"A Sunset Impression, Kashmir"
Robert Baden-Powell


PERHAPS the only redeeming point about these "Memories" is that they are largely extracted from diaries and letters which were not written with the idea of anyone ever seeing them except my mother. To some extent they tell directly against me, since they show me to have been just the ordinary silly young ass who enjoyed senseless ragging, was fond of dogs and horses, and thought very little as he went through the ordinary every-day experiences of a subaltern in India. There is nothing very romantic or very exciting about them, and there is much that is silly, but at the same time such things have, I think, seldom been set down in writing just as they occurred to one at the time. They may at any rate serve to remind other old officers besides myself that they themselves once felt and did as subalterns now think and do. As we get into our crabbed old age, we are apt to forget that we were once youngsters, as I had almost forgotten that I once enjoyed having "all my face except a small patch on the left side scraped bare in a glorious rough and tumble."

With very few exceptions the illustrations are reproductions of sketches which I sent home to show what India was like, and they have the virtue of being done on the spot.

These Reminiscences were in print in July 1914, but their publication was deferred owing to the outbreak of war. The results of the campaign to date in no way modify the opinions therein expressed on the character and training of the British officer and soldier of to-day.

East Sussex.

From: Baden-Powell, Memories of India, 1915.

From Chapter III. The Sport of Kings and the King of Sports. B-P tells an amusing story of Young Winston Churchill, his devotion to the sport of polo, and early evidence of his talent for public speaking.
Chapter VIII. When the Tribes are Out. The Afghan War—The Great March—Ordered up to Kandahar—A Warlike Atmosphere—The Expedition of 1842—The Camel and His Ways—Kandahar—A Dangerous City—Theatricals Under Difficulties—A Serious Mistake—Afghan Nerve—Attacked by Ghazis —The Crack of Doom—The Field of Maiwand—A Broken Square—A Heroic Chaplain—A Narrow Escape
Chapter IX. The Aftermath of War. The Image of War—Patrols and Picnics A Curious Superstition—Jock Fights a Wild Cat—Afghan Depredations—Relics of Alexander the Great—Camp Rumours —Abdurrahman Waits—The Horses Stampede—A Subaltern’s Opinion of the Government—A Study in Contrasts—Rifle Stealing—An Ingenious Plan—Further Losses—I Shoot Myself—I Hear my Death Announced —Digging for the Bullet—Convalescence—Stalked by a Leopard—A Rough and Tumble
Chapter XI. Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright. A Possible Interrogation—I Go in Pursuit of Tigers— Smith-Dorrien at Work—The Party Meets—The Old Hands—A Native Weakness—How to Beat for Tigers— A Dead Enemy—A Native Village—Nearly a Fatality— Camp Literature—I Become Doctor—I Get a Bear— Camp Life—A Tiger’s Wings—The Mahout—The Tables Turned—Table Delicacies—Jungle Yachts— The End of the Ghost
Chapter XII. A Frontier Row. The Value of the North-West Frontier—Village Warfare —Readiness and Efficiency—How an Irishman Got a Dog and a Breakfast for Nothing—Trouble in the Buner Country—The Subaltern in War-time—The Pessimistic Afridi—A Terrified Jehu—Sniping—The Morning of the Fight—Sir Bindon’s Dispositions—The Artillery Triumphs—Touching the Button—Rock-rolling—An Exciting Race—The Bravest Man I Ever Saw—The Enemy in Retreat—An Exhausting Climb—The Tribute of a Foe—The Trophies of War—Our Casualties
Chapter XIV. The Elephant as Gentleman. Sentiment About the Elephant—His Mathematical Mind—"Dandelion’s" Idiosyncrasies—Her Courage in the Face of an Enemy—The Elephant Who Died—A Problem in Sanitation—The Jungle Ship—Sea Legs— The Genius of the Elephant—His Timidity—Jock’s Victory—The Duchess of Connaught’s Adventure— The Elephant’s Caution—He Utilises Human Material— A Malefactor Flogged by Elephants—The Elephant in War—An Elephant Fight

"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.
The Baden-Powell Library
A Selection of excerpts from the works of Sir Robert Baden-Powell and works relating to his life and career.
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Last Modified: 2:50 PM on August 9, 1997