1. His full name is Robert Stephenson Smythe Baden-Powell. As a child he was known by ‘Stephe Powell’, during his time in the army he went by R.S.S. Baden Powell, and later in his life was happy to known simply as ‘B.P.’
2. He joined the British Army at age nineteen after flunking the entrance exam to Oxford University.
3. In 1897, R.S.S. Baden-Powell was promoted to the rank of Colonel, the youngest Colonel in the Army at the time (age 40).
4. Baden-Powell first became famous as a military leader when commanding a garrison at the town of Mafeking, where he successfully defended against a siege lasting 217 days. For his efforts he was promoted to Major-General.
5. The Scout uniform designed by BP was based on the uniform worn by the Mafeking Cadet Corps, a group of boys who assisted in the Siege of Mafeking by running messages and standing guard.
6. Baden-Powell wrote his first book, ‘Aids to Scouting’, to be used by military units. He was surprised when he found that groups of boys in England were using it as a guide to outdoor adventures.
7. Baden-Powell’s rewrite of his military manual was called ‘Aids to Scouting’ and was aimed at youth. Aids to Scouting was originally published in six installments in 1908 and has since become the 4th best-selling book of the 20th century.
8. Baden-Powell did not originally intend to form the Scouting movement. Aids to Scouting was meant to be used by existing youth groups such as the Boys Brigade.
9. In 1910 Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell decided to retire from the British Army, allegedly on the advice of King Edward VII that he could better serve his country by promoting Scouting.
10. BP’s sister Agnes Baden-Powell formed the Girl Guide movement in 1910. Later, BP’s wife Olave Baden-Powell would also be active in promoting Girl Guiding.
11. BP caused somewhat of a stir in 1912 when he married 23 year-old Olave St. Clair Soames. He was 55 years old.
12. On the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Baden-Powell put himself at the disposal of the War Office. No command was given to him, and British Minister of War, 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.”
13. During World War One, it was widely rumored that Baden-Powell was engaged in spying (which was not the case), but to scare Britain’s enemies, intelligence officers took great care to spread the myth.
14. In 1929 Robert-Baden-Powell was en-nobled as a peer and given the title First Baron of Gilwell. His peerage was hereditary, meaning that his descendants would continue to carry the title.
15. BP is buried in Kenya, a country he loved. His gravestone bears a circle with a dot in the center, the trail marker meaning, “I have gone home”. BP’s grave is a national monument in Kenya.
Wonderful to know BP’s life story, me being a Leader Trainer of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines
Glad you appreciated learning about his life story! How long have you been a Leader Trainer in the Philippines?
– Scout Revolution