Return to 'Scouting Milestones' links

These books form what might be called The Milestones Scouting Library and are the major references (other than those found in A Baden-Powell Bibliography) used during the research into many of the Scouting Milestones. As with the Bibliography of Baden-Powell's own publications, I have been able to add my comments as to the content of each title, as well as an image of the cover. Appropriate links have also been made to the relevant articles in Scouting Milestones, providing a unique cross-refercing immediately sourcing references used in the text.

Books about Baden-Powell and the Scout Movement

THE list below does not presume to be exhaustive, but is rather a list of those books and publications which have, to date, formed the basis of my research into the Scouting Milestones. In addition, there are countless articles on, about and by Baden-Powell in publications such as The Scout, Headquarters Gazette, The Scouter and, no doubt, many others, which it is quite beyond the scope of this Page to itemise.

Similar details on the publications by Baden-Powell himself can be found on A Baden-Powell Bibliography.

1900 Baden-Powell. The Hero of Mafeking W Francis Aitken. S Partridge & Co., 175pp with Elliot and Fry Photograph
Hero of Mafeking

THE book was written to ride the wave of B-P's popularity immediately after Mafeking. Its popularity may be gauged by the fact that the copy illustrated was the third impression, published in 1900, though Mafeking was only relieved on May 17th of that year. The same evidence also points to the haste in which the book was produced and in that haste, mistakes were made. The chief advantage that the book has in being close to the events of B-P's school and army life is lost, in that it cannot be relied upon.

The latter half of the book is devoted to Mafeking. Aitken states that a special Corps., whom he describes as 'Dispatch Runners', was formed at the time the Siege postage stamps were issued by Baden-Powell. This Corps was the Mafeking Cadets, but their formation was in no way linked to the issue of the stamps.

Aitken writes of a 'Captain' Nesbitt, who was captured when in charge of the armoured train in the early days of the siege. This was in fact Lieut. Nesbett, not a great mistake perhaps, but the 'Captain' Aitken writes about was, according to him, a V.C., which the besieged Lieut. Nesbitt certainly was not. Similarly, there is a reference to a Lieut. S Winburne, no such person was present in Mafeking, but Lieut. J Swinburne was. (If you want to know how I know these things, I have published a very specialist datebase of all Mafeking's Besieged entitled The Mafeking Siege Register.

The first part of the book naturally deals with B-P's school days and, as is always the case with heroes, retired schoolmasters (I am one myself) can be wheeled out to remember the most amazing portents of greatness, and I am not referring to those incidents that did actually happen! These criticisms must however be viewed in the light of the book being published in Victorian times and of its type - a biography of a hero of the Empire - it stands up quite well. The author took considerable pains to read B-P's previous works and a great deal of the press coverage that came out of Mafeking. It is period-piece and a joy to own, if only for its wonderful cover which, on the first edition, I believe was red.

1906 The Birch Bark Roll Ernest Thompson Seton. Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd.
Birch Bark Roll
(Image courtesy of the David C Scott Collection)

Contribution by David C Scott, author of The Seton Lecture

THIS 1906 issue of Ernest Thompson Seton's Birch Bark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians is believed to be the same printing of the manual that he sent to Baden-Powell whilst B-P was vacationing at the estate of noted publisher C Arthur Pearson in July of that same year. It is also believed that Lord Roberts, who already was aware of B-P's own Scouting "scheme" under development in mid-1905 and of Seton's interest in locating him, probably informed Seton as to B-P's whereabouts at that time.

Of note, Seton was already in England lecturing on Woodcraft and wanted to enlist the "Hero of Mafeking's" help in promoting his Woodcraft Movement in the United Kingdom. B-P, who gladly accepted Seton's parcel, undoubtedly used it as a source for both his Brownsea Island Experiment in 1907 as well as a partial template for his seminal Scouting for Boys fortnightly series in 1908.

