Ladder of Life"
A Chronology from Eileen K. Wade, Baden-Powell, 1944.
1857. Born at 6 Stanhope Street, London, West
1869. Won scholarship for Fettes from Rose Hill, Tunbridge Wells. Also obtained a nomination for Charterhouse, so in either case a free education was assured.
1870. Went to Charterhouse as Gownboy Foundationer.
1873. Moved with school from London to new Charterhouse at Godalming.
1876. VI. Form. In Football and Rifle Team for two years. Left Charterhouse for Oxford (unattached). Passed Army Exam. 2nd for Cavalry, 4th for Infantry. Direct Commission (without Sandhurst) to 13th Hussars. Joined the Regiment at Lucknow as sub-lieutenant.
1877. Garrison Course of eight months at Lucknow for lieutenant.
1878. Passed 1st Class with "extra " Certificate for reconnaissance. (Thus gained between two and three years’ seniority over men who passed the same entrance exam. in 1876, who had to go to Sandhurst.)
1879. Home on sick-leave. Went through Musketry Instruction course at Hythe. Passed 1st Class with "extra" Certificate.
1880. Rejoined 13th Hussars in India and accompanied the Regiment to Afghanistan (Kandahar) with General Phayre’s force, Colonel (Sir) Baker Russell commanding the 13th Hussars. Employed making maps of the Battlefield of Maiwand for use a the court-martial on officers concerned in the defeat there.
1881. Regiment moved to Quetta. Shot himself in leg en route during night raid at the Kojak Pass.
1882. Regiment marched through North India, nine hundred miles, to Muttra. Appointed Musketry Instructor to Regiment.
1883. At Muttra. Won Kadir Cup—Pig-sticking Challenge Cup. Temporarily attached to staff of Duke of Connaught at Meerut. Appointed Adjutant. Promoted Captain.
1884. Regiment moved from Muttra to Natal to assist if necessary in co-operation with Sir Charles Warren’s expedition in Bechuanaland. Carried out secret reconnaissance of Natal frontier of six hundred miles. Went on big-game shooting expedition in Portuguese East Africa at Inhambane.
1885. Regiment returned home to Norwich. Moved to Colchester. Resigned Adjutancy.
1886. Regiment moved to Manchester, B-P.’s squadron to Liverpool (Seaforth). Wrote Cavalry Instruction. Attended Russian army maneuvers.
1887. Appointed A.D.C. to G.O.C. South Africa, General H. A. Smyth.
1888. Campaign in Zululand against Dinizulu. Acted as Military Secretary and as Intelligence Officer to Flying Column. Confirmed as Military Secretary. Promoted Brevet-Major.
1889. Home on sick-leave. Returned to South Africa and appointed Secretary to Commission to Swaziland under Sir F. de Winton, jointly with Boer Commission. Sir H. A. Smyth appointed Acting Governor Cape Colony, B.P. became automatically Acting Military Secretary to Governor. Published Pig-sticking or Hog-hunting.
1890. Transferred to Malta with Sir H. A. Smyth (Governor of Malta) as Military Secretary. Published Vedette and Reconnaissance and Scouting.
1891. Appointed Intelligence Officer for Mediterranean —as such visited surrounding countries—Italy, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Tunis, Algeria, etc.
1892. Visited Bosnia and Herzgovina, also Austrian and Italian maneuvers. Visited Montenegro.
1893. Resigned Military Secretary, Malta. Visited Tunisia and Algeria. Rejoined 13th Hussars in Ireland—Cork and Ballincollig. Maneuvers at Curragh.
1894. Regiment at Dundalk. Maneuvers at Churn, Berks. Brigade-Major to General French, Douglas Haig being his A.D.C.
1895. Commanded Squadron at Belfast. Ashanti Expedition, West Africa. Raised and commanded native levy to Kumassi. Brevet-Lieutenant-Colonel and Medal.
1896. Matabele Expedition, South Africa. Appointed Chief Staff Officer to G.O.C., Sir F. Carrington. Carried out scouting in Matopo Hills. Commanded Column clearing country on Shangani, Belingine, etc., seven hundred miles. Moved to Mashonaland. Published The Downfall of Prempeh.
