Robert Baden-Powell,
Founder of the World Scout Movement,
Chief Scout of the World


The portrait of Baden-Powell at the top of this page is from the 1929 painting by David Jagger. It was presented to B-P on August 6, 1929 at the III World Jamboree at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead, England. This was known as the "Coming of Age Jamboree" as it marked the 21st anniversary of Scouting. The portrait was Baden-Powell's favorite. The original is at Baden-Powell House in London and a copy is displayed in the conference room at World Headquarters (WOSM) in Geneva, Switzerland.


Links Relating to Baden-Powell

The Baden-Powell Library. A Selection of excerpts from the works of Lord Baden-Powell and works relating to his life and career.
A Baden-Powell Photo Gallery. A collection of photographs of Baden-Powell with highlights from his "two lives" as a career officer in the British Army and as Founder of the Scout Movement. Text Only Index
link-paintings.jpg (3370 bytes) Paintings by Baden-Powell. B-P was an accomplished artist and most of his published works are illustrated with his own drawings and in some case, color plates from his paintings. His notebooks, diaries, journals and letters are reported to be filled with pen and ink drawings, and both pencil and water-color sketches. Here is a small collection of illustrations of his water-color paintings from illustrations in a variety of sources.
Honors and Decorations: Sir Robert Baden-Powell, O.M., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., K.C.B., Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell. B-P's military and civilian honors included several Knighthoods, a Peerage, recognition for service to the Sovereign, his country and his fellow man.
  In Memoriam: Transcriptions of the Orders of Service at Westminster Abbey for the Memorial Service held on January 27, 1941 marking the passing of Lord  Baden-Powell in Nyeri, Kenya on January 8th, and of the Dedication Service held on St. George's Day, 1947 in honor of the installation of a stone in memory of Lord Baden-Powell at the entrance to St. George's Chapel. Based on research in the Library of Westminster Abbey, London. With the permission of the Librarian and the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey.
  Baden-Powell Family History. A series of links based on the research of Robin Baden Clay, a grandson of Baden-Powell. They are focused on the genealogy of the Powell family. The author is extremely grateful to Mr. Clay for sharing the results of his labors with the Scouting community. Links are provided to pages for three of B-P's brothers: Baden, Warington and Sir George Baden-Powell as well as to the genealogy of the Smyth and Warington families.
"B.-P." from Great Contemporaries by Sir Winston S. Churchill. Perhaps one of the finest portraits of the significance of the life and work of Sir Robert Baden-Powell.
  "Robert Baden-Powell as an Educational Innovator" presents insights into B-P's contributions to informal education and experiential learning. The article, from the InFed archives describes B-P as "Famous for his contribution to the development of Scouting, Baden-Powell was also able to make a number of educational innovations. His interest in adventure, association and leadership still repay attention today."
In 1919, when the first Scoutmasters' Course at Gilwell drew to an end, Baden-Powell presented each participant with a simple wooden bead from a Zulu chief's necklace he had brought back from Africa. In future years, these beads were to give the course its name. The Wood Badge Home Page highlights the program in the Boy Scouts of America.
What does the horn of an African antelope have to do with Scout training? The Kudu Horn and Scouting explains a Scouting Tradition from an African War.
Published at the end of the first year of the war, H. W. Wilson's With the Flag to Pretoria  devotes portions of three chapters to the Siege and Relief of Mafeking. "Illustrated mainly from photographs and authentic sketches taken in South Africa," it includes several rare photos of Baden-Powell.
"This small place, which sprang in the course of a few weeks from obscurity to fame ..." opens Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's retelling of The Siege of Mafeking.  Author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Conan Doyle provides an excellent contemporary account of the siege in his history, The Great Boer War. 
  The Canadian War Museum provides insight into Baden-Powell's choice of the Stetson Hat as part of the original Scout uniform. The Museum also presents a perspective on the Canadian role in the Relief of Mafeking and the organization by B-P of the South African Constabulary.
Eileen K. Wade, The Piper of Pax: The Life Story of Sir Robert Baden-Powell. B-P's Confidential Secretary and administrative assistant wrote this biographical account in 1924. It provides many selections from B-P's diaries. Chapters 7-9 recount B-P's service in Swaziland, Malta, Ashanti and Matabeleland. Chapters 10-12 cover the period of B-P's service in South Africa during the South African War.
"Enterprise" by Hilary Saint George Saunders. This short biography of B-P is much the idealized version of his life. Written shortly after World War Two, this chapter on B-P provides a good capsule biography and introduction to his "Two Lives." Excerpted from Hilary Saint George Saunders, The Left Handshake, 1948.
"Be Prepared," an interview with Baden-Powell describing the beginnings of Scouting, from an article published in The Listener in 1937.
  In 1914, B-P wrote an article for The Strand Magazine titled, "The Most Impressive Sight I Ever Saw." It described the Royal Rally of Boys Scouts at Windsor in 1911, when 30,000 Scouts were reviewed by King George V. While he described this event in several of his own works, this is a particularly poignant and  colorful version.
