baden-Powell was planning to convey the wounded Hussars there. Uwini could have been held at Gwelo until an opportunity arose for moving him to Bulawayo where he could have been tried in a civil court.

Sir Frederick Carrington had given his officers printed orders requiring them to hand over all prisoners to the Native Commissioner for the region in which they were captured, so that they could be brought before a civil court. [40] Instead Baden-Powell decided to try Uwini at once by court-martial and then execute him as a warning to his followers. Unless Uwini's men could be persuaded to leave their cave strongholds and lay down their arms, the Hussars would have to go in and force them out; the result would be more deaths on both sides. But if Uwini's claims to be invulnerable to bullets (as a priest of the Mlimo) were shown to be moonshine, his followers might well decide to surrender without a fight. Baden-Powell discussed the situation with Val Gielgud, the local Native Commissioner, who thought Uwini's refusal to order his men to surrender justified making an example of him. N. D. Fyon, the other Commissioner for the area, had interviewed a large number of local Maholi and Matabele and was convinced that Uwini and his son-in-law, Mkwati, were entirely responsible for keeping the rebellion going. According to Fynn, Uwini had already murdered a neighbouring chief and a number of his people when they had tried to hand over their firearms to the Native Commissioner. There was some evidence, based upon unsubstantiated testimony, that pointed to Uwini's having ordered the murder of some white miners who had been prospecting on the river Gwelo.

Since Baden-Powell's treatment of Uwini would soon become a matter of official and public controversy, even threatening to destroy his career, the background is important
. Baden-Powell asked Major H. M. Ridley of the 7th Hussars to be President of the Court. He thought Ridley incompetent but, since the major was next in seniority to himself, he had no choice. [41] Ridley, who had himself intended to send Uwini to Bulawayo when his wound had healed -- and would have done so had he remained in command -- was surprised to be asked by his superior officer to preside at a court-martial. He asked Baden-Powell if he had the power to convene such a court and was assured by him that he had. Because Baden-Powell was Carrington's Chief Staff Officer, Ridley accepted this; but he did mention to Baden-Powell that he had been cautioned by Carrington not to shoot any prisoners. [42] Uwini was court-martialled on 13 September and arraigned on three charges: with being a rebel in armed resistance to constituted authority; with sending his men to attack 'friendly' natives; and with sending men to kill white people near the Gwelo river. The last two charges Uwini vigorously denied. The evidence for his direct involvement in the murders of the white prospectors was flimsy. From the chief's point of view, the proceedings were a farce; he considered that the white men had never had any right to come to his country in the first place.

The Hussars had spent the two days before his capture searching for his grain stores and either stealing or burning them. Anyone offering opposition had been shot. Uwini felt that he was fighting in defence of his people, his possessions and his land, and so saw no reason either to deny that he had fired on the white men who had entered his cave or that he had refused to lay down his weapons. He explained that he had fired at the intruders because he had been sure that they meant to kill him. Indeed the shot which wounded him in the shoulder could easily have proved mortal had it struck him in the chest. The prosecution made much of Uwini's having fired at his adversaries in order to prove that he was 'a rebel captured while in armed resistance to constituted authority'. Baden-Powell altered his diary in conformity with this idea. He wrote at first: 'Uweena fired a second time at Halifax [the trooper who wounded him] and eventually gave himself up,' but then changed it to: 'Uweena fired a second time at Halifax, before he was at length cornered and captured.' [43]

An account of Uwini's capture furnished by an officer in the 8th Hussan was published in the Bulawayo Chronicle on 19 September. The author stated that Uwini had been wounded during the morning in one cave without the trooper who had shot him knowing that his victim was Chief Uwini. When the wounded man's identity was discovered later in the day, five soldiers tracked him down, following a spoor of blood into another cave. After token resistance, Uwini gave himself up. Baden-Powell's subsequent claim that he had been captured 'offering determined resistance and firing on his captors' was not factually correct.

Baden-Powell had intended the court to find Uwini guilty on three charges, and obligingly it did so. Two troopers confirmed that Uwini had fired two separate shots, and Gielgud swore that he had refused to surrender and to ask his men to hand in their guns. Two Africans testified that Uwini had sent men to kill the white prospectors, while another claimed that the chief had murdered natives who had been neutral or friendly to the whites. The African witnesses may well have been motivated by fear or the hope of a reward. Uwini declined to call any witnesses in his defence. On finding him guilty on all three counts, the court sentenced him to be shot. The warrant was signed by Ridley as President of the Court and was confirmed by Baden-Powell.

At sunset Baden-Powell paraded all the 'friendlies', refugees and prisoners to witness the execution. He expected 'the moral effect to be very good among the natives as Uweena had a great reputation with them'. [44] Chief Uwini was shot by a firing-party of six men, one of whom afterwards pulled a cheap iron-wire bracelet from the dead man's wrist. [45] Four years later the same man gave this trinket to Baden-Powell as a memento. After the execution, Uwini's wives took his body back to his cave for burial. Three weeks later N. D. Fynn, the local Native Commissioner, minuted: 'There can be no doubt that the death of Uwinya has had the very best results in ridding the country of the chief obstacle to a peaceful settlement.' Gielgud confirmed this: 'Many Maholi headmen surrendered during the next two or three days . . . These rapid results could not have been hoped for if the prisoner had been tried and executed at a distant time and place.' Baden-Powell's action therefore seemed to have saved lives on both sides.

When Lord Rosmead, the High Commissioner at the Cape, heard about the shooting, he was less interested in the military consequences than in the moral and legal propriety of the execution. He telegraphed at once to Sir Frederick Carrington:

I must point out that the ordinary courts of the country are still in existence and that martial law has not been proclaimed; the execution of Uwini appears therefore prima facie illegal and I must therefore request that as soon as possible, without prejudice to the military operations, you will place Colonel Baden-Powell under open arrest and order a Court of Inquiry.

Viewing this telegram as one more link in the endless chain of interfering complaints with which the Colonial Office had long sought to immobilize all military operations in the colonies, Sir Frederick declined to arrest his Chief Staff Officer, and asked Rosmead to defer any arrest until the Court of Inquiry had sat. [46]

When the news of Rosmead's decision to order Baden-Powell's arrest began to appear in British newspapers, there was considerable puzzlement. How was it, people asked, that martial law was not in force in a country where fighting had been raging for six months? Was it sensible for a civilian High Commissioner to issue arbitrary orders to a general in the field over 1,000 miles away? Rosmead's anger owed a lot to a similar execution in Mashonaland only a week earlier, on which occasion a Major Watts had tried and shot a chief called Makoni. As a direct result of this incident, Rosmead had telegraphed an unambiguous order to all officers in Rhodesia, entitled 'Trial of Prisoners', prohibiting the trial of prisoners by military courts in all circumstances. This order had reached Bulawayo on 8 September, the day after Baden-Powell had left. [47]

Rosmead maintained that prisoners-of-war should never be shot 'unless guilty of some violation of the customs of war, as would of itself expose them to the penalty of death . . . I do not think that rebellion, or instigation of rebellion, is a violation of the customs of war.' Men fighting for their country and the interests of their people should not be executed like war criminals. Rosmead did not change his mind after the Court of Inquiry -- convened on 30 October to look into Uwini's execution -- had exonerated Baden-Powell. He acknowledged that there had been extenuating circumstances and that the execution had yielded practical results, but he still insisted that it had been illegal and immoral. [48]

Had this incident destroyed Stephe's career, as it might well have done, he would have had cause to feel aggrieved. Before he took command of Ridley's column, these men of the 7th Hussars had been killing any 'rebels' who tried to prevent the 'confiscation' of their grain supplies. Even attempts to resist the burning of their kraals was punished by volleys of shots. The behaviour of officers who sanctioned the killing of many dozens of such men was far worse than Baden-Powell's conduct when he sanctioned the execution of a single man.
[49] A letter that Carrington wrote to Baden-Powell on 28 September highlights the absurdity of reserving censure for incidents like Uwini's death. Baden-Powell was told that in future he 'should not kill any unless they showed fight since they are on the surrender'. [50] But what constituted 'showing fight'? Being armed with a spear, or actually firing a well directed shot?

Henrietta Grace was distressed by accounts of the war, both in Stephe's letters and in the press. She was particularly upset by stories of women and children being taken prisoner. Her son explained the purpose of this as best he could.

The advantage of capturing the women and children is that we thereby capture the transport train of the enemy. They cannot get their food carried from place to place without them so we can then come up with them more easily . . . I had over 900 of them [women] at one time -- and as soon as we capture a stronghold we send in our army of ladies to bring down the grain from the inaccessible rocks and crags in which it is generally stored. [51]

One service that women were rendering to the rebels, Baden-Powell considered fit only for George's ears. Certain prostitutes in Bulawayo were refusing intercourse unless paid in ammunition. [52]

The Liberal periodical Truth had published a number of articles deploring the shelling and burning of kraals and suggesting that the war was being fought 'in order that prospectors may have an opportunity of wandering about in search of traces of gold on which to base some rotten company, by means of which investors at home are to be cozened out of their money'. When Truth attacked Baden-Powell for seeking to please 'the gold seeking scum of Bulawayo' by executing Uwini, he professed amusement.

Funny to see what a lot of fuss over so little a matter! Funny old Labby! [Henry D. Labouchere, editor/proprietor of Truth) I love to see him rush into print. . . I suppose I am described as a mercenary swashbuckler . . . murdering brother-men simply because their skin is darker than my own ... But I don't think that the swashbuckler's trade is quite as paying as that of the ink-slinger. [53]

This was rather rich coming from a man who was sending back material to The Graphic.

Truth accused Rhodes and the Colonial Office of 'tricking the Matabele out of their country and independence, massacring them by the hundred with machine-guns, robbing them of whatever they possessed worth stealing, driving them into revolt from sheer despair, and finally subduing them after a bloody war'. [54] Although the Matabele themselves enjoyed possession of their country through conquest, a century has done nothing to weaken this judgment. Of course Baden-Powell was not to blame for the wider situation in Rhodesia, but there was a side to his nature knowledge of which inevitably causes misgivings in connection with Uwini's execution. During his years on Malta, Baden-Powell had travelled extensively in North Africa, spending weeks at a time with French officers. On 7 April 1891, he noted in his diary: 'We passed the rifle range where C. [Carbonais, a Tunisian trader, who often acted as Baden-Powell's guide] told me they occasionally shoot soldiers condemned to death by court martial. He himself saw a Zouave shot a short time ago for striking an N.C.O. and there is another now under sentence for desertion ... ' [55] A couple of years later Baden-Powell narrowly missed witnessing an execution by firing squad. Staying with a French regiment at TIemcen in Algeria, where the execution was to take place, he was unable to see it because he would have missed the fortnightly steamer when it called at the nearby port of Nemours. The following morning when the Zouave was due to die, Baden-Powell had been up at dawn to catch the coach to the port.

As we passed the barracks and camp 'boots and saddles' was sounding, and the infantry were falling in, and a string of men and boys were hurrying along the roads to see the fun. But my coach lumbered along away from it all along the dusty high road and for a time I was immersed in reading up the country we were to pass through -- when suddenly it occurred to me why was I not at this execution? A sight that would not occur again probably -- it came on me like a cold shudder -- looked at my watch, it was getting on for 6:30. If I jumped down now and happened to find a horse I could not possibly get back in time. Then followed a day of rage for myself, and absolute misery at what I had missed just from having my plans well-laid beforehand: a thing I am always deprecating -- Ouf! I couldn't do anything, nor think of anything. We passed through some beautiful scenery. . . but it had no interest whatever for me. Then to add to my annoyance the coach got into Nemours soon after 5 p.m. instead of in the night and then I was told the ship was not expected till next afternoon -- not in the morning. So I could easily have stayed that day in Tlemcen and seen everything -- Ooh! It will take a long time before I get over that catastrophe . . . [56]

The disappointment remained with him after his return to England -- where, perhaps to make up for what he had missed, he painted several water-colours of firing squads in action (see second photo section) and wrote an extraordinarily authentic-sounding account of a French execution:

Baden-Powell's representation of the execution he longed to see but missed (see p. 185).