Seton, who believed that B-P never gave him proper credit or acknowledgement for his groundbreaking work, lived out the rest of his days carrying an undying hatred for B-P and shouting cries of plagiarism, the same claims that can be heard today amongst Seton's supporters.

Dave Scott, a Texan Scout Collector, has, like myself, gone on to utilise treasures from his collection to help throw light on aspects of Scouting History. Perhaps his greatest find is the Seton book The Two Little Savages (illustrated on the 'Brownsea' page on this site) which was dedicated by B-P to one of the Brownsea participants, Cedric Curteis. Though there are many other indicators that B-P did acknowledge Seton's contribution, this single artefact graphically proclaims that he did so, quite symbolically, to the first of 'his boys' on Brownsea, the cradle of Scouting.

1908-1923 Headquarters Gazette Scout Association
Headquarters Gazette

THE Headquarters Gazette was the official magazine for the adult leadership of the UK Scout Association. It was published on a monthly basis from 1908 until it became the The Scouter in 1923, which in turn amalgamated to form the precursor of the Scouting Magazine in 1956.

Unlike The Scout, Headquarters Gazette was not under control of Pearsonís publishing house, and so was an uncensored direct link between Baden-Powell at Scout Headquarters and his Scouters. B-P wrote a monthly editorial in virtually each and every issue, called his Outlook. These gems contained anecdotes, and often sketches, from B-P's travels over his long life to make his points. These have been collected into a separate book, B-P's Outlook, which was published by Pearsonís 1941.

The Editor, 'Uncle' Elwes, (see notes on his own book, below) also wrote a monthly article. His was a far more parochial in style, often based on his Scouting in Colchester. These avuncular missives contrasted with B-Pís contributions, but the two worked very well together. Naturally, every incident of note was recorded over the years and they now form one of the best references for Scout Historians available. The letter columns were also uncensored and were surprisingly vigorous. I am, frankly, doubtful that some of the more critical letters would be allowed to pass today, but they did generate Ďthreadsí of correspondence that lasted for years!

Should anyone have any copies they wish to sell, my own collection is incomplete and I assure you they would be put to very good use!!!

The wonderful cover illustrated is from an officially-bound 1914 omnibus edition

1912 Sea Scouting and Seamanship for Boys W Baden-Powell KC. James Brown & Son
Sea Scouting

THE significance of this book, by B-P's brother Warington, is dealt with on the Milestones Page The Early History of Sea Scouting

1923 Into the Frozen South Scout Marr of the Quest Expedition. Cassell, 246pp
Frozen South

THERE is full account of this book and the expedition in the Milestone article Scout Marr and the Quest.

The book is rare and commands a high price - not so much, I am told, because of its Scouting connection, but because of its link with Ernest Shackleton, who guided Marr as he wrote the chapters on the outward journey to South Georgia, until Shackleton suddenly died. Perhaps this says something about the low value we place on our Scout History. However, let nobody be patronising about Scout Marr or his book. It is an excellent read, with a powerful narrative that at times conjures very emotive images.

The effect of the expedition was to have a fundamental effect on James Marr, who went on to be the greatest British Polar Scientist between the First and Second World Wars. If have you have yet to visit the web article you have a treat in store!

There are 29 black-and-white photographs, including some that Marr helped create during his assisting of the 'official photographer' Mr Wilkins

1924 The Imperial Jamboree Book The Boys Scouts Association, 128pp
Imperial Jamboree

AS this is the only official Jamboree Book in this listing, it must stand as a marker for all the similar World Jamboree Books which, roughly speaking and wars permitting, occurred every four years up to the present day from 1920. Like this one, they were necessarily written after the event, but, apart from the Jamboree Newspapers which are often fragile and hard to store, or personal journals or diaries, they are an excellent source of information. The rarity and high prices commanded by early World Jamboree badges is understandable, but these official records can be had for a fraction of the price and, dare I say it, are far better value!

