Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell

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Lord Baden Powell (Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell) is the founder of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide organisations. But few know he was also a successful military leader, author, and artist. During his 34 years of military service, he won several conflicts and was praised for his bravery and inventive military tactics. Erected artificial minefields to mislead the Boers during Mafeking’s Siege On his orders, his soldiers moved from trench to trench pretending to dodge genuine barbed wires. These tactics let him hold out until reinforcements came. When he returned to England, King Edward VII made him a Companion of the Bath. King George V made him the 1st Baron Baden Powel. Baden Powel authored many training manuals while serving, which subsequently helped him start the Scout and Girl Guide movements. The movement now has 38 million members in 216 countries.

Early Childhood of Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell

Robert Stephenson Smyth Powel was born in Paddington, London, on February 22, 1857. He was nicknamed Stephe after his famous railway engineer godfather Robert Stephenson.
Baden Powel, his father, was a famous mathematician, priest, and theologian. Ses parents were Baden Powel’s third and fourth wives. Robert was the eighth child of ten. Baden Powel had four kids from a second marriage.

Stephe was three when Baden Powel died. Henrietta altered his children’s surnames to Baden Powel to separate them from their step siblings and ensure they inherited his legacy. Stephe became Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden Powel.
Stephe was a sensitive child who loved dolls. His mother took him for long walks, showing him the plants and animals. That is why he was raised in nature.

Stephe attended Dame’s School in Kensington. A student at Rose Hill School in Tunbridge Well, Kent. He graduated from Charterhouse School in Surrey two years later. He also snuck into the surrounding woodland, avoiding his professors’ gaze.
He was denied entry to Balliol College after leaving school. So he opted to take the open-to-all Army Commission exam. He wrestled second in cavalry and fourth in infantry. He chose cavalry.

A Career of Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell

The 13th Hussar’s Baden Powel joined on December 6, 1876. And then it went to India. He worked hard and became a captain after six years. During his time in India, he did not experience any big conflicts.

This was in 1884. Baden Powel was sent to Germany, Austria, and Russia to gather intelligence and learn about their military developments. During this time he also wrote ‘Reconnaissance and Scouting’.
His maternal uncle General Henry Smyth became Governor and Commander in Chief of South Africa in 1887. Baden Powel was assigned to him. He was here on non-combat duties with the Zulus. He was soon a Brevet Major and named in Dispatches.

Baden Powel served as General Smyth’s Military Secretary and Aide-de-camp for three years. During this time, he also worked for the Director of Military Intelligence.
He allegedly went around pretending to be a butterfly catcher. He then used the data to create sketches of the butterflies he was supposed to catch. Powel resigned because the job was noncombatant. He returned to his regiment.

He was sent to Matabeleland as General Carrington’s Chief of Staff in 1896. He got to lead reconnaissance operations into enemy territory. His experiences were later published in ‘The Matabele Campaign’.
During this campaign he met legendary American scout Frederick Russell Burnham. Burnham taught Baden Powel woodworking. Baden Powel drew on similar experiences later in creating the Boy Scouts.

But his campaign had not been all roses. A military inquiry absolved him of illegally killing Matabele chief Uwini. He was also accused of allowing native soldiers to slaughter enemies, but no evidence was discovered against him.
Baden Powel led his troops in the Gold Coast’s Fourth Ashanti War in 1897. He was only 29. Pemphre, Ashanti’s King, had broken a treaty. He averted a bloodbath and was awarded the Brevet Lieutenant Colonel.

Baden Powel then took command of the 5th Dragoon Guards in India. Lessons in Military Scouting, his ‘Aid to Scouting’, is based on these lectures. It went on to be a best-seller and was widely used by teachers and youth organizations for outdoor programs.
He was transported back to Africa in 1899 to fight in the upcoming mineral war between the English and the Boers. The Second Boer War was a pivotal event in Baden Powel’s life.

Baden Powel was dispatched to Mafeking, a railway junction on the Transvaal border. He was advised to have a mobile force near the Boer border in case something went wrong in the south, where the fighting was taking place.
Baden Powel gathered 1200 men to support the regular army. When the Boers found out, they attacked. After repelling the onslaught, the British Army decided to seize and starve the enemy.

The Mafeking Siege, which began on October 13, 1899, lasted 217 days. 8000 men surrounded the town at times. Baden Powel’s well-planned measures let them hold out until reinforcements came.
The Mafeking Siege ended on May 19, 1900. He was elevated to Major General for his outstanding service. He was a national hero.
In October 1901, he returned to England. King Edward VII, who was then staying at Balmoral Castle, had invited him. Baden Powel was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath, a British chivalrous order.

Baden Powel returned to South Africa and organized the SACP. It was a wartime paramilitary force. He was the first IG.
In 1903, he returned to England as Inspector General of Cavalry, where he improved the force’s reconnaissance training. In parallel, he became interested in Boys Brigade. Baden Powel commanded the Northumbrian Division of the Territorial Force in 1907. His last military assignment. In 1910, he left the army to promote the Scout Movement.

Grandiose of Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell

Baden Powel is best known for creating the Boy Scout and Girl Guide movements. He became interested in them while serving in the military.
On Brownsea Island, he organized his first scout camp in 1907. The movement quickly swept the country. Kids started their own scout troops.

In 1909, he staged his first scout rally at London’s Palace. He discovered many of the participants were female. The following year he co-founded the Girl Guide Movement with Agnes Baden Powel. These two movements now have millions of global members.
His scouting publications, ‘Aids to Scouting’ and ‘Scouting for Boys’, were big sellers for years. Apart from these two, Baden Powel wrote roughly thirty other books on other subjects.

Honors & Awards

Baden Powel was decorated for his military service. 1896 he got the Matabele Campaign British South Africa Company Medal. He also received the Queen’s and King’s South Africa Medals in 1899 and 1902.
Baden Powel was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize but never won. His Wateler Peace Prize in 1937.
King George V made him a Peer in 1929. Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell He also established the Gilwell Park International Scout Leader Training Centre.

Personal Legacy of Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell

Baden Powel married Olave St Clair Soames in secret on October 30, 1912. He was 55 and she was 23. Both Arthur and Betty had three children, Arthur Robert Peter and Betty St. Clair. Researchers believe Baden Powel was a secret homosexual.
Baden Powel died in Kenya. He lived in Nyeri, near Mount Kenya. On January 8, 1941, he died and was buried in S. Peter’s Cemetery, Nyeri. His tombstone bears a circle with a dot in the center. It’s the home scouting sign.

Estimated Net Worth

Robert is one of the wealthiest and most popular entrepreneurs. Robert Baden Powell net worth is estimated at $2 Million by Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

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