A thrill seems to go through the crowd. The young Tirailleur is marched forwards towards the wall, to where there stands a post: a stout post some six feet high, with a cross-bar through it near the top. For a few moments the escort are round him at the post. Then they shamble hurriedly away, leaving him there alone, his arms pinioned over the cross-bar and his eyes bandaged. So helpless he looks -- one almost expects to hear him cry for mercy. Can no help come for him? Must he really die, here, at the hands of comrades and officers? And as we gaze, bound by the horror of the situation, his features seem to blur; a whiff of smoke! -- he is puffing one last cigarette! A sudden flash of an officer's sword and the firing party come sharply to the present. There is a breathless, sickening pause. It seems an age before 'PRRR-AH'! the volley flies: and through the light-brown wisp of smoke one sees him hanging limply from his arms, head down, and knees all loose and swaying. Dead ... A young soldier clatters to the ground, fainting; and behind me a spectator turns away quite sick. Now as they cut the cords, the corpse crumples down at the foot of the post. A sergeant steps up to it from the firing party and places the muzzle of his rifle to the ear of the poor dead thing. [57]

Stephe's fascination with executions does not alter the fact that the arguments he used to justify executing Uwini were more convincing than those subsequently put forward by Burnham, Watts and another young officer, Lieutenant Gibbs, seeking to explain why they had felt compelled to authorize similar shootings. [58] It would, however, be ridiculous to suppose that Baden-Powell's obsessive interest in executions and the ritual surrounding them played no part in his decision to shoot Uwini.

After despatching Uwini, Baden-Powell continued northwards on the heels of Mkwati, Uwini's son-in-law, but failed to catch him. Nevertheless Stephe loved patrolling with his column. 'We all sleep in the open -- and it is perfectly divine -- fire at feet -- saddle backed by a few bits of bush at your head to keep off the wind. My amount of blankets and a nightcap -- and fine bright sky overhead. If the Prince of Wales went down on his bended knees I wouldn't change with him.' Baden-Powell slept with his pistol lanyard round his neck and claimed that if anyone came within ten yards of him, he would wake up 'however softly he may tread'. [59] He found the business of survival in the wild not just a necessity but an intriguing science. Once, when desperately short of water, he had seen a buck scratching in the sand and, by digging at the same spot, had found water. Sudden movements of game he usually associated with the presence of humans, and he rapidly discovered how skilful the Matabele were at hiding even without cover, just by keeping absolutely still and paying careful attention to the colour of their background. [60]

A year later in Dublin, lecturing on the campaign, Baden-Powell would say that 'the best lesson that I personally learnt was the art of scouting'. [61] In the same lecture he told an anecdote that he liked sufficiently to repeat in his autobiography:

I was out scouting with my native boy in the neighbourhood of the Matopos. Presently we noticed some grass-blades freshly trodden down. This led us to find some foot-prints on a patch of sand; they were those of women or boys, because they were small; they were on a long march, because they wore sandals; they were pretty fresh, because the sharp edges of the foot-prints were still well defined, and they were heading towards the Matopos. Then my nigger, who was examining the ground a short distance away from the track, suddenly started, as Robinson Crusoe must have done when he came on Friday's foot-mark. But in this case the boy had found not a foot-mark, but a single leaf. But that leaf meant a good deal; it belonged to a tree that did not grow in this neighbourhood, though we knew of such trees ten or fifteen miles away. It was damp, and smelt of Kaffir beer. From these two signs then, the foot-prints and the beery leaf, we were able to read a good deal. A party of women had passed this way, coming from a distance of 10 miles back, going towards the Matopos, and carrying beer (for they carry beer in pots upon their heads, the mouth of the pot being stoppered with a bunch of leaves). They had passed this spot at about 4 o'clock that morning, because at that hour there had been a strong wind blowing, such as would carry the leaf some yards off their track, as we had found it. They would probably have taken another hour to reach the Matopos, and the men for whom they were bringing the refreshment would, in all probability, start work on it at once, while the beer was yet fresh. So that if we now went on following this spoor up to the stronghold we should probably find the men in too sleepy a state to take much notice of us, and we could do our reconnaissance with comparative safety. [62]

Apart from learning a lot about scouting from Grootboom, Baden-Powell also learned much from Burnham, the American scout, whom he described as 'a sort of better class Buffalo Bill', [63] He had not, however, been introduced by Burnham to the folk-lore surrounding cowboys. He went with George Noble to see Bill Cody's [Buffalo Bill] Wild West Show during the summer of 1887; and that autumn had incorporated into his own dramatic entertainment in Liverpool spectacular riding and shooting scenes very similar to those in Cody's show. The cowboy influence came out clearly in Matabeleland where he first wore the species of broad-brimmed cowboy or Stetson hat which twelve years later would reappear as the Boy Scouts' official headgear. The Scout neckerchief also started life here as 'a grey coloured handkerchief loosely tied round the neck to prevent sunburn'. [65] 'What was it made me go to the extravagance of subscribing to Harper's, but Remington's sketches of Cowboy Life?' [66] he remarked in his diary in September 1896, adding that 'the trappings of camp life' were 'his toys', which would never fail him. [67] So life in the Wild West and on the veldt had more in common than Stetson hats.

Frederick Remington drew the illustrations for the stories of Owen Wister, the well-connected young Philadelphian who had removed the cowboy from the dime novel, romanticized his rougher qualities and recast him as a chivalrous hero. The equation of the outdoor life with clean living and moral virtue would form an essential strand in the thinking behind the Boy Scouts. In Wister's famous story The Evolution of the Cow-Puncher (1895), a young English peer goes to Texas to live as a cowboy. He soon feels a close kinship with the Texans. 'Deep in him lay virtues and vices as coarse and elemental as theirs ... directly the English nobleman smelled Texas, the slumbering untamed Saxon awoke in him. . . Sir Francis Drake was such a one ... conqueror, invader, navigator, buccaneer, explorer, colonist ...' [68] Baden-Powell enjoyed the same social mix in Rhodesia, where the younger sons of aristocrats sought their fortunes alongside hardened adventurers. Stephe liked men such as Val Gielgud, the Native Commissioner, 'American by birth, cowboy by education and gentleman by nature,' who might have stepped straight out of one of Wister's stories. Like Wister Baden-Powell admired the physique of outdoor men and wrote warmly about 'comradeship' with them. [69]

Burnham had been a scout with the U.S. Army in the Apache Wars, and, according to Stephe, because of his service with the Red Indians, 'brought quite a new experience to bear on scouting work . . .' Before meeting the American, Baden-Powell had never used the word 'woodcraft', which was to become such an important part of his scheme of Scouting for Boys. In his published account of the Matabele Campaign (1897), he called the art of noticing small details on the veldt 'the science of woodcraft', It is therefore quite incorrect to attribute all his enthusiasm for woodcraft to another American, the author and naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton, whom he met in 1906. 'We English,' wrote Baden-Powell in 1896, 'have the talent of woodcraft and the spirit of adventure and independence already born in our blood.' [70] He was not using the word in its original English sense of woodland skills connected with forestry and the chase; by the mid-nineteenth century, this meaning was obsolete outside the works of Sir Walter Scott. In fact it was in the American sense that Baden-Powell used and understood the word. In the novels of Fenimore Cooper and Mark Twain, woodcraft meant a knowledge of forest conditions which would enable a man to support himself in the wilderness and to thrive there without help from the civilized world of towns and cities. To foster this kind of self-reliance would one day become a central aim for Baden-Powell's Boy Scouts. In Cavalry Instruction (1888) he had written at length about tracking; but Burnham's familiarity with Indian methods of finding water, trapping, observing game and travelling without either compass or maps in wild country, added a new dimension to Baden-Powell's understanding of the subject. [71]

On his return to London, Stephe would find himself day-dreaming while an old dowager was handing him a cup of tea at a smart 'At Home'. As she chatted, he was overwhelmed by his longing for the freedom of Africa's open spaces. 'I used to think that these visions of the veldt would fade away as civilized life grew upon me. But they didn't. They came again at most inopportune moments: just when I ought to be talking The World, or Truth, or Modern Society, and making my reputation as a "sensible well-informed man, my dear".' [72] The romantic and dramatic aspects of tribal life appealed to him as much as they did to writers like Rider Haggard.

Today, when out scouting by myself, [wrote Stephe] I lay for a quiet look-out among some rocks and grass overlooking a little stream... Presently there was a slight rattle of trinkets, and a swish of the tall yellow grass, followed by the sudden apparition of a naked Matabele warrior standing glistening among the rocks within thirty yards of me. His white war ornaments -- the feathers on his brow, and the long white cow's-tail plumes which depended from his arms and knees -- contrasted strongly with his rich brown skin. His kilt of wild cat-skins and monkeys' tails swayed round his loins. His left hand bore his assegai beneath the great dappled ox-hide shield; and, in his right, a yellow walking-staff. He stood for almost a minute perfectly motionless, like a statue cast in bronze, his head turned from me, listening for any suspicious sound. Then, with a swift and easy movement, he laid his arms noiselessly upon the rocks, and, dropping on all fours beside a pool, he dipped his muzzle down and drank just like an animal. I could hear the thirsty sucking of his lips from where I lay. He drank and drank as though he never meant to stop, and when at last his frame could hold no more, he rose with evident reluctance. He picked his weapons up, and then stood again to listen. Hearing nothing, he turned and sharply moved away ... I had been so taken with the spectacle that I felt no desire to shoot at him. [73]

This description highlights the dilemma faced by the white adventurer who came to Africa as an agent of industrial forces. He thought tribal virtues praiseworthy and yet for economic and political reasons was helping to sweep them away along with the African warriors who embodied them. Many years later, Baden-Powell would write deploring the destruction of 'the tribal system of training and discipline [in Africa],' admitting that, 'we have given nothing in return beyond a few spasmodic schools and missions on the one hand, and the widespread provision of cash wages, bad temptations, and such teachings of civilization as they can gain from low class American cinema on the other.' [74] One way out of the dilemma was employed by Baden-Powell in India, a year after the Matabele Campaign, when he decided to train his young city-bred soldiers to harden themselves and learn self-reliance as practised by tribal people. His chosen method was to give them experience of scouting and surviving in the open.

So while men like Burnham and Baden-Powell knew themselves to be the destroyers of warrior societies, in which they saw many merits, they could console themselves with the thought that by cultivating in their fellow whites the tribal virtues of bravery, endurance and skill in woodcraft, they were counteracting the softness and inertia of American and European city life. This, when extended to urban boys, would become a central objective of the Boy Scouts.

In Matabeleland Baden-Powell began to articulate ideas that would find permanent expression in Scouting for Boys. Besides dwelling upon the character-forming attributes of the outdoor life, he began to lay down ideal behaviour patterns for his young military scouts -- such as 'what the Americans call "jump" and "push"'. These he translated as 'alertness, wide-awakeness, readiness to seize your opportunity'. [75] The 'be prepared' alertness demanded of Boy Scouts a decade later would not be so different. Reflecting on what gave the English and the British colonial troops their 'spirit of practical discipline, which is deeper than the surface veneer discipline of Continental armies', Baden-Powell attributed it to school football and 'stern though kindly parents'.