1897. End of Matabele campaign. Brevet-Colonel and Medal. Returned home with Cecil Rhodes. Rejoined 13th Hussars in Dublin as Squadron Commander. Appointed to command 5th Dragoon Guards in India and joined them at Meerut. Published The Matabele Campaign.
1898. Commanded Brigade of Cavalry for maneuvers. Visited troops at the front attacking Tochi Pass under General Bindon Blood. Tiger-shooting trip to Nepal. Visited Kashmir on leave.
1899. Moved 5th Dragoon Guards to Sialkot. Instituted changes in barracks for comfort of men. Home on leave. Ordered by Lord Wolseley on special service to South Africa to raise North-West Frontier Police. Boer War October 11. Defence of Mafeking. Published Aids to Scouting.
1900. Mafeking relieved—May 17. Promoted Major-General by Queen Victoria. Commanded Column against Boers in Transvaal—with Plumer second in command—May to October. Raised and organized South African Constabulary, 11,000 strong. Published Sport in War.
1901. Home for three months’ sick-leave. Visited King Edward at Balmoral. Received C.B. and Queen’s and King’s South African War Medals (2).
1902. Boer War ended. S.A.C. took over policing whole country, Transvaal and Orange Free State. Much travelling, including some long rides, inspecting the different posts. Conducted Joseph Chamberlain through Transvaal.
1903. Appointed Inspector-General Cavalry. Farewell Parades of S.A.C. Returned home to take up appointment. Visited German Cavalry School, Hanover. Visited America—battlefields—West Point—Cavalry Regiments. Also Canada. Visited Cavalry Schools at Saumur and Vienna. Spent Christmas at Mentone.
1904. Attended French Cavalry Maneuvers, Bar-leDuc. Started Cavalry School, Netheravon.
1905. Visited Cavalry Schools in Italy, Tor di Quinto and Pinerolo. Started the Cavalry Journal.
1906. Went to South Africa with Duke of Connaught; I.-G. Forces Inspected Cavalry South Africa. Visited Victoria Falls—also East Africa—also Egypt. Visited Belgian Cavalry, Brussels.
1907. Visited Egypt and Sudan inspecting Cavalry. Completed term of offlce as I.-G. Cavalry: Published Sketches in Mafeking and East Africa. Exhibited 126 drawings at Bruton Gallery and bust of John Smith at Royal Academy. Visited Holland. Trial camp of Boy Scouts at Brownsea Island, Dorset. Promoted Lieutenant-General.
1908. Published Scouting for Boys. Appointed to command Northumbrian Territorial Division. Started The Scout newspaper for boys. Organized Boy Scouts throughout the Empire.
1909. Visited Brazil, Argentine, Chile. Published Scouting Games. Rally of Boy Scouts at Crystal Palace (11,000) and Scottish Boy Scouts at Glasgow (6,000). Created K.C.V.O. and K.C.B. Knighted at Balmoral by King Edward VII.
1910. Resigned Territorial Division, March 31. Retired from Army on to Reserve, May 7, with Reward for Good Service. Visited Canada and U.S.A. to organize Scouts. Order of Merit, Chile. Received LL.D. Edinburgh University. Visited Paris, St. Petersburg, and Moscow (received by Czar) to organize Scouts. Published Yarns for Boy Scouts.
1911. Appointed Colonel 13th Hussars, November 26. Visited Norway and Sweden for sport and Scouting. Interviews with King and Crown Prince of Sweden. Attended Coronation of George V. Received Coronation Medal. Windsor Rally, July 4.
1912. Visited Panama, West Indies, U.S.A., Japan, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand. Gave 4I addresses to public on Scouting, 63 speeches, 69 Scout addresses, to total of 70,Z80 people. Visited Norway. Knight of St. John of Jerusalem. Published Scouts Overseas. Met and married Olave St. Clair Soames. Obtained Royal Charter for Boy Scouts.
1913. With Lady B-P visited Algeria, Malta, Naples etc. Master of Mercers’ Company. Inspected big Scout Rally at Birmingham, first attended by foreign Scouts. Freedom of City of Kingston. Son (Arthur Robert Peter) born October 30.
1914. Raised Boy Scout Endowment Fund (£I00,000). London Boy Scouts inspected by Queen Alexandra on Horse Guards Parade. Great War. Mobilized Scouts to form guards for railways, etc., and take over Coastguard work. Mother died October 13. Published Quick Training for War.
