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Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 03 a – Robert Baden-Powell
Michael A’Bear tells us about the life of Robert Baden-Powell. We learn that he was born in Paddington in 1857. His father taught geometry at Oxford. Robert was the fifth of the six children borne by his mother. His mother was the daughter of an Admiral and the niece of a General.
Baden-Powell didn’t excel in lessons at school. He enjoyed stalking and tracking in the woods next to Charterhouse. He caught and cooked rabbits, making sure that no-one saw the fire-smoke. His school holidays were adventure holidays.
He joined the army in 1876. He was first stationed in India. The moved to Natal in the 1880s. He rapidly rose through the ranks. In 1897 he was the youngest Colonel in the army.
We learn about the siege of Mafeking in the Boer War. Baden-Powell became a national hero after Mafeking. He became a General and returned to England in 1903. His book ‘Aids to Scouting’ was a best seller.
He held an experimental camp on Brownsea Island in August 1907. He published ‘Scouting for Boys’ in six installments in 1908. In 1920 he asked his sister to start the Girl Guides.
Robert Baden-Powell lived with his wife at Pax Hill in Bentley for 20 years. They had a son and two daughters. In 1939 Robert and his wife moved to Kenya. He died there in January 1941, shortly before his 85th Birthday.
There are over 50 million ‘Scouts’ worldwide today.
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© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A World History Group 2020