Football demanded that a boy '"keep in his place" and "play not for himself, but for his side"'. Without team spirit, Baden-Powell felt that the Matabele Campaign might have dragged on indefinitely. The troops showed eagerness to do their best 'not because they are "--well ordered to" (as I heard a Tommy express it), nor because it may bring them crosses and rewards, but simply -- because it is the game'. [76] Boy Scouts would later be expected to be active games-players rather than onlookers at professional football matches. They would also be enjoined to keep in their places, and put the good of their nation before their own advancement.

Such matters pointed to a still distant future. For the present, Baden-Powell's service in Rhodesia gave him a reputation for efficiency, toughness and mild eccentricity. Colonel Alderson, who commanded the Mashonaland Field Force, praised the brevity of his orders which in a few lines 'told all one wanted to know, and, in other things, left one a free hand'. [77] Another officer described the vast volume of work Baden-Powell got through. 'He never seemed to be in a hurry, or to be overworked, or have a care on his mind. ' [78] Baden-Powell's eccentricities included wearing 'a peculiar pair of riding breeches . . . like those affected by stage inn-keepers or Tyrolean hunters. The upper part was of dark velveteen, or velvet cord, to which were laced long, drab-coloured, skintight stockings or gaiters, extending from the middle of the thigh to the ankle, and ornamented with numerous round pearl buttons.' The old soldier who recalled this costume used to spend hours wondering 'how "B-P" got in and out of these complicated breeches. Once seeing him preparing for a tub in the collapsible bath, which accompanied him everywhere, I lay in wait, but just at the critical moment I was called away.' [79] Another trooper remembered Stephe wearing a cowboy hat and holsters for two revolvers. In view of his sporting such virile accoutrements, it surprised him that Baden-Powell used scented soap out on the veldt. But nobody could argue with his determination. He forbade his men to take off their boots at night and used to creep around the sleeping forms under their horse blankets, rapping at the soles of their feet with his cane. 'We got cunning eventually,' one man recalled, 'and used to take off our boots and put them at the bottom of our blanket. ' [80]

In spite of Uwini, Baden-Powell came through the Matabele Campaign with an enhanced reputation for staff work and for commanding mobile columns. Already marked down as a man who knew about African warfare, he would in future also be seen as an officer who could get on with colonials -- in short the ideal commander to be sent out to raise irregulars in southern Africa should the need ever arise. [81]

Stephe returned to England on the same steamship as Cecil Rhodes and Olive Schreiner, who refused to talk to either of them. The manuscript of her passionately anti-Imperial novel Trooper Peter Halkett of Mashonaland was locked in her cabin. Rhodes was returning to England to face interrogation by a House of Commons Select Committee for his part in the Jameson Raid. But even at this nadir of his fortunes, he had abandoned neither his determination to thwart Paul Kruger's ambitions for the Transvaal nor his own ambition to unify South Africa under the British flag. Stephe, who had returned from one African expedition to see the Jameson Raiders step ashore and was now returning from another with Cecil Rhodes by his side, could have been forgiven for supposing that his destiny lay in southern Africa. In the short term, however, matters would not run quite to plan.
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Re: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, by Wikipedi

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Part 3 of 3

3. Indian Interlude (1897-99)

The deep competitiveness which had burned in Stephe since childhood would not be assuaged unless given greater satisfaction than the Brevet Colonelcy now conferred upon him. Since he was still only a major in his own regiment but senior in army rank to the commanding officer and the second-in-command, he would have to seek the colonelcy of another regiment. Then he could expect four years in command, and after that either half-pay or promotion. Thanks to his 'little wars' Baden-Powell, at 40, had become the youngest colonel in the British Army, but this still might not be enough to save him from being prematurely shelved.

Henrietta Grace had been ill and was convalescing in a country hotel when Stephe returned from Rhodesia in January 1897. He therefore took rooms at reduced terms in a hotel in suburban Richmond where, away from the distractions of life with Warington, Frank and Agnes at Hyde Park Corner, he hoped to convert his Matabele diary into a book. [1] Methuen had already offered 200 pounds, so it was a shock to him when General Sir Redvers Buller, the new Adjutant-General, refused to sanction publication on the grounds that Baden-Powell would be 'profiting at the Government's expense'. Stephe replied disingenuously that 'it had not struck him that he was likely to make any money'. All he had wanted was 'to give his experiences in ordinary language so they might be of use to young officers'. In the end Buller grudgingly withdrew his objections. [2] When George sent Lord Wolseley a copy of Stephe's Matabele Campaign, the Commander-in-Chief told him that his brother 'writes as well as he fights; indeed there are few in the army who are as good all round as he is.' [3]

Stephe lunched at George's house in Eaton Square the day after his return to England. He found Doctor Fridtjof Nansen, the Norwegian explorer, staying there. Nansen was the most sought-after man in London, having recently completed a daring walk on the Polar ice to the most northerly latitude ever reached. With an unerring nose for publicity, George had sailed into the Varangar Fjord in Norway and on managing to intercept the returning Nansen, had invited him to sail south from Vardo in his yacht. In London George gave a splendid dinner in the explorer's honour -- guests included Colonel R.S.S. Baden-Powell, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Leader of the House of Commons, the former Colonial Secretary and Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the world's most famous living explorer. [4]

When Nansen departed, Stephe spent a couple of nights with George, who explained that when the lease on 8 St George's Place came up for renewal in four years' time, the house would have to be abandoned. He was doing his best to persuade Henrietta Grace to find 'a haven of rest' in Bournemouth or Cowes. If that huge house were no longer draining away such a large proportion of the family's available cash, Warington and Frank would be able to live in a smaller shared house in London and thus keep most of their income. Stephe would also be spared having to pay much of his steadily improving salary into the family's exchequer. As Stephe well knew, only George had any chance of persuading their mother to leave the scene of her social triumphs. But George had recently been troubled by liver pains, which Stephe thought more alarming than his brother seemed prepared to admit. In other ways, too, George had at last suffered disappointments. He had twice failed to secure his election to the exclusive Royal Yacht Squadron, being blackballed at the second attempt by no fewer than 25 members. [5] Nor had Lord Salisbury offered him the long-awaited junior ministry.

At the end of February Stephe left his Richmond hotel, having completed his book, and rejoined the 13th Hussars in Dublin. A week later the War Office ordered him to take command of the 5th Dragoon Guards, then stationed in India. Baden-Powell described leaving the regiment in which he had served for 21 years as 'one of the bitterest moments of my life'. [6] When he told his servant, Martin Dillon, that he was going, the man wept openly and penned a heartfelt note: 'I give you my word no matter how good my place is I will give it up and go to you as soon as ever you get back to England. I hope we will live together.' Dillon predicted that Stephe would receive 'a great welcome' from the regiment on his return from Rhodesia. 'Just like myself they are longing to see you.' [7] Stephe's first biographer talked to a group of sergeants in the 13th, asking whether the men 'liked' Stephe. 'There was a silence for a second or two, and at last one of the sergeants replied hesitatingly: "Well no, I shouldn't say they like him," and then in a burst -- "Why, they worship him!"' [8] Nothing illustrates his success as a regimental officer better than his relationship with Edward Sargeaunt, who had been his troop sergeant-major in India in the 1880s and afterwards in Colchester and Liverpool. When Sargeaunt died in 1929, although his wife survived him he left all his regimental cups, presentation salvers and other mementoes to Stephe, who had been consistently kind to him after he retired and had been instrumental in getting him a cottage in Speldhurst where his Powell cousins were the largest local landowners. [9]

On the day he left the 13th Hussars forever, Stephe planned to slip away unnoticed in the early morning before breakfast. He therefore asked Dillon to have a cab ready at the back of his quarters.

When all was ready [he recalled] I sneaked out of the back door, there to find my cab, with the Regimental Sergeant-Major sitting on the box conducting the band, which was also in attendance, every man of my squadron harnessed in on long ropes, and the whole regiment there to see me out of the barrack gate. And off we went, the most choky experience I have ever had. My last glimpse of the barracks showed blankets being waved from every window, and all through the slums and streets of Dublin went this mad procession which finally landed me at the station with a farewell cheer. [10]

Before Baden-Powell's arrival in India, the 5th Dragoon Guards had been proficient at drill and smart on the parade ground. A slavish obedience to orders was still widely supposed to be the hallmark of a good cavalry officer. The senior officers had been horrified to learn that a young Brevet-Colonel with more experience of African campaigning than parade-ground ceremonial had been appointed to command them. Baden-Powell, however, was tactful but firm, and some of the older officers who could not accept this youthful new broom retired. [11] Baden-Powell disliked what he called 'kid-gloved high-collared officers', who were snobbish towards colonials and officers from less exclusive regiments. Nor was he keen on 'highly trained staff officers who were bound hard and fast by rules'. He preferred a man able 'to fall in with the ways of the country where he is, and ready to cast off the Red Books'. [12]

He at once reduced all drill and ceremonial, and discouraged formality. He was always approachable, and broke the old custom that a subaltern could never address anyone above the rank of the senior subaltern unless first spoken to. He took junior officers into his confidence and showed them his campaign mementoes. [13] But his private chats with the rank and file were considered even more eccentric. To improve his men's health, Baden-Powell built a bakery, a dairy, a soda water factory, a temperance club and supper rooms where alcohol was served. He tried without success to persuade the men to forgo their visits to the 'rag', or brothel, in the bazaar, though the best he ever achieved was a semi-voluntary ban lasting a couple of weeks. He spoke to all ranks about the dangers of venereal disease and felt disgusted enough by its prevalence to order his Provost Sergeant to whip away prostitutes following the troops when the regiment was on the march. [14]

Despite the long interval since Stephe had last been in Meerut, the place itself was utterly unchanged, although not one of the people he remembered was still there. A dozen years earlier he had hero-worshipped Baker Russell with his manly bearing and chestful of medals. Now, as colonel of a regiment of his own, he wanted his young officers to look up to him. When a group of them asked him to come pigsticking, he knew he was being tested. 'It was an anxious moment. I wasn't sure whether my nerve had survived the years of abstinence from the sport.' The pigs proved elusive that day and after several hours he dismounted to search a likely-looking thicket. Suddenly a huge boar hove into view and, before Stephe could reach his horse, charged him. 'I had just time to lower my spear as he rushed onto it and it went deep into his chest. But the shock of the impact threw me over on my back, and, while I held tight to the spear-shaft, he was there just over me, trying to reach me with his tusks but held off sufficiently by the spear.' When Baden-Powell's young companions found him in this position, they killed the pig and asked admiringly: '''Do you always go in on foot, sir?" "Of course,"' he replied. [15]

Being Colonel brought home his age to him as never before. His mother was staying in Bournemouth where he jokingly promised to join her. 'Just the place for a decrepit old colonel from India to come and pick up his health.' [16] Henrietta Grace, who since George's wedding had executed a complete volte face, kept pressing him about his plans for marriage. 'Yes,' he replied with slight exasperation, 'I shall be very pleased when I find myself married and settled, and in the meantime I am at least not wasting my time as I am now working up for a pension.' [17] Early in 1898 Henrietta Grace broke her leg while staying in Scotland. Just as he had pretended to have a wife in South Africa while he had been on Malta, he now decided to use his mother's accident to keep the more blatant husband-seekers at arm's length. He therefore sent a Scottish press report about 'Mrs Baden-Powell's accident' to the editor of Meerut's newspaper. The result was: 'Mrs Baden-Powell, wife of the popular Colonel of the 5th Dragoon Guards, who broke her leg while walking on the mountain above Inverary, has now completely recovered from her injuries. It is not, however, expected that she will come out to Meerut this year.' Although Stephe claimed to have had a lot of 'fun' over this incident, his mother was not amused. [18] He had seemed very depressed before sailing. Was there something on his mind? 'I thoroughly inquired into it,' he reassured her, 'and I can't find the slightest shadow of any kind of trouble, above the surface of money troubles . . . I am not in love (only wish I were!).' [19]

The problem identified by George was that the Baden-Powell family was at long last breaking up, and so each member owed it to himself or herself to develop an independent life. And if, like Stephe, one did not feel attracted by the opposite sex and yet was being pressed to marry by the one person whose opinion mattered most to one, life became fraught. Suddenly Stephe found himself looking at married couples with a new eye. Major-General Edward Locke Elliot, the Inspector-General of Cavalry in India, was seven years older than he and had recently married a young and forceful wife. Baden-Powell stayed with him in Simla for a couple of days in June 1898, and 'enjoyed every minute of it'. He pronounced Elliot 'the only man I have ever felt that I wouldn't mind changing places with. Young, smart, keen soldier, good swordsman, first-rate race rider and across country, plays polo, pigsticks, plays the piano beautifully; charming wife plays the violin; jolly little daughter . . . Mrs Elliot won the jumping competition (open to men as well as ladies), and even the baby's pony took a prize ... Among many good books in the house I read one of Le Gallienne's ... ' [20] Elliot was plainly a man of intellectual discrimination. A mere two years after Oscar Wilde's downfall very few soldiers would have dreamed of buying anything by the decadent fin-de-siecle writer, Richard Le Gallienne, who in deference to Wilde always affected velvet jackets and shoulder-length hair.