1915. Inspected Boy Scouts on Coast-watching Duty. Visited the Armies in France as guest of Sir John French, British C.-in-C. Published Indian Memories—also My Adventures as a Spy. Addressed six meetings, Liverpool, on behalf of Y.M.C.A. Daughter (Heather Grace) born June 1.
1916. Visits to British Armies in France. Girl Guide Conference, Matlock. Lady B-P elected Chief Commissioner of Girl Guides. Inauguration of Wolf Cub movement. Published Young Knights of the Empire, also The Wolf Cubs Handbook and Wolf Cub newspaper.
1917. Conference of Scout Commissioners at Matlock. Published Girl Guiding. Daughter (Betty St. Clair) born April 16.
1918. Boy Scout Conferences, Bournemouth, Edinburgh Glasgow, Newcastle, and London. Established Flax-gathering Camps for Boy Scouts. Queen Alexandra reviewed Girl Guides. Member of War Museum Committee. Visited front in France Visited Scouts in Spain and Portugal. Armistice; November 11. Bought Pax Hill, Bentley, Hants.
1919. With Lady B-P to Canada and U.S.A. to develop Scouts and Girl Guides. Started Scoutmasters’ Training School at Gilwell Park. Order of Alfonso XII. of Spain. Published Aids to Scoutmastership.
1920. International Jamboree of Boy Scouts, Olympia, London, attended by representatives from all countries. Elected Chief Scout of the World. International Scout Bureau started in London. Orders—Redeemer of Greece and Christ of Portugal. Obtained Charter for Girl Guides’ Association.
1921. With Lady B-P to India at invitation of Viceroy (Lord Chelmsford) to organize Scout and Guide movement. Also visited Scouts and Guides in Burma, Ceylon, Palestine, Egypt. Visited France to see American Camp for Boy Scouts in the devastated area. Created Baronet. Published What Scouts Can Do and Old Wolf’s Favourites.
1922. Visited Belgium. Saw Scouts, Cardinal Mercier, and King Albert. Published Rovering to Success. Posse of Welcome to Prince of Wales by 60,000 Scouts at Alexandra Palace. Received Legion of Honour (Commander). Addressed International Scout Conference, Paris, and International Education Conference, Geneva.
1923. Awarded G.C.V.O. With Lady B-P visited Canada for International Education Conference. Addressed meetings and saw Scouts and Guides at many main centres. LL.D. Toronto and McGill Universities. Returned via U.S.A. President Old Carthusian Club. D.C.L. Oxford.
1924. Empire Jamboree at Wembley Exhibition, where the Prince of Wales camped with the Scouts. International Jamboree at Copenhagen. First World Camp of Girl Guides at Foxlease. Published new edition of Pigsticking.
1925. Opening of International Scout Chalet at Kandersteg in the Swiss Alps. President of the Federation of Rambling Clubs. Grand Cross of Order of Dannebrog, Denmark.
1926. With Lady B-P visited America as guests of the Boy Scouts of America. First Rover Scout "Moot" at Albert Hall, London. With Lady B-P and children visited South Africa; spent seven months there; travelled 8,489 miles inspecting Scouts and Guides and promoting the Movement. International Scout Conference, Kandersteg. International Sea Scout Regatta, Antwerp.
1927. Returned from South Africa. Awarded G.C.M.G. International Jamboree in Sweden. Published Life’s Snags.
1928. Visited Hungary for International Conference of Girl Guides. Inspected Scouts at Budapest, etc. Received survivors of original Brownsea Scout-Camp (1907) to lunch at Pax Hill. Visited Scouts in Wales and Irish Free State. Polish Order of Polania Restituta. Freedom of Guildford.
1929. With Lady B-P visited British, French, Spanish, and Portuguese Scouts and Guides in the course of a cruise in the Duchess of Richmond. Published Scouting and Youth Movements. Visited France and Belgium. Received Freedom of Poole and of Blandford. Jamboree to mark 21st Anniversary of Scout Movement at Arrowe Park Birkenhead, attended by 56,000 Scouts from 54 countries. Received from Scouts of the World a motor car, caravan trailer, portrait by David Jagger, and cheque. Order of Phoenix of Greece, Order of White Lion of Czechoslovakia, Order of Merit of Hungary. Created Baron with title "Baden-Powell of Gilwell." Granted Freedom of City of London in a gold casket.