link-calgaric2.jpg (3012 bytes) The Cruise of the Calgaric, relates the story of a 1933 cruise to the nations of the Baltic by Lord and Lady Baden-Powell and a contingent of 650 Guides and Scouts. This "Argosy of Peace" carried them from England to the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and home. Words and photos from the cruise provide a rare picture of Scouting in these countries prior to the Second World War.
  Mark K. Smith provides a portrait of "Robert Baden-Powell as an educational innovator" in The Encyclopedia of Informal Education. Smith states: "Famous for his contribution to the development of Scouting, Baden-Powell was also able to make a number of educational innovations. His interest in adventure, association and leadership still repay attention today."
"Lord Baden-Powell: Benefactor of Boyhood," an article on B-P and Freemasonry
link-1917-olave.jpg (2054 bytes) Olave Baden-Powell, The World Chief Guide. In 1912, young Olave St Claire Soames married Robert Baden-Powell. Her boundless energy led to her being called "The Mother of Millions". Her unflagging support of BP helped Scouting to grow even faster, and her own vision saw Guiding become the largest organisation for girls and women ever seen.
Major Frederick Russell Burnham, D.S.O. Like B-P, Burnham was military scout. After serving together in Matableleland in 1896, he became a lifelong friend and admirer of Baden-Powell. In his book Taking Chances, 1944, he describes that first meeting when he and B-P scouted in the Matopo Hills. He also describes a little known and interesting historical event, the dedication of Mount Baden-Powell in the Sierras in 1931.
On July 4th, 1911, 30,00 Scouts assembled in Windsor Great Park for a rally and a review by King George V. Baden-Powell referred to this event as "was one of the most thrilling moments of my life." B-P describes the scene in his book Adventures and Accidents, 1915.
In 1876, Baden-Powell was posted to his first regiment, The 13th Hussars, a cavalry regiment with a long tradition. They were perhaps best known for their part in the Charge of the Light Brigade before the guns at Balaclava in the Crimean War. The regiment continues today as part of The Light Dragoons, an armored regiment of the British Army that saw service in Desert Storm. The Regiment also maintains a Regimental history and Enquiry pages.
Baden-Powell's painting "South Africa, August 21st, 1900." When C. R. B. Barrett was writing the History of the XIII Hussars, he looked to one of the most distinguished veterans and serving officers of the 13th Hussars, Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Baden-Powell. The two volume set has several color plates, some done exclusively for this history. Volume II is introduced with Baden-Powell's painting "South Africa, August 21st, 1900." It depicts a member of the 13th Hussars offering a "hand up" to a dismounted Hussar during an engagement near the Buffalo River. The regimental history reported the events of the day.
B-P's first Commanding Officer, Sir Baker Creed Russell, 13th Hussars.
bp-colonel-of-13th.jpg (2483 bytes) An noteworthy portrait of Baden-Powell as Colonel of the 13th Hussars compliments this web site devoted to with interesting and rare details of several regiments of the Army of the British Empire. Biographies of the Colonels of the 13th Hussars and regimental history are included.
Chief Dinizulu of the Usutu. Russell Freeman's Scouting with Baden-Powell provides an easy to read and enjoyable account of B-P's two lives -- as a serving officer in the British Army, and as the Founder of the World Scout Movement. His chapter on B-P in South Africa in the 1880's gives a good second-hand account of B-P's service there. It includes a description of his pursuit of Dinizulu during the Zulu civil war of 1883-1884.
On March 25, 1897, Baden-Powell was appointed to command the 5th Dragoon Guards. He served with the Regiment in India until June 1899.
Lessons from the Varsity of Life is Baden-Powell's most complete autobiographical account. Here he presents interesting and enjoyable stories of his "two lives" in Soldiering and in Scouting.
A Baden-Powell Bibliography. Laszlo Nagy, who was the Chief Executive of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), developed this detailed bibliography for his book 250 Million Scouts published in 1985.
"My House in the Woods, 1911" From a water-color painting by Sir Robert Baden-Powell.
E. E. Reynolds, B-P: The Story of His Life, is a major source of biographical information about B-P. It is one of several works by E. E. Reynolds documenting the life of the Chief Scout and the early days of the Scout Movement.
Around the World with Baden-Powell: Words. Pictures and Links. A collection of links derived from my travels about the World Wide Web and specific searches using the Alta-Vista, Lycos, Web Crawler, and InfoSeek Search Engines. They represent a work-in-progress and are by no means complete.
What Scouts Can Do: More Yarns for Scouts is one of several books of "yarns" -- stories about subjects he thought would be of interest to Scouts. It was first published in 1921 and reprinted a number of times. It was one of B-P's more popular books. Here are some yarns from Chapter VII. He talks about the techniques of stalking, the Scout's staff, and the "Thanks Badge," surprisingly in the form of a swastika.
Baden-Powell traveled widely. He enjoyed the open road and had a keen sense of adventure. In his book, What Scouts Can Do: More Yarns, he says "I want every Scout to be happy, and one of the best ways I know of being happy is to go for a good bike ride. In Biking in Bosnia he provides a fascinating picture of this war-torn land before the two World Wars.
Sources for B-P Biography & Bibliography from Randy Wooster's Scouting History and Traditions
Robert Baden-Powell, el Fundador del Moviemento Scout Mondial, Jefe Scout del Mundo (en EspaŮol)
  Robert Baden-Powell, Fundador do Movimento Escutista Mundial, Escuteiro-Chefe Mundial (em PortuguÍs)

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Last Modified: 7:24 AM on January 31, 2011