During his first summer back in India, Stephe accepted an invitation from the Simla Amateur Dramatic Club to play the part of Wun-Hi, the Chinese tea-house owner in The Geisha -- an operetta which was at the time still playing in London after a year's run. This brought him face to face with a number of single women of marriageable age, among whom was the actress playing the part of Molly Seamore, the English heroine of the piece. Molly, out of pure mischief, becomes a geisha at the tea house and is soon pursued by an unscrupulous Japanese nobleman. The operetta tells the story of her rescue from the consequences of her folly. 'Miss Turner,' wrote the Simla Times's reviewer on 1 September 1897, 'made Molly exactly what the author intended her to be, a sprightly, thoughtless girl, full of fun and adventure without counting the cost either to herself or others. . . The character [of Molly] is worked out to perfection and with abundance of chic by Miss Turner.' [21]

Baden-Powell's job, as the pidgin-English-speaking tea house owner, was to provide the evening's humour. His grasping nature and inarticulate sobbing whenever misfortune befell him convulsed the audience. There were rumours in the Green Room that Colonel Baden-Powell was interested in Miss Turner. The two were seen riding outside Simla on Jakko Hill, which was a favourite spot for lovers and would-be betrotheds. [22] It seems unlikely that Stephe fell in love with Ellen Turner; his letters to her are affectionate, but no more than were his earlier letters to child correspondents. He seems to have been fond of her much as he had been fond of Caroline Heap. [23] Nevertheless he admired Ellen's vivacity and, rare for him, took the trouble to write to her mother from time to time. He also made himself agreeable to her father, a colonel in the Royal Engineers who liked him enough to give him occasional presents such as a portable camping-chair. Stephe and Ellen went cycling together, and he used to amuse her by employing one of Meerut's professional letter-writers to send her nonsensical communications, as if from the firm of Wun-Hi & Co. 'Our representative will call on you at three o'clock, or soon after it if he is then sober, which, however, is unusual for him at that hour ... ' [24] Baden-Powell gave a dinner party for The Geisha's cast and organized a picnic for the cast, largely to please Ellen. [25]

When six years later Ellen was engaged to be married to a rich young captain in the 18th Hussars, Stephe wrote her the thoroughly decent letter convention required. But a hint of pathos crept in with the humour: 'I do congratulate you. He is an excellent chap and you will have a very good time. So much so that you will go and forget your old friends ... Do you remember when you used to treat me like a dog! Well -- I've a good deal of the dog in me: he doesn't say much but he's all right! is poor old Wun-Hi.' [26] This was written on 6 September 1903, and at the very top just under the date, Baden Powell wrote: 'Tomorrow is an anniversary with me!' 7 September 1897 marked neither the opening of The Geisha nor the last night, but fell in the middle of its run. There is no mention in other surviving letters and diaries of any significant event occurring on 7 September in any of the years between 1897 and 1903. So it is hard to imagine what else the 'anniversary' could have been unless Stephe was referring to an unsuccessful proposal of marriage. He had then been under considerable pressure from George and his mother.

In his courtship Baden-Powell had often represented himself as a staid and rather avuncular figure, yet during these final years in India he could be as mischievous as ever he had been. Stephe's most celebrated hoax took place in October 1897. He and Captain Quentin Agnew, A.D.C. to the Commander-in-Chief, returned to Simla from Agnew's country retreat to find that a theatrical performance was going on that evening. They therefore took a box at the theatre for a party of friends and booked a table at the Club for later in the evening. While they were dressing, Agnew suggested that they disguise themselves to see if they could carry off the pretence of being a couple of newspaper correspondents -- one from Rome and the other from London, both sent to India to report on the anticipated Afghan War. Agnew persuaded another A.D.C. to accompany them in their disguises to the theatre, to introduce them to their friends and to explain that Colonel Baden-Powell and Captain Agnew had been detained by the Commander-in-Chief. They had expected to be found out almost at once, but they were still being taken seriously as newspapermen at the end of the play. They therefore decided to go on to their own supper party as guests instead of hosts. 'Baden-Powell recalled what happened next:

I sent a hurried note to a young officer in my Regiment who was there on leave and asked him to go to the Club and act as host on my behalf and to receive our guests, as I had been detained ... In a P.S. I added that among the guests were two war correspondents who were strangers to the place and who were to receive special attention, one of them being an Italian count. When we arrived at the Club there was my faithful subaltern waiting to receive us but, when in default of any Italian he started to talk to me in most indifferent French, I nearly broke down with laughter. As it was, though I held my facial muscles under control, the tears welled out of my eyes, and he anxiously asked: 'Est-ce-que vous etes malade aux yeux?' to which I replied in broken accents: 'I am a leetle sick in ze eyes.' This phrase became a memorable one in Simla for months afterwards.

Towards the end of supper ... out of the tail of my eye I saw one of the guests pass behind Agnew and, recognising his back view, go to speak to him. To her surprise she found herself confronted by a bearded man with a Cockney accent. She whispered her suspicions to a friend. Something desperate had to be done. Accordingly I showed signs of having had more wine than was good for me, which caused the ladies in my neighbourhood to feel that the time had come to withdraw; and as I got up insistent on following them I was promptly tripped up and thrown down by the nearest man. But I struggled on, following the hurrying ladies into the next room, till they appeared to be really alarmed, when I pulled off my wig and showed them that it was all right ... I was promptly pounced upon and rolled up in the carpet and sat upon. [28]

Colonel and Mrs Turner and Ellen were among those dinner guests entirely taken in by Baden-Powell and Agnew. A couple of weeks later Ellen told Stephe -- whom she knew to be inordinately proud of his regiment's dairy -- that a cousin of hers was arriving from England with her children. They would be passing through Meerut on a certain day, so could Stephe kindly go to the train and give her a few bottles of his regiment's wonderful milk? On the appointed day Baden-Powell had some of the best sterilized milk prepared and put in bottles which he attached to the handlebars of his bicycle, and then he rode off whistling merrily to meet the mail train. It was only then that he recollected that he only knew the lady's christian name: Rosie.

I met the train and walked all down it, looking at every likely looking woman, and finally, summoning all my courage, I went and asked each in turn if her name was Rosie. It was quite strange the different ways in which they received my question. The wont of it was that not one of them seemed pleased ... The consequence was that I came away without discovering Rosie and without delivering my milk, as, by the time I had done with them, they would not accept my milk as an apology. As I re-passed my friends' house they were all sitting on the wall waiting for me. They gave me three cheers and asked how Rosie was looking and then I knew that I had been had. But it is a silly game, that of practical jokes, and I never indulged in it myself -- except of course when necessary to payout other people. [29]

Neither in his Indian Memories, published in 1922, nor in his autobiography did Baden-Powell admit who had 'paid him out' by playing this joke. The identity of the joker is only to be found in Ellen Turner's unpublished reminiscences of her Indian days. [30] Stephe's claim never to have played practical jokes except to settle old scores is another example of his disconcerting ability to be ingeniously mischievous and primly censorious more or less at the same time.

Another of Baden-Powell's enduring contradictions was his passion for manly hardships and his simultaneous interest in homemaking skills. 'The place is gradually getting furnished,' he told his mother of his house in Meerut, 'and I have struck on such a lovely colour for covers and curtains viz salmon colour and dark pink.' Later he enthused about how 'pretty' the interior had become now that he had hung his carefully chosen curtains and his Indian embroideries. [31] Yet when war broke out on the North-West Frontier, Baden-Powell was desperate to get there, regardless of whether the Commander-in-Chief decided to send for the 5th Dragoon Guards. After three months of constant trying, he finally succeeded in getting leave for long enough to travel to Malakand to 'see the ground over which so much of the fighting has taken place -- and possibly to see a skirmish'. [32]

His keenness to be directly involved in the fighting was shared by the majority of officers in India, but whether most of them would have been as eager to go simply as an observer seems doubtful. General Sir Bindon Blood, who had commanded the 8,000 men of the Malakand Field Force in a hard-fought campaign and was now mopping up, did not need additional regiments. He was, however, perfectly happy to satisfy Baden-Powell's longing to be fighting and sent him a telegram: 'We are having a pheasant shoot on the 7th [January). Hope you will join us.' [33] In the course of this fighting Baden-Powell witnessed what he would always consider the bravest action he had ever seen. A solitary Afghan tribesman came charging down from a mountain ridge that was being shelled by the British and, on his own, attacked an entire battalion of infantry.

He came on. . . with his blue clothes flying out behind him and a big glittering sword in his hand . . . One could see spits of dust jumping up around him, but they did not deter him, till suddenly he stumbled and fell ... he was evidently hit but was binding up a wound in his leg. Then he picked up his sword and shaking it at us came on again limping, but determined to get there. It was a grand and pathetic sight to see this one plucky chap advancing single-handed against the whole crowd. Our men in front ceased firing at him, whether out of admiration or under orders I don't know, but a minute or two later he suddenly tumbled forward and rolled over and lay in a huddled heap -- dead. As we went up the heights afterwards I passed him as he lay, and was glad to see that some of the Indian troops had, out of admiration for him, laid him straight and covered him over. [34]

As usual, everything about the seat of war pleased Baden-Powell. A harrowing night journey over a bumpy mountain pass, in a 'rotten cart with a half-dead pony. . . and a good chance of attack by Ghazis', was ideal. 'The sun set and the moon rose and we toilfully bumped along, but I liked it. At last, close under the mountains we sighted the layer of smoke from our camp, and, at the same time, the bivouac fires of the enemy twinkling all along the heights, which gave me a throb of pleasure.' [35]

During the course of 1897, Baden-Powell took his interest in scouting and reconnaissance a significant step further. In the mid-1880s when he had lectured on these subjects, he had thought scouting an important military activity but had not considered training individual men as members of a special unit exclusively devoted to scouting duties. On 2 August he told his mother that he had recently had 'a lot of men specially trained as scouts'. [36] When thieves broke into the guardroom of an infantry regiment stationed in Meerut, the native police could make no headway at all. 'But when we heard of it later in the day,' recorded Stephe, 'I laid on some of my new scouts and we soon found some more foot tracks that had escaped notice.' [37] The three sets of footprints were followed over a wall, through a shrubbery and eventually to a main road, 'where a two-wheeled cart, with a single pony harnessed to it, had stood for some time (hoof marks and droppings) and then had driven off in a northerly direction'. The police in the next town were telegraphed and the thieves were subsequently arrested while still on their journey. [38]

When Baden-Powell wrote his Report on the Scouting System of the 5th Dragoon Guards [39], he mentioned that his scouts were trained to deduce information from tracks and that they were encouraged to study Sherlock Holmes. One of Baden-Powell's subalterns recalled that Stephe was an admirer of Conan Doyle. 'In my view,' he wrote, 'this started his great interest in deduction.' [40] In Scouting for Boys there would be half a dozen references to Sherlock Holmes and one to Dr Joseph Bell, the Edinburgh professor upon whom Conan Doyle had based his legendary detective. Scoutmasters would be invited to set up mystery crimes, either taken from one of Doyle's stories or of their own invention, and to ask their boys to study the clues and to solve the crime using their deductive powers. But even before Sherlock Holmes's appearance, Baden-Powell had written in Cavalry Instruction (1886) about the importance of studying every kind of evidence and then 'putting things together'.