Keen readers will have already spotted that this particular record is an odd-man-out as far as the World Jamboree journals are concerned, in that the Imperial Jamboree was not a World Jamboree. There was a World Jamboree that year, held in Denmark. The Imperial Jamboree was held at Wembley, London and was part of the 1924 Wembley Exhibition, which lasted through the summer, though the official Scout Jamboree lasted just one week, I think. The book explains that, initially, B-P's idea was that the Jamboree would be a sort 'standing camp' that visitors to the exhibition might walk through, but lack of space precluded this and large-scale and very theatrical demonstrations were planned to be performed in the arena, with the Scouts actually camping a little way away at Wembley paddocks. The book covers the set-piece events, such as the visits by the King, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Connaught, but also goes into interesting details about the logistics of the Jamboree, the international contingents and items from the programme.

There are informative little cameos that have assisted me in preparing many of the existing and future Milestones Pages, such as Roland House, Sea Scouts, Wolf Cubs and Rover Scouts.The 1924 Jamboree was a significant event in Scout History, and will from the basis a future article in Scouting Milestones that will, in time, be part of series of articles Jamborees under the existing 'Events' heading on the index of Milestones Pages.

1924 The Piper of Pax E K Wade. C Arthur Pearson Ltd., 190pp, 25 line drawings by B-P and 15 black-and-white photographs

MRS Wade was B-P's secretary for 27 years and had unique access to Baden-Powell's diaries and papers. The book is dedicated (from "Stealer"!) to Peter, Heather and Betty Baden-Powell. In her Foreword, E K Wade thanks, amongst others "...the Chief Scout and Lady Baden-Powell for allowing me to burrow so freely among the family archives.", so there is little doubt that this is what we would today call 'an authorised biography'.

The book spans B-P's life from his birth to 1930 (in the Second Edition dated 1931) and appears to have been written for Boy Scouts (whose level of literacy must, presumably, have been higher than that of the equivalent age group today!) Many of the accounts and anecdotes of B-P's life were published here for the fist time. The book concludes with 'The Chief Scout's Ladder of Life', a chronology, from 1857 - 1931 and whilst later authors, modern research and access to B-P's own diaries, which I have been privileged to read, might throw some doubt on certain dates, facts and events, it is, nevertheless an excellent starting point for those wishing to inform themselves of the early days of B-P and the Scout Movement

1931 The Scout Spirit. Part 1. January 1911 to Dec 1914 H Geoffrey 'Uncle' Elwes. C Arthur Pearson Ltd., 128pp. No illustrations
Scout Spirit

THE book is made up of extracts 'From The Editor's Chair' published in the Headquarter's Gazette, 'Uncle' Elwes being the editor of that publication. Headquarter's Gazette was published on a monthly basis and had two regular contributors - one was the Chief Scout, communicating in his unique style directly with the adult leadership via his Outlooks, with almost every sentence having some inner message, the other was Elwes. 'Uncle's' writing seems far more 'laid back', but there was a message if your cared to look for it, albeit clothed in a more homespun fashion. The Chief Scout would draw on his wide, often first hand, appreciation of the history and geography of the world, whereas 'Uncle's' tales would often centre on his life in Colchester. The two styles complimented each other, when had they been more similar they might have clashed.

The years that the book covers were momentous in the history of Scouting and some set-pieces, such as the Coronation of June 1911 and the start of the First World War, are documented; but if you are looking for eyewitness reportage or incisive commentary, then you will look in vain. What you get are slow, but engaging, homilies delivered as a uncle would talk to his favourite nephew - hence the nickname. There is no doubt that this style was appreciated by some, for many Scouters engaged 'Uncle' in protracted correspondence.

My copy was owned by a Mr Barter in 1931 and he definitely thought the book worthwhile, as there are a lot of underlines, exclamation marks and the occasional 'here here!' The book concludes in a rather sad way. "To be continued if there should be any demand." I am not certain, but I do not think there was.