1930. With Lady B-P visited West Indies and Bermuda and home via New York, joint Banquet from Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. Granted Freedom of Canterbury.
1931. With Lady B-P visited Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, addressing meetings and inspecting Scouts and Guides. Attended International Scouters’ Conference at Baden bei Wien, Austria. Awarded Order of Merit of Austria by President Miklas. LL.D. of Cambridge University. Lady B-P elected Chief Guide of the World.
1932. With Lady B-P attended opening of International Girl Guide Chalet at Adelboden, Switzerland. Visited Swiss Scouts’ Camp—also that of Dutch Scouts at the Hague. Awarded Order of Orange of Nassau of Holland. Awarded Grand Cross of Gedimanas (Lithuania). Lady B-P created Dame Grand Cross of Order of the British Empire.
1933. With Lady B-P visited Scouts and Guides in Malta and Gibraltar. Also visited Italy; had interview with Mussolini and audience of the Pope. Saw the Balilla and their Training Schools, etc. International Jamboree at Godollo, Hungary. Awarded Grand Cross of Order of Sword of Sweden. Awarded Grand Cross of Order of Three Stars of Latvia. Awarded Red Cross of Estonia. Visited (with 650 Scouters and Guiders) Scouts and Guides of Holland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, and Norway in S.S. Calgaric. Published Lessons from the Varsity of Life. Received Freedom of Pontefract.
1934. Laid up for five months after serious internal operation. Visited (with 670 Scouters and Guiders) Scouts and Guides in Malta, Gibraltar, Nice Algiers, Lisbon, in the S.S. Adriatic. With Lady B-P attended Jamboree at Frankston, Melbourne, Australia, visiting en route Scouts and Guides of Ceylon, Malaya, Java, Port Darwin, Thursday Island. Published Adventures and Accidents.
1935. Visited New Zealand, South Sea Islands, Canada, Newfoundland, and the United States, inspecting Scouts and Guides. Visited the President of the U.S. at White House, returning home in SS Majestic. Son (Peter) married to Carine Boardman. Attended World Rover Moot in Sweden. Left for Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Rhodesia. Scout Jamboree at East London, S. Africa. Published Scouting Round the World. Received George V Jubilee Medal (Lady B-P also).
1936. Revisited Mafeking with Lady B-P and family. Returned to England via St. Helena and Ascension Island. Attended Commissioners’ Conference at Norwich. Scout and Guide Dinner of Welcome, London. Daughter (Betty) married at Bentley (September 24) to Gervas Clay. Awarded Grand Cordon of Legion of Honour (France). Visited Scouts and Guides of France (Paris). Published Adventuring to Manhood.
1937. Sailed (January) for India. Scout Jamboree at Delhi. Spent 80th birthday with 13th/18th Hussars, last mounted ceremonial parade of Regiment. Saw Kadir Cup Competition. Returned to England. Inspected Scouts on duty at Coronation (Coronation Medal George VI.; also conferred on Lady B-P). Inspection of Scouts by King and Queen at Windsor. Awarded Order of Merit. Visited Holland for International Jamboree at Bloemendaal and International Conference at the Hague. Awarded Wateler Peace Prize. Silver Wedding Anniversary Dinner, London. Published African Adventures. Sailed for Kenya.
1938. Returned to England. Visited (with 470 Scouters and Guiders) Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium in S.S. Orduna. Built Paxtu at Nyeri, Kenya. Published Birds and Beasts in Africa. Returned to Kenya.
1939. Remained in Kenya. Family Reunion of children and grandchildren at Paxtu, Nyeri. Published Paddle Your Own Canoe. Exhibited sketches at Officers’ Art Society, London, and Kenya Art Exhibition, Nairobi.
1940. Published More Sketches of Kenya. Began Snaps and Scraps. Daughter (Heather) married John King (June 16) at Bentley.
1941. "Gone Home," January 8. Military Funeral, Nyeri. Memorial Service Westminster Abbey, January 27. Memorial services throughout world during January.
© Lewis P. Orans, 1997