Other elements from the 5th Dragoon Guards' scouting system which would one day find their way into Scouting for Boys were map reading, recording details of a recently visited locality, finding the way using a compass, the stars and remembered landmarks; tracking, improving the quickness of eye and ear, estimating heights and distances, keeping fit, avoiding alcohol and remaining continent (i.e. avoiding venereal disease -- Baden-Powell would later use this term to mean avoiding masturbation). Stephe would also list some of the scouting games played by his dragoons in Scouting for Boys. There is however no evidence that he had any idea of starting an organization for boys at this time in his life. H.G. Kennard, his adjutant in India, was convinced of this, as was Ellen Turner. [41]

Six men under an officer made up each scout training group, and 6-8 would one day be the number of boys in each Boy Scout patrol under their patrol leader. Ever since 1883 Baden-Powell had entertained a secret dream of one day founding a specialist body of hand-picked men. [42] In the following year he had told his mother he would 'happily spend 5 years' organizing a regiment of gentlemen rankers. Stephe had envisaged this regiment as becoming 'an intelligent body of scouts such as no other army could ever hope to possess'. [43] Until 1897-98, when he trained his regimental scouts in the 5th Dragoon Guards, he had been unable to organize anything resembling this ideal grouping.

From June 1898 Baden-Powell found himself an acting Major-General in the absence of his divisional general, Sir Bindon Blood. In April the following year, he thought that he was about to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General. Military Headquarters in Simla approved the appointment and asked for London's confirmation. Lord Wolseley, however, promptly refused the request. This was unlikely to have been because of Baden-Powell's comparative youth. During this very month (April 1899) Sir Alfred Milner, the High Commissioner at the Cape, began to send back to London a series of flamboyant and alarmist despatches, intended to jolt the Cabinet into threatening military intervention in South Africa. So Wolseley would already have formed an idea of the type of African employment he might soon wish to offer to Baden-Powell. A secret War Office memorandum shows that he had definitely made up his mind about this in early May, less than a month later. [44] The Commander-in-Chief would have known that if he authorized his protege's promotion to an Indian command, he would then be committed to employing him in any future South African war as commander of the Brigade he had been given in India, thus ruling out the far less conventional role Wolseley had in mind.

In spite of his many successes as colonel of his regiment and his popularity with the civil population of Meerut, there were times when the ease of his social conquests and the intensity of the demands upon him made Stephe long to escape his admirers and those aspects of his own personality which made him court them. When he was staying at Mussoori, between Simla and Naini Tal, he found his fame as an entertainer had preceded him and that he was 'expected to attend a grand masonic banquet that night. . . and afterwards to be funny till 1 a.m.' Suddenly he had known that he had to get out of the place and so bolted during a storm with his Arab pony, his groom and four porters. [45]

There are times in every man's life [he wrote] when his whole being cries out for a steady spell of doing nothing in particular . . . Nowhere is this more acutely felt than in India. A feeling of staleness comes over you, and instinctively you look around for an antidote. If the call of the wild then makes itself heard, the right thing is to yield to it. [46]

In the summer of 1898 Baden-Powell took a trip to Kashmir which convinced him that the outdoor life, enjoyed purely for its own sake without any military objective, was immensely valuable. Before setting out, he paid considerable attention to his equipment. 'Roughing it,' he insisted, 'does not exist for any but the ignorant. The experienced camper knows what to take and he also knows that the necessaries are sometimes luxuries.' Stephe's equipment included old kid gloves to protect his hands from mosquito bites, a Kodak camera, quinine, Bologna sausage, soup, dog biscuits, candles, whisky, waterproof sheets, lanterns, a tin-opener and a corkscrew. [47] On this trip he adopted clothes that he would occasionally claim as the inspiration for the Boy Scout uniform; these included the Stetson he had worn in Rhodesia and a flannel shirt, but not the famous shorts [see second photo section). Yet in spite of all the planning, Baden-Powell viewed camping and walking in wild places as an experience which transcended practical considerations.

Going over these immense hills -- especially when alone -- and looking almost sheer down into the deep valleys between -- one feels like a parasite on the shoulders of the world. There is such a bigness about it all, that opens and freshens up the mind. It's as good as a cold tub for the soul. [48]

With a collapsible bath in his luggage, Stephe was equipped to cleanse his body as well as his soul. His father's pantheistic book, The Order of Nature, was a significant influence upon him, as a sub-heading in Rovering to Success makes plain: 'Nature Knowledge as a Step Towards Realising God'. Baden-Powell also used to quote Bacon's aphorism: 'The study of the Book of Nature is the true key to that of Revelation. [49] In a bizarre way he managed to combine camping equipment, adventure and religious sensations in a remarkable synthesis. In his published Matabele Campaign he described his camping impedimenta as his 'toys' and then went on: 'May it not be that our toys are the various media adapted to individual tastes through which men may know their God?' [50]' Quite literally Stephe worshipped what he called the 'flannel shirt life' and everything that went with it. 'Not being able to go to my usual church (the jungle) on Sunday, I went to the garrison church instead,' he wrote to Ellen Turner, more in earnest than tongue in cheek. [51]

In Kashmir Baden-Powell's attitude towards wild life betrayed no signs of softening. Bears were particular objects of his blood-lust. 'I could see his head and shoulders above the bank -- and I plugged him with a nice steady shot which sent him back with a yowl head-over-heels backwards ... ' Later Baden-Powell gazed down at the dead bear, which he thought 'looked like a respectable old gentleman who had once imbibed too freely -- and was lying in the gutter in his glossy black clothes . . .' [52] Stephe was still a long way from adopting the advice which he would one day give to Boy Scouts: to stalk wild animals with a camera, rather than a gun. Strangely his bear hunts have a unique place in the history of Scouting. While waiting for his beaters to drive bears in his direction, he had time to begin writing 'a book about scouting' and to 'jot down . . . first heads for chapters, and finally subjects of paragraphs'. By early September 1898, the scouting book had progressed sufficiently for him to dictate it to the regimental shorthand clerk on his return to Meerut. [53] He tentatively entitled this new work Cavalry Aids to Scouting. Incorporated within the text were most of the lectures he had given to his regimental scouts and a lot of suggestions for practical work, as well as numerous personal anecdotes and adventures. The basic assumption underlying the whole book was the author's conviction that scouting bred self-reliance by making men use their intelligence and act upon their own judgements without needing to wait for advice from an officer or an N.C.O. [54]

Shortly after returning to Meerut, Baden-Powell was shocked to hear that George had died.* 'Poor George,' Stephe commiserated with his mother, 'he always took me under his wing and I cannot yet realize that he is gone.' He consoled himself with the thought that his brother had 'tasted of the best of this world'. [55] From a purely practical and material point of view, the loss of George was not the disaster it would have been for Stephe four or five years earlier. His position with Wolseley was now established and intervention from George would not be needed again. He acknowledged that it was 'an awful blow' to his mother -- as indeed it was, not only in personal but in financial terms, since Frances would not prove as responsive as her late husband to Henrietta Grace's unashamed requests for cash. On 30 October, three weeks before George's death, he had agreed to leave his mother £10,000. It therefore came as a devastating blow to learn that although George had signed a will benefiting her as promised, it would have no legal effect. He had understood that £10,000 had been gifted to him absolutely as part of his wife's marriage settlement, whereas in fact he had only been granted the income from that sum for his lifetime. George's estate barely provided token legacies for his brothers and £500 each for Henrietta Grace and Agnes.

From Stephe's point of view the least desirable consequence of George's death -- his personal loss apart -- was the fact that from now on he would be expected to provide a much higher level of financial help for his mother. [57] This would make Henrietta Grace keener than ever to see him profitably married.

In the first week of May 1899, Baden-Powell left India for what he believed would be four months' leave. 'I am sitting in front of my tent taking tea,' he wrote shortly before embarking, 'a rich glowing sunset lighting up the horses being groomed at evening stables, while the band is playing a lively selection to the camp. ' [58] He would undoubtedly have written a lengthier valediction if he had known that he was bidding farewell not only to India but to his life as a regimental officer.



* He had been suffering from cancer of the liver since the late summer.

1. 'A Grand Thing for Me': The Ashanti Campaign (1895-96)

1. Britain and Ashanti 1874-1896, W.E.F. Ward, in Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana, vol. xv (ii), 133.

2. Ibid, 135.

3. Ibid, 135.

4. Ashanti under the Prempehs, W. Tordoff (London 1965), 59-60

5. Ward, 157.

6. Downfall of Prempeh, 18.

7. Farwell. 116.

8. Ibid, 117.

9. Ashanti Diary/Scrapbook 22 Nov. 1895, facsimile in NAM.

10. V of L t/s, 514, R8 BSA.

11. Piper. 94.

12. V of L 162.

13. V of L t/s, 517, R8 BSA.

14. Downfall of Prempeh, 56-57.

15. Livingstone, Tim Jeal (London 1973). 123, 149 etc.

16. Farwell, 109.

17. BP to Lord Wolseley 18 Jan. 1896, Wolseley Papers, Central Library, Hove.

18. 'High Strategy: A Moral of the West Coast', t/s. R7 BSA.

19. Downfall of Prempeh, 78.

20. General Orders in Ashanti Diary/ Scrapbook, NAM.

21. Ashanti Scrapbook (drawings and press cuttings). 6501-18-2 NAM.

22. Viz Stanley on the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition.

23. As n. 18.

24. Ibid.

25. V of L, 163.

26. On the South African Frontier, W.H. Brown (London 1899); The Flame Trees of Thika, Elspeth Huxley (London 1959).

27. Downfall of Prempeh, 71.

28 Ibid. 13.

29. Hillcourt, 110.

30. BP to Wolseley 18 Jan. 1896. Hove.

31. Downfall of Prempeh, 94-6.

32. Edwardian Portraits, W.S. Adams (London 1957). 111.

33. J.P.R. Gordon to BP 11 Jan. 1896. Ashanti Diary/Scrapbook. NAM facsimile.

34. Downfall of Prempeh, 108.

35. Ibid., illustration, based on an original by BP, facing p. 120.

36. Tordoff. 69.

37. Ibid. 70.

38. Asante in the Nineteenth Century, I. Wilks (London 1975). 661.

39. Downfall of Prempeh, 25-28; I. Wilks 592-8.

40. BP to F 18 Jan. 1896. BSA.

41. Ibid.

42. R.S. Curtis Album, and original drawing by BP. W. Beckwith Coll.

43. BP to Wolseley 18 Jan. 1896. Hove.

44. BP to HG 21 Dec. 1895. BSA.

45. BP to Constance Smyth 3 Apr. 1896. BSA.

46. Social Scrapbook, guest list, FBPA.

47. V of L. 166.

2. Mistake in Matabeleland (1896-97)

1. G to HG 16 Nov. 1895, FBPA.

2. V of L t/s. 548-9. R8 BSA; Piper. 96.

3. Revolt in Southern Rhodesia 1896-7. T. Ranger (London 1967), 171; Sec. of British South Africa Co. to Chamberlain 20 Apr. 1896. CO 417/197.