1934 The Cruise of The Calgaric Mrs Rose Kerr. The Girl Guide Association, London
1935 The Cruise of the Adriatic Mrs Rose Kerr
1938 The Cruise of the Ordüna Mrs Rose Kerr

THE significance of these books are dealt with on the Milestones Pages The Voyage of the Calgaric, The Cruise of the Adriatic and The Voyage of the Ordüna. There is also a short biography of Rose Kerr on the Scouting Personalities Page

1937 Scouting Achievements Beresford Webb. Putnam

1938 B-P's Family in Picture and Story. My Record Book Frank Grey Editor. The Boy Scout Association, in conjunction with Evan Bros, 84pp
My Record Book

THIS is a very unusual book in many ways. It is bound to stick out like a sore thumb in any collection of Scouting Books, as it measures over 12" by 9½". The next problem is what to call it? There are no less than four 'banners' on the cover, the two biggest read B-P's Family in Picture and Story and My Record Book in that order. I have seen it listed under both names. The My Record Book part should come first, as a number of pages at the beginning of the book have been left mainly blank, with prompts to add photos and list badges won etc. B-P's Family is nothing to do with Baden-Powellís biological family, but a series of articles on the world-wide family of Scouting. These are substantial, well illustrated and cover the whole range of pre-Second World War Scouting at home and abroad. Scouting Milestones has been able to draw upon Air Patrols, The Discovery, Gang Shows, Gilwell Park, Rover Scouting, Roland House, Sea Scouting and information on the Train Cruises to assist in the preparation of existing and projected web articles. Besides this there is a transcript of the Chief Scoutís Radio Broadcast 'Be Prepared' and a listing of all the Gold and Silver Cross winners to the date of the book's publication.

Given the large size of the book, the whole-page illustrations are large and worthy enough for framing. Jaggerís portrait of the Chief Scout I am sure adorned many a Scout Hut and the illustrations of all the pre-war Scout Badges and Decorations are wonderful. This is only source that I am aware of that provides colour illustrations of all the Scout Leaders' hat plumes. There is also the classic painting of Jack Cornwell VC standing by his gun.

An unusual book yes, but, like much else in Scouting, its quirkiness adds to the delight.

1939 Bare Knee Days Haydn Dimmock. C Arthur Pearson Ltd., 319 pp including index
Bare Knee Days

HAYDN Dimmock (see his Milestones biography) was a central part of the Scout Movement between the two world wars and rose to the heights of a much-respected editor of The Scout. Indeed, the whole of Dimmockís life seems to be bound up one way or another with Scouting and Magazines.

Dimmock was persuaded by a schoolmaster in 1909 to read an edition of the The Scout and as a result of that he was hooked, though he tells that, even prior to that event, he was given to wearing a broad-brimmed hat with a B-P badge in his buttonhole. The magazine encouraged him to form his own patrol. The family moved to Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, where he joined the local troop and shortly afterwards he was encouraged to assist in producing the group Magazine. The family had to move again to Enfield, in Middlesex, where the local Scoutmaster was the legendary P B Nevill of Roland House fame. Dimmock was impressed by the group, but not overwhelmed and was soon volunteering his own talents as the editor of a new troop magazine, The Stalker. So good was this magazine that it was extended, with Dimmock still in editorial control, as the local District magazine, properly printed by Scouts on printing press. The sales of this magazine, said his County Commissioner, interfered with those of the Headquarters Gazette. Arrangements were made for Dimmock to meet P W Everett who was the Scout Headquarters link with Pearson's, The Scout magazine's publishers and its editor 'Uncle' Elwes (see the notes on his own book, above.) I think you can nearly guess the rest! Dimmock in time became the Editor of The Scout and so worked closely with Baden-Powell.

The author's other main passion in life was that of steam trains and part of his genius was an ability to combine his interests. It was Dimmock who was responsible for the 'Train Cruises' of the 1930's, the formation of which is fully documented in the book. Dimmock's 'trade' was writing, which he did with a sense of humour, as is illustrated by the title of his book, and it makes him a pleasure to read. Highly recommended.