4. Ibid. CO 417/197.

5. Sir George Baden-Powell's 'Hall Book': Lord Wolseley's name appears on 14 Apr. 1896.

6. Downfall of Prempeh, 190 (G's afterword 'Policy and Wealth in Ashanti' 181-99).

7. How We Won Rhodesia, A.G. Leonard (London 1896).

8. Ranger. 103.

9. The Matabele Campaign. BP (London 1897), 15.

10. With Plumer in Matabeland, F.W. Sykes (London 1897). 42f.

11. Ranger. 129.

12. Sykes. 27-8.

13. Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland, O. Schreiner (London 1897). 77.

14. BP Matabele Album, National Archives of Zimbabwe [NAZ].

15. Matabele Campaign, 8.

16. BP Report to Sir Frederick Carrington. NAZ.

17. The Campaign in Rhodesia, BP (Dublin 1897), 8-9.

18. BP Diary 27 May and 3 June 1896. R4 BSA.

19. Matabele Campaign. 22-3.

20. BP Report to Carrington. NAZ.

21. Matabele Campaign. 23.

22. Ibid. 24.

23. A.W. Jarvis to his sister 12 July 1896. Durham University.

24. Matabele Campaign. 69; Sykes. 268.

25. Ranger. 237.

26. Matabele Campaign. 67.

27. BP Diary 5 Aug. 1896. R4 BSA.

28. Ranger. 239.

29. BP to HG 23 Aug. 1896. BSA; Matabele Campaign. 73; The White Whirlwind. T. V. Bulpin (London 1961). 323f.

30. BP to HG 23 Aug. 1896. BSA.

31. BP Diary 22 Aug. 1896. R4 BSA.
32. Cecil Rhodes, J.E. Flint (London 1976). 206.

33. Dreams of Adventure, Deeds of Empire. Martin Green (London 1980). 389.

34. BP Diary 5 Jan. 1897. R4 BSA.

35. Ranger. 260-1.

36. The Campaign in Rhodesia, 10; Matabele Campaign. 15; Ranger 260.

37. Matabele Campaign. 30.

38. Ibid. 84.

39. Ibid. 85.

40. Evidence to Court of Inquiry: affidavit sworn by Major H.M. Ridley. NAZ.

41. BP to Carrington 13 Sept. 1896. NAZ.

42. BP Mataabele Album. 87. NAZ.

43. BP Diary 12 Sept. 1896. R4 BSA.

44. Ibid 13 Sept.

45. V of L t/s, 58 R8 BSA.

46. Rosmead to Carrington 19 Sept. 1896, teleg. 871, BP Matabele Album, NAZ.

47. Rosmead to Chamberlain 19 Sept. 1896, PRO CO 879/47. BP's evidence to Gwelo Inquiry, NAZ.

48. Rosmead to Chamberlain 22 Dec. 1896, PRO CO 879/47.

49. 7th Hussars Regimental History, 134-5.

50. Carrington to BP 28 Sept. 1896; NAZ.

51. BP to HG 1 Nov. 1896. FBPA.

52. BP to G. 14 June 1896; BP to C.B. Vyvyan 29 June 1896; BP Matabele Album, NAZ.

53. BP Diary 13 Nov. 1896, R4 BSA.

54. Truth. 22 Oct. 1896.

55. BP Diary: Tunisia and Algeria 7 Apr. 1891, vol. i, R4 BSA.

56. Ibid, vol. iii. 17-19 May 1893.

57. Greyfriar, no. vii, 'My Hats Series: The Algerian Hat', written 1893. 152-3.

58. See PRO CO 879/47 and CO 417/ 172.

59. BP Diary 24 July 1896. R4 BSA.

60. Matabele Campaign, 32. 102, 107.

61. The Campaign in Rhodesia, 18.

62. Ibid, 19.

63. BP to HG n.d., but after 14 June 1896, BSA.

64. G. Noble t/s. final unpaginated section.

65. Matabele Campaign, 79.

66. BP Diary 11 Sept. 1896, R4 BSA.

67. Matabele Campaign, 83.

68. Green, 254.

69. V of L, t/s. 30, R9 BSA.

70. Matabele Campaign, 41.

71. Ibid, 26.

72. Matabele Campaign, 83.

73. Ibid, 55-6.

74. V of L t/s, Travel Section, unpaginated, R9 BSA.

75. Aids to Scouting for N.C.O.s and Men, BP (London 1899), 124.

76. Matabele Campaign, 133-5.

77. With Mounted Infantry and the Mashonaland Field Force, E.A.H. Alderson (London 1898).

78. Interview in M.A.P. (Mainly about People), 13 Jan. 1900.

79. Ibid.

80. Reynolds, 62.

81. Aitken, 75.

3. Indian Interlude (1897-99)

1. BP to HG 7 Feb. 1897, BSA.

2. V of L t/s. unpaginated, R7 BSA.

3. Wolseley to G n.d. except Sat, but mid-1897, BP Matabele Album. 116, NAZ.

4. Album: Observations in Novaya Zemlya; Social Album. FBPA.

5. Lord Montagu to G 9 May 1897, FBPA.

6. V of L. 182.

7. BP to HG 7 Mar. 1897. BSA; M. Dillon to BP 16 Dec. 1896 and 24 Mar. 1897. Matabele Album. NAZ.

8. Begbie. 173.

9. Will of Edward Sargeaunt. 1929, Somerset House; draft for obit. of Sargeaunt by BP, BSA.

10. V of L, t/s, 593. R8 BSA.

11. The Scouter, Dec. 1951, Lt-Col. G.A. Swinton-Home.

12. BP Diary 9 Nov. 1896, R4 BSA.

13. Reynolds. 72.

14. V of L t/s, 599, R8 BSA.  
15. V of L, 82.

16. BP to HG 4 Apr. 1899, BSA.

17. BP to HG 28 Feb. 1897. BSA.

18. BP to HG 5 Apr. 1898, BSA.

19. BP to HG 8 Apr. 1897. BSA.

20. BP Kashmir Diary, vol. iii, 16 June 1898, R5 BSA.

21. Simla Times, 1 Sept. 1897.

22. Hillcourt, 151.

23. BP's letters to Ellen Turner are owned by her daughter Miss Pamela Dugdale.

24. Wun Hi & Co. to Ellen Turner 15 Dec. 1897, Dugdale Coll.

25. BP to HG 7 Sept. 1897, photograph in Dugdale Coll: Geisha Picnic at Bendochy, Masbobra, 11 Sept. 1897.

26. BP to Ellen Turner, 6 Sept. 1903, Dugdale Coll.

27. HG to BP 28 Dec. 1897, BSA; G to HG 16 Nov. 1895, FBPA.

28. V of L, 41-2.

29. I.M., 75.

30. Reminiscences, Dugdale Coll.

31. BP to HG 27 Nov. 1897, BSA.

32. BP to HG 11 Dec. 1897. BSA.

33. Hillcourt, 147.

34. V of L, 194-5.

35. I.M., 211.

36. BP to HG 2 Aug. 1897, BSA.

37. Ibid.

38. V of L t/s. 259-60. R8 BSA.

39. Undated R8 BSA; Hillcourt dates it 16 Jan. 1899.

40. As n. 11 above.

41. Christian Science Monitor, 3 May 1941, 'B-P as I Knew Him' by H.G. Kennard; Ellen Turner's reminiscences, Dugdale Coll.

42. BP to G 8 Mar. 1885. BSA.

43. BP to HG 19 Sept. 1884; BP to G 6 Jan. 1885. BSA.

44. Secret Memo from Col. W. Everett AAG prepared for DMI and Lord Lansdowne, 1 July 1899, PRO WO 32/7852.

45. BP Kashmir Diary: A Short Run in the Himalayan Hills. 19 to 21 June 1898. R5 BSA.

46. I.M., 288.

47. Ibid. 289.

48. As n. 45, 21 June 1898; I.M., 175.

49. Rovering to Success, 177-8.

50. Matabele Campaign, 84.

51. BP to Ellen Turner 30 May 1897. Dugdale Coll.

52. BP Kashmir Diary, vol. iii, 25 Aug. to 6 Sept. 1897, R5 BSA.

53. Hillcourt. 153.

54. Published as Aids to Scouting for N.C.O.s and Men (London 1899).

55. BP to HG 23 Nov. 1898, BSA.

56. HG to BP 25 Nov. 1898; Frances to HG 7 May 1904; H. Wilson to Frances 9 May and 21 July 1904. FBPA.

57. BP to HG 20 Apr. 1899, BSA.

58. BP to A 22 Jan. 1899, BSA.
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Re: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, by Wikipedi

Postby admin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:11 pm

Order of Woodcraft Chivalry
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry is a scouting-like movement operating in the United Kingdom, which was founded in 1916 by Ernest Westlake. It was inspired by Ernest Thompson Seton's Woodcraft Indians, and Seton was its honorary Grand Chieftain. Whilst largely being contemporary to Baden-Powell's Scouting movement, it differed from it in that it does not have the perceived military overtones of Scouting, instead focusing on the virtues of kindness, fellowship and woodcraft. The Order was small compared to Scouts, having only 1,200 members by 1926.[1] By the 1950s it had ceased to have a major public presence. It still exists (2016) as a semi-formal network of personal friends with historic family links to the original formal organisation, with little interest in publicity and few surviving overt connections with the Woodcraft Folk or the Forest School Camps.

The Order accepted many premises of Neopaganism. It has been suggested by writer Steve Wilson that it provided the basis for the New Forest coven, and through that the Neopagan religion of Wicca.



Westlake was a naturalist, anthropologist and traveller of Quaker upbringing, however in 1909 he began to fault Quakerism and extol the "old gods" of paganism. He was inspired by authors such as Edward Carpenter, Nietzsche, Havelock Ellis, Jane Ellen Harrison, Tylor and Frazer, and saw the Order as saving people from "the cul de sac of intellectualized religion" and reviving the "greater Hellas" of modern civilisation. He saw women as incarnations of God, to be "worshipped in spirit and in truth"; he revered the Jack-in-the-Green, which he considered to be the English equivalent of Dionysus, and held that the "Trinity of Woodcraft" consisted of Pan, Artemis and Dionysus.[2]

The first folkmoot ceremony of the Order was held at Sandy Balls, Westlake's estate on the northern edge of the New Forest, on Lammas 1921, with the sacred fire lit by four people dressed in colours of the elements of each quarter, bringing greetings from the elemental powers in succession from north round to west. Despite these pagan themes, Westlake did not consider they were departing from Christianity, and claimed that "one must be a good pagan before one can be a good Christian". He held that after his resurrection Jesus Christ had become dissolved into nature, and that by recognising the divinity inherent in nature people would come closer to Christ.[3] Consequently, the Order promoted a "mystical and animist" view of nature.[4]

it was not only a physical process that took place when the blood flowed from the wounds of the Saviour, but it was actually accompanied by a spiritual process; that is, the Holy Spirit, which was received at the baptism, united itself with the earth -- Christ himself flowed into the very being of the earth. From now on, the earth was changed, and this is the reason for saying to you in previous lectures that if a person had viewed the earth from a distant star, he would have observed that its whole appearance was altered with the Mystery of Golgotha. The sun Logos became a part of the earth, formed an alliance with it and became the spirit of the earth.