1942 Baden-Powell E E Reynolds. Oxford University Press, 283pp, 8 black-and-white photographs but more, mainly B-P's, line drawings
Reynolds - Baden-Powell

WHEN this book was published, in the middle of the Second World War, it was the best biography of B-P available at that time.

Reynolds writes in his preface that the work was undertaken at the request of the UK Scout Association, but that he had an entirely free hand in its writing. It is then, an 'Official Biography' and though Reynolds might have had total editorial freedom, he did not feel the need, or perhaps have the inclination, to be judgmental, being a life-time Scout and a member of the Headquarters staff.

His book, one of many he published on Scouting topics, is a workmanlike account of B-P's life which, as we know, was divided into two separate careers. Reynolds' information on the first career, B-P's army life and, of course, Mafeking, was gained from correspondence with those who knew B-P at that particular time and also from family papers made by available by Lady Olave Baden-Powell. For the Scouting career, Reynolds was personally acquainted with many of those involved in the organisation of Scouting from its outset, including Sir Percy Everett who volunteered full access to his personal records, as did B-P's Confidential Secretary Mrs Eileen Wade.

Despite the later, more complete and supposedly more objective Biographies of B-P, Reynolds' work is still a valid statement and contains much of interest.

1942 Boy Scouts (Part of a series called Britain in Pictures). E E Reynolds. William Collins, 48pp
Boy Scouts

THIS slim book, the first of several by the same author to be featured on these pages, is packed with information, 4 colour plates, 4 plates in sepia and 30 illustrations in black and white. Considering that it was produced in the middle of the Second World War, this is a gem of a little book. It is very unusual in the sense that its target audience was not readers already within the Movement. It was designed, if not to recruit, then certainly to inform the lay population. The Scout reader may well find that its contents are too general for their purposes, however much of its value today is tied-up with its publishing date, in that many of its illustrations are rare, showing Scouts engaged in war-time activities. One photograph, for example, show Scouts carrying prisoner-of-war parcels, wearing war service armbands and another is of a refugee French Scout Camp in England. These are the only such photographs that I have ever seen.

E E Reynolds was a life-time Scouter, his writing goes beyond just having privileged information, he was a member of the Headquarters staff and B-P's 'Official Biographer'.

1944 The Wolf That Never Sleeps - A Story of Baden-Powell Marguerite de Beaumont

1948 The First Ten Years Sir Percy Everett, Deputy Chief Scout. East Anglian Daily Times, 88pp
First Ten Years

THE significance of Sir Percy Everett's Scouting life is apparent on most Milestones Pages and there is a separate biography on him. Percy Everett was there right at the beginning on Brownsea Island (as a representative of Baden-Powell's publisher), became interested in Scouting, saw through the formation of the Wolf Cub section, organised the Windsor Rally, was appointed the first Deputy Chief Scout, was eventually knighted for his services to Scouting and remained central to the Organisation right through to the 1950s. Baden-Powell called him "my right hand man" and conferred on him a six-bead Wood Badge worn, until that time, only by The Chief himself.

The book, however, does not dwell upon the importance of the author, indeed I wish there were more personal details - just when were those beads presented? His little book deals, as the title suggests, with the first ten years of the Scout Movement, is an eyewitness account from somebody in a position to know the 'inside story' and is a serious attempt to portray the significance of the events of those years, with illustrations and photographs of many unique artefacts. The book is physically slight and, with its pastel green soft cover, it belies its importance as a Scout History of the first rank. It seems a great pity that Sir Percy did not similarly record the each of the other decades in which he so ably served.

His account, published over 30 years after the events he recalls, may sometimes be flawed and his factual information sometimes incorrect, nevertheless, this book is of tremendous importance to Scout Historians and to all those interested in the origins of the Movement

1950 The Scout Movement E E Reynolds Oxford. 234pp with 22 black and white photographs
Scout Movement

THIS book was published over half a century ago and was the only serious history available at the time. True, there were several books that chronicled the history of the movement in an autobiographical way, detailing the careers of particular prominent Scouters. However, Reynolds, whose biography appears on the Scouting Personalities Page, took great pains not to fall into that trap. Though he played a major role in many Scouting innovations, his name does not appear in the index. For example, the formation of the Scout International Relief Service is acknowledged, without revealing that it was Reynolds' idea, or that he oversaw the work on one of the teams in Germany.