-- Goddess: From Natura to the Divine Sophia, Selections from the work of Rudolf Steiner

The Order had a considerable influence in the founding of the Forest School Camps movement.[5]

There is little evidence of interactions between the Order and the Woodcraft Folk, which was also a breakaway from the Kibbo Kift and was similarly inspired by Seton. This may have been because the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry was non-political and had a mainly affluent middle-class membership (e.g. Westlake owned a country estate) while the Woodcraft Folk, which styled itself 'The Movement for Workers Children' in the 1920s, was predominantly a socialist working-class organisation at the time.

After Westlake

After Westlake's death in a motoring accident in 1922, the role of British Chief of the Order fell to Harry Byngham, who subsequently changed his name to Dion, short for Dionysus. Unlike Westlake, Dion Byngham found no attraction in Christianity, and zealously promoted paganism, naturism and phallic worship as a veneration of the life force. He started publishing an Order periodical called The Pinecone, which contained many provocative items, including a nude Dionysus on the cover of one issue, a photograph of a nude Byngham and his semi-nude girlfriend in Grecian dress, and a verse play by Victor Benjamin Neuburg, who also introduced Byngham to the ideas of the famous occultist Aleister Crowley.


All this brought Byngham into strife with many of the Christian members of the Order, which was primarily aimed at children and had, by its pacifist stance, particularly appealed to Quaker families as an alternative to Scouting. In 1924 Byngham was replaced as editor and in 1925 he was suspended from the Council of Chiefs after posing nude with his girlfriend for press photographs to promote nudism.[6]

Between 1922 and 1927 the rituals of the order continued to evolve along Masonic and quasi-Masonic lines, adopting elaborate titles and ritual equipment. In 1928 a compromise was accepted between the pagan- and the Christian-inclined members whereby the order would promote both the sanctity of nature and Christian ethics, while criticising the "repressive" aspects of Christianity. However membership fell. In 1929 the Society of Friends formally withdrew support for the Order, and by 1930 there were only 400 members remaining. In 1934 Aubrey Westlake, the son of Ernest, resigned as Chieftain, and in 1935 he left the order, depriving it of its meeting place at Sandy Balls.[7] Steve Wilson argues that some of the pagan-inclined members split off to form the New Forest coven, which became the origin of the religion of Wicca.[8]


Hutton stated in 1999 that "The Order continues to survive with a stable but small membership".[9] In the 1990s Martin Westlake, son of Aubrey and grandson of Ernest, allowed the Order to celebrate its anniversary at Sandy Balls estate again.[8]

A website in the Order's name exists and was last updated in Feb 2015. [10] It seems to be mainly used by existing members to post photographs, etc, and contains little to attract potential new members. The Order survives as a small network of personal friends linked to the earlier formal organisation.

The OWC is a co-host, together with the Liga Lesni Moudrosti (The Woodcraft League of the Czech Republic), of the Blue Sky! World Woodcraft Gathering which takes place every three years alternately in the UK and the Czech Republic. Started in 1996, the gathering in 2017 will be the 8th meeting and will be held in the UK. Scouts and Woodcrafters from Poland and other countries also take part.


1. Hutton, Ronald. The Triumph of the Moon. p. 163.
2. Hutton, pp. 164-5.
3. Hutton, p. 166.
4. Steven J. Sutcliffe, Children of the New Age: A History of Spiritual Practices, Routledge, London, 2002, p.41
5. 'N' Brand. "Early Days in the Forest School" (PDF). Forest School Camps.
6. Hutton, pp. 166-8.
7. Hutton, pp. 168-170.
8. Jump up to:a b Wilson, Steve (1996). "Woodcrafting the Art of Magic". Aisling #8.
9. Hutton, p. 170.

Further reading

• Edgell, Derek. Order of Woodcraft Chivalry.

External links

• Trent University, California, OWC archive catalogue
• Forest School Camps history
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Re: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, by Wikipedi

Postby admin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:56 pm

Ernest Westlake (1855-1922)
Accessed: 8/16/19




Ernest Westlake was born in Hampshire, England in 1855 to evangelical Quaker parents, Thomas Westlake (1826-1892) and Hannah Neave (died 1857). While remaining a faithful, if unorthodox Christian, Westlake eschewed much of his upbringing to become a scientist who believed in spiritualism and psychical phenomena and who was dedicated to the Darwinian-inspired theories of evolution. These beliefs also informed his later interests in educational reform.

Westlake studied at University College London from 1873-1875 where he was awarded certificates in geology and mathematics. While he never joined the academy and published relatively little of his work, Westlake was a skilled geologist who carried out meticulous and professional work. He was a member of the Geologists’ Association (1877), and elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of London (1879), a founding member of the Hampshire Field Naturalists Club (1885) and Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society (1910).

From the late 1870s Westlake studied the geological strata of Hampshire and beyond, visiting newly-made rail and road-cuttings, wells and quarries, and the cliffs of southern England, Ireland and parts of France resulting in a significant collection of fossils (many echinoids) that are held in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Some of Westlake's chalk fossils are also held in the Salisbury Museum where he was an Honorary Curator of Geology. Westlake also collected many thousands of palaeoliths and eoliths mostly in the Hampshire region, including Woodgreen and Breamore, and further afield, which are also held in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Ernest Westlake's English geological work advanced, or was referenced, by geologists including Clement Reid, William Whitaker, H. Osborne White and Jukes Browne.

Westlake’s scientific interests extended beyond geology. A founding member of the London-based Society for Psychical Research, Westlake researched phenomena of dream premonitions, haunted houses and also a history of water divining.

By the late 1880s Westlake had embraced an alternative lifestyle, travelling by a traditional horse-drawn ‘Gipsy’ caravan when collecting artefacts, becoming a keen cyclist and camper and advocating the benefits of exercise, fresh air, freer clothing and a meat-free diet.
Westlake married Lucy Rutter in 1891. They had Aubrey in 1893 and Margaret in 1896. Following a slow deterioration in her health, however, Lucy died in 1901.

Four years later Westlake took cycling holiday in France with his daughter Margaret. In Aurillac, in the Cantal region, Westlake discovered a substantial deposit of eoliths: stone implements he thought were made by humans, or human ancestors, from the Miocene epoch, two million years ago. The idea of an ‘Eolithic’ epoch had first been proposed following finds of early Quaternary and Tertiary stone implements in France in the 1860s. For such scholars ‘eoliths’ revealed an important evolutionary stage in tool-making; for others they were merely broken rocks. Westlake returned to England in 1906 after unearthing about 100,000 artefacts, although French customs, concerned that he was removing the soil of their country, allowed him, as several biographers have noted, to take home about 4000 (although, according to list of his collections formed in 1923 for insurance purposes, Westlake had brought back 7000 eoliths from France. [For more information see: WEST00356 'Correspondence: French Collection 1923-1993 part 2' and WEST000040 'Notes regarding French 'eoliths' and geology' in Rebe Taylor, with Michael Jones and Gavan McCarthy, Stories in Stone: an annotated history and guide to the collections and papers of Ernest Westlake (1855-1922), The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 2012.]

In 1908 Westlake saw a display of Tasmanian Aboriginal stone artefacts in the British Museum and was struck immediately by their similarity to his French eoliths. He was convinced that the modern (if by then widely considered ‘extinct’) Tasmanians were representative of an Eolithic stage of culture. While divided by millions of years and thousands of miles from Miocene Aurillac, Westlake believed a collection of Tasmanian artefacts would authenticate his French eoliths. Westlake was not the first or only eolithologist to see comparative similarities between European eoliths and Tasmanian stone implements, but he was the first to go to Tasmania to form his own collection, which remains the largest single collection of Tasmanian stone artefacts; a total of 13,033 (This number mostly includes the stone implements Westlake collected between 1908-1910, but it also includes the collection of J. V. Cook of Hobart, formed before Westlake went to Tasmania and as well as stone implements collected by Joseph Paxton Moir on Westlake's behalf, all of which were and sent by Paxton Moir to Westlake after his return to England [See: WEST00038, 'Correspondence from Joseph Paxton Moir to Ernest Westlake' and WEST00039, 'Correspondence concerning shipping stone tools 1912-1916 (letters from Joseph Paxton Moir included)', Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers.]

Westlake never published his Tasmanian or French findings. Deeply affected by the outbreak of War in 1914, he successfully established, with the assistance of his son, Aubrey Westlake, and the influence of Ernest Thompson Seton, an alternative and pacifist scouts' movement for girls and boys called the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry in 1916. The Order promoted an educational model that remembered the major cultural evolutionary stages of human development. It is still in existence today, and it is in fact for this achievement that Westlake is best remembered.

Westlake’s plans to return to his geological work following the Order’s establishment were abruptly ended when he died in the side car of his son’s motorcycle in Holborn, London in 1922. For details of what happened posthumously to Westlake’s French and Tasmanian collections, see the chronologies of his Tasmanian, French and English collections.



Baden-Powell, D. F. W., 1955: 'The Suffolk Crag', Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalists Society, 9(3): 1-8 . [images 117-121, images 117-121, WEST00362, Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University, Natural History Museum].

Balfour, Henry, 1893: The Evolution of Decorative Art, London, Percival & Co.

Balfour, Henry, 1925: 'The Status of the Tasmanians Among the Stone-Age People', Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia, 5(1), 1-15. [images 105-116, WEST00362, Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University, Natural History Museum].

Balfour Henry, 1929: 'Stone Implements of the Tasmanians and the Culture-Status Which They Suggest', Report of the Hobart Meeting of 1928, Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, 314-322.

Cove, John J., 1995: What the Bones Say - Tasmanian Aborigines, Science and Domination, Ontario, Carleton University Press.

Delair, Justin B., 1981: 'Ernest Westlake (1855-1922), Geologist and Prehistorian with a synopsis of his field notebooks', The Geological Curator 13(2&3), 133-152. [images 5-39, WEST00362, Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University, Natural History Museum].

Delair, Justin B., 1985: 'Ernest Westlake (1855-1922) Founder Member of the Hampshire Field Club', Hampshire Field Club Archaeological Society, 41, 37-44.

Edgell, Derek, 1992: The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry, 1916-1949, as a New Age alternative to the Boy Scouts, Lewiston, New York, The Edwin Mellen Press.

Flanagan, Martin, 2002: In Sunshine or in Shadow, Sydney, Picador Pan Macmillan.

Hutton, Ronald, 1999: Triumph of the Moon, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Hoare, Philip, 2005: England's Lost Eden: Adventures in a Victorian Utopia, London and New York, Fourth Estate.

Holdsworth, Chris, 2004: 'Tylor, Sir Edward Burnett (1832-1917)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press,, accessed 3 May 2010

Jones, Rhys, 1971: Rocky Cape and the Problem of the Tasmanians, PhD thesis, University of Sydney.

La Rue, Hélène, 2004: 'Balfour, Henry (1863-1939)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004., accessed 10 May 2010.

McNiven, Ian J. and Russell, Lynette, 2005: Appropriated Pasts: Indigenous Poples and the Colonial Culture of Arhcaeology, Oxford, AltaMira.

Murray, Tim, 1992: 'Tasmania and the Consititution of the "Dawn of Humanity', Antiquity, 66, 730-743.