The major strength of the book is that was written by someone with a scholastic mind who was within the inner-circle of Scouting for most of the 43 years chronicled. This is also its weakness as, from such a background, the work would be unlikely to be an objective analysis of events or personalities. However, as an 'official historian', this is no fault of Reynolds. It is not likely that anybody inside Scouting would ever undertake such a truly critical review and there would, I suggest, be very few sales of such a work to justify the time that would need to be spent by any 'outside' author. The next and only other major history of the Movement, B.-P.'s Scouts, written by Scouters Collis, Hazlewood and Hurll in 1961, follows much same pattern as that set by Reynolds.

Perhaps the most telling accolade is that it is this work which is most frequently quoted by other Scout Historians. The book is indispensable to those with a serious interest in Scout History.

1957 Boy Scout Jubilee E E Reynolds. Oxford University Press, 151pp.

THIS book has fewer pages than Reynolds earlier The Boy Scout Movement, and each page is smaller in area. Issued to celebrate the Jubilee Jamboree of Scouting, it covers Scout History from its inception to 1957. This period is seven years longer than that covered by The Boy Scout Movement. It is a précis of the earlier book with extra copy to cover the missing years. The 16 half-page photographs are, however, different.

Clearly, with the publicity surrounding the Jubilee Jamboree, and the centennial of B-P's birth, there was a demand for a commemorative history. This was it. I hope we can do somewhat better than watering down old histories for the Centennial Jamboree in 2007!

1957 27 Years with Baden-Powell Mrs. Eileen K Wade. Blandford Press, 159pp
27 Years

IF anybody was entitled to write authoritatively about B-P it was Eileen Wade. She began work at Imperial Scout Headquarters in 1914 as Miss Nugent, and went on to serve the Chief Scout as his Confidential Secretary until he left these shores finally for South Africa in 1938; but even then she was in constant contact with him and Lady Olave Baden-Powell as a close personal friend of the family until the Chief's death in 1941 - hence the 27 years of the book's title. Eileen was to marry Major A G Wade, the first Organising Secretary of the Scout Association in 1920, and her life must have totally revolved around Scouting.

She records the great happenings in B-P's life as well as documenting what might, at the time, have been thought of as trivia, but now provides a real insight into the kind of man the Chief Scout really was. Her pages are peopled with the personalities of the early days of Scouting, providing for me at least images of people, where previously there were only names. Similarly, the B-P,s house at Pax Hill (illustrated on the cover) in the village of Bentley, Hampshire, given Mrs Wade's description, takes on the comfortable guise of 'home'. This is not altogether surprising, as she worked there on a daily basis, having moved to the same village in order to be able to better do her job.

Many of B-P's biographers would dismiss Eileen Wade's account as being non-critical and non-judgmental. It is written from a standpoint of friendship and, yes, admiration, and in my view is none the worse for it. On leaving England for the last time, Baden-Powell said to her, "Many people will want to write about me when I have gone, but I would like you to do it because you knew me as I really am" and perhaps the wise old Chief knew her very well too, because he left her his silver inkstand as a constant reminder to get on with it. I am glad she did!

1962 Treetops Hotel Eric Sherbrooke Walker. Robert Hale, 190pp, 12 black-and-white photos, including 1 of B-P
Treetops Hotel

IT would be wrong to suggest that Eric Walker is central to the story of Baden-Powell's Scouting history, but he was an important player in the earlier days of Scouting and again when he was one of the key personalities involved with B-P at the very end of his life. Walker's book is not about Scouting or B-P. Regrettably, it does not cover the time he spent as one of the first two Scout Inspectors covering the whole of Wales and the South of England, or his time at the B-P's first Scout Camp at Humshaugh, nor even his adventures in the Royal Flying Corps, during which he dropped in on the B-P's with his aircraft en-route to France! He was eventually captured and B-P sent him some wire-cutters disguised in a ham to help him escape. These and many of Walker's larger-than-life adventures, as a rumrunner for instance, do not feature.