Plomley, Norman J. B. 1976: A word-list of the Tasmanian Aboriginal languages Launceston, in association with the Government of Tasmania.

Plomley, Norman J. B. 1991: The Westlake Papers, Records of Interviews in Tasmania, 1908-1910, Launceston, Occasional Paper No. 4, Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery [images 98-178, WEST00345, Series 1].

Roth, Henry Ling, 1890: The Aborigines of Tasmania, London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Truber & Co.

Roth, Henry Ling, 1899: The Aborigines of Tasmania, Halifax, F. King and Sons.

Sollas, W. J. [published as 'W.J.S.'] 1923: 'Obituary for Ernest Westlake', Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 79, 1xii.

Sollas, W. J. Ancient Hunters and their Modern Representatives, Macmillan and Co. London, 1924 (third edition) .

Stokes, Robert, B.: 1977: The Echinoids Micraster and Epiaster From the Turonian and Senonian of England, Paleaontology, 20(4), 805-821, plates 106-109.

Taylor, Rebe, 2004: Island Echoes: Two Tasmanian Aboriginal Histories, PhD Thesis, History Program, Australian National University.

Tylor, Edward Burnett, 1893: 'On the Tasmanians as Representatives of Palaeolithic Man', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Britain and Ireland, 23, 141-152.

Tylor, Edward Burnett, 1871: Primitive Culture: Researches into the Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art and Custom, London, J. Murray.

Tylor, Edward Burnett, 1900: 'On Stone Implements from Tasmania: Extracts from a Letter by J. Paxton Moir', The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 31, 257-259.

Tylor, Edward Burnett, 1964 (first edition 1865, this edition republished from the 3rd edition, 1878): Researches into the Early History of Mankind, edited by Paul Bohannan, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press.

Tylor, Edward Burnett, 1994: The Collected Works of Edward Burnett Tylor, London, Routledge & Thoemmes.

Westlake, Aubrey, 1917: Woodcraft Chivalry, Weston-Super-Mare, Mendip Press Ltd. [WEST00035, Series 1].

Westlake, Aubrey, 1923: 'Ernest Westlake. A Memoir of the "Father of the Order". Pine Cone, 1(1), 4-11.

Westlake, Aubrey, 1956: 'A Centenary Tribute to Ernest Westlake, An Educational Pioneer', The Woodcraft Way, 24, 3-15.

Westlake, Aubrey, 1976: 'Biographical Notes on Ernest Westlake', WEST00012, Series 2, Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers.

Westlake, Aubrey, 1979: An Outline History of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry 1916-1976, The Woodcraft Way Series, 25, The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry, London.

Westlake, Ernest, 1888: Tabular Index to the Upper Cretaceous Fossils of England and Ireland, Fordingbridge, Titus Mitchell . [images 40-67, WEST00362, Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University, Natural History Museum].

Westlake, Ernest, 1883: 'The Early History of the Neighbourhood as Written in its Rocks', in Reginald St. John Hannen's "Notes on the Neighbourhood and Town of Fordingbridge and Hants." in Mitchell's Fordingbridge Almanack, 1884, 1-55. Re-published in 1887, 1889 and 1908, with additions. [The 1889 edition is in: images 68-84, WEST00362, Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History].

Westlake, Ernest, 1902: The Antiquity of Man in Hampshire: Notes on Recent Discoveries in the Valley of the Avon', in Kings Fordingbridge Alamanac, Fordingbridge, W. H. King and Co. [images 85-91, WEST00362, Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History].

Westlake, Ernest, 1921: Recollections of Recapitulation (a Paper Read at the January Folkmoot, 1921), The Woodcraft Way Series, 7, 19-24.

Westlake, Ernest, 1921: Camping as a Prime Element in Education (a paper read at the Simple Life Exhibition, 1921), The Woodcraft Way Series, 7, 24-28.

Westlake, Ernest, c.1921: The Forest School and other Papers, The Woodcraft Way Series, 7, 8-19.

Westlake, Ernest, 1925: 'Recollections of Recapitulation', Pine Cone, 2(7), 87-90.

Westlake, Ernest, 1925: 'Recollections of Recapitulation', Pine Cone, 2(8), 122-125.

Westlake, Jean, 1977: Sandy Balls For All Seasons, Gods Hill, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, Sandy Balls Press . [digitised in part: images 50-54, WEST00363, Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History] and also [partially imaged; images 12-17, WEST00345, Series 1]

Westlake, Jean, 1983 (Second edition 1988): A Handbook for Sandy Balls, Gods Hill, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, Sandy Balls Press [images 18-54, WEST00345, Series 1]

Westlake, Jean, 1982: Gipsy Caravan: A 100-years' Story, Godshill, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, Sandy Balls Press [images 55-97, WEST00345, Series 1].

Westlake, Jean, 2000: 70 Years A-Growing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, Hawthorn Press [partially imaged; images 1-11, WEST00345, Series 1].

Westlake, Margaret, 1918: The Theory of Woodcraft Chivalry, The Woodcraft Way Series, 2, 11-27.
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Re: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, by Wikipedi

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:14 am

Forest School Camps
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Forest School Camps' logo
Abbreviation FSC
Motto An Adventure in Education
Formation 1930-1945
Registration no. Charity No. 306006
Headquarters Haddenham, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Region served
United Kingdom

Forest School Camps (FSC) is an organization that is aimed primarily at children between the ages of 6 and 17. FSC has camps running throughout the year, the main ones lasting 13 nights during late July and August, with one week and weekend camps at Easter and during the spring and early summer.

Being a volunteer run organization, it relies on cultural/social bonds and enthusiasm from participants for support and staffing rather than monetary incentive. Many, though by no means all, volunteers have 'grown up' in the organisation.[1][2] FSC is designed to give children, including those who have never camped before experiences, life skills and social skills.

FSC is an English charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales in the United Kingdom, number 306006.[3]

Culture and history

FSC was originally formed in 1947 by a group of former students and teachers from a radical educational scheme called "Forest School" that started in 1930 in the New Forest. The school later moved to Whitwell Hall [4] in Norfolk, but the building was requisitioned at the start of World War II and the school had to close.

Forest School had connections with a diverse range of cultures such as the Woodcraft movements, Native Americans cultures and the Quakers. FSC has developed its own distinct culture with traditions and internal practices. Many of the traditions have developed out of physical necessity, such as Rally (a meeting of everyone on the Camp where they discuss what is going to happen through the day), Clan (a vertical age sub-group of the lodge that prepares the meals for the day) or the Arise song, though others sprang forth from cultural and aesthetic bases, such as Merrymoot, or the Camp Songs. The camp songs are sung round a big camp fire and are a great way to have fun and a bit of a laugh.

The end of a main standing camp is usually marked by two major events, Merrymoot and Lodge Common Council.

Merrymoot is an expanded camp fire session, where the whole camp gathers to entertain one another with sketches and improvisations as well as many of the traditional songs.

Lodge Common Council is a formal occasion, usually on the final night, where the entire camp gathers round a special fire. This is traditionally octagonal in shape, and may be some five feet high, though in practice the shape is more commonly rectangular. Before lighting the fire, a few coals from the previous year are added to the fire, which is then lit in front of the whole body of the camp.

Once the fire is burning, campers will review the camp and may suggest changes in activities or emphasis for the following year.


People on camp have traditionally been separated into the following groups, although some experimental camps have varied this arrangement:[5]

Pixies - Children who are too young to go alone and must be accompanied by a parent or relative
Elves - Children between the ages of 6 and a half and 8.
Woodlings - Children between the ages of 9 and 11.
Trailseekers - Children between the ages of 12 and 13.
Trackers - Children between the ages of 14 and 15.
Pathfinders - Children between the ages of 16 and 17.
Pixie parents- the parent or relative looking after a pixie
Waywardens - Adults who require special attention due to disabilities
Staff - Adults who care for the children and co-operatively run the whole camp. With the exception of camp chiefs (who are in overall charge of the entire camp) and caterers (responsible for food), staff are split into groups that look after the different age groups. In each group there is also a group chief.

Generally FSC age groups are based on school year rather than birthday. As most camps take place before September, this means it is possible to have campers whose ages do not exactly fit with the groupings listed above (e.g. 15-year-old Pathfinders).

From 2007, as a trial, the age groups have been amended slightly (to those given above), increasing the age range slightly in the lower groups, and reducing it for the pathfinders, to allow the camps to accommodate slightly more older children without distorting the number in each age group. As a high percentage of children who begin camping with FSC fall in love with camp and want to stay on until their final year, when they participate in a coming of age ceremony, when the pathfinder age group previously encompassed ages 15, 16 and 17, there were always more applications from pathfinders than spaces for them to fill. The change in age groups has compensated for this and now more children are able to continue camping into their final year.


Each camp has a different agenda and model, set by tradition and the Camp Chief. There are several different identifiable types:

Standing camps

These are set in regularly used locations, at sites generally used for many years, and where a relationship has been built up with the landowners. Sites may be on remote hill farms among mountainous country, or on land in lowland areas. Most camps are in this format and children need to attend at least 2 of these camps to experience FSC life before being able to try activity camps as below. A variety of standard and novel activities take place on these camps, and they can be exciting and challenging, but they are less demanding physically than some of the mobile and activity camps. They may have a theme or special interest depending on the interests of the camp leaders and staff.

Both basic and more advanced camping skills are learnt during Standing Camps, particularly during the first part of the camp. These skills are consolidated by the 'hike', during which each age group walks with its staff away from the site for two, three or four nights, taking just their essential camping gear with them. The distance travelled and the time away from the main camp depend on the age of the children in the group.

Mobile camps

These camps generally do not have a single fixed campsite. They move on most days and are based around walking in lowland or mountain environments, cycling, canoeing or other activities. Whilst most mobiles are based in the United Kingdom some are based abroad.

Semi-mobile camps

Semi-mobiles are essentially Mobiles, however may either have a site on which they spend a period of time before beginning the journey or have a fixed location (often known as a base camp) from which small trips are made most days.

Caving camps

These camps are usually based in a caving hut with day adventures out into local caves. These camps often include a day of overground exploration. Recent camps have taken place in parts of the UK such as the Mendips, Devon, Yorkshire and South Wales. Caving camps are often described by those who frequent them as part of the "real heart of FSC", with the same people attending them year after year, and strong friendships being built up.

Conservation and Skills camps

These are a special form of standing camps focused on a particular work project, usually an environmental project of some sort. These camps restricted to over 16s or over 18s depending on their nature and leaders.

Associate Camps

These are run and organised by FSC associates, usually parents of child campers, but can also include staff from children's camps. They are generally shorter weekend camps, and do not follow exactly the same structure as standard child camps, but are similar in ethos and are open to family groups, children are cared for by their own parents/guardians rather than staff.

FSC Glee

One part of FSC camps is the communal singing and sharing of traditional and contemporary songs. A campfire is often held in the evening where people are encouraged to sing. FSC song books are also printed every few years, these contain some of the more common songs sung on camps. A virtual version of these books is available at the FSC glee website. A few songs unique to FSC such as the Poll Tax song have been written by members and remain part of the oral tradition.

Primary sources

The historical records of the Forest School Camps are held in the Archives of the community Institute of Education, University of London and a full catalogue can be found on-line.


1. "Carry on camping". The Guardian. 18 August 1999. Archived from the original on May 7, 2014.
2. Alison Chown (21 June 2014). "Play Therapy in the Outdoors". Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 9780857008053.
3. ... ryNumber=0
5. "Confessions of a teenage camp follower". The Independent. 24 August 1999. Archived from the original on May 14, 2009.

External links

• Forest School Camps website
• FSC in the news
• Forest School Camps collection at the Institute of Education Archives.
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