The book, as title proclaims, is the history of the famous Treetops Hotel, an adjunct to the Outspan Hotel which Walker and his wife, Lady Bettie, created from nothing in Kenya. B-P went to stay with them at the Outspan before deciding to become a investor in Walker's enterprise and have his own house, Paxtu, built in the Hotel grounds. This was where B-P spent the last years of his life and wrote some of the books featured in the B-P Biography on these pages.

It is for the little insights that Walker gives of B-P's twilight years that the book is included here, but these are only a few paragraphs in a book peopled with the great and the good. It was whilst at Treetops that Princess Elizabeth learnt, in 1952, of the death of her father King George VI and that she had become Queen Elizabeth II. Walker commented that never before had anyone climbed a tree as a Princess and come down as Queen!

Despite there being very little 'Scouting' content, the book is important to those wanting to find out about B-P's last years. It is an interesting read and tells us enough for us to wish that that Walker had left a full autobiography.

1964 Baden-Powell: The Two Lives of a Hero William Hillcourt & Olave Baden-Powell. Putnam, 447pp
Two Lives

WILLIAM Hillcourt comes to his subject with some knowledge and affection. Born in Denmark, he attended the World Jamboree in 1920 held at Wembley, England, as a member of the Danish contingent and so was able to see Baden-Powell at first hand. He emigrated to America, where he became a journalist and wrote many Scouting Books, before eventually becoming the National Director of Program Resources and being accorded the 5 bead Wood Badge. He was held great respect and affection across the world and is perhaps better known as 'Green Bar Bill'.

Olave, Lady Baden-Powell, needs no introduction, but her contribution to the book was one one of unqualified assistance and enthusiastic support rather than any written input.

The 447-page work has become a standard reference on B-P. It is well written, is in a narrative style, very well researched, and amply provided with black-and-white photographs and many B-P line drawings. It is not sycophantic, but, being written in 1964, it does not broach any of the more controversial areas of B-P's life.

When written, it was the best biography available and still is a strong contender for the title today. Naturally, in the intervening decades, there has been fresh research and new 'insights' on facets of B-P's life, not all of which, let me hasten to add, result in such an accurate a portrayal of the man and his Ďtwo livesí as that provided by Hillcourt.

1966 Mafeking. A Victorian Legend Brian Gardner. Castle and Co. Ltd., London

1971 Olave Baden-Powell - The Authorised Biography of the World Chief Guide Eileen K Wade

1973 The Founding of the Boy Scouts as seen through the letters of Lord Baden-Powell. October 1907 - October 1908 Editor Paul C Richards. The Standish Museums and Unitarian Church, East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. 5½" x 8½". Sensibly, the booklet numbers the 58 letters rather than its pages. Limited Edition of 1,000 copies
B-P Letters

I have made extensive use of these letters, particularly when researching the Humshaugh Camp and Scouting for Boys Pages. The letters are nearly all to Peter Keary, an editor employed by the publisher C Arthur Pearson Ltd. Keary was given the task of liaising with B-P and introducing the The Scout magazine. (B-P, we find, was not altogether impressed by that 'penny dreadful'.) The letters range from the very mundane to those of fundamental importance to the Movement. There are letters here about the format of the original part-series Scouting for Boys and all of the happenings of the momentous first year of Scouting immediately following the Brownsea Experimental Camp of 1907/08. Some of the letters give an insight into The Founderís personality: For example, B-P is often accused by his biographers of never loosing an opportunity to promote his own self-grandeur. Consider this:

July 11, 1908 - B-P to Keary:
"I have received the samples of the Boy Scouts Postcards - " [three of which are illustrated on the Humshaugh Page] "but find my name again printed all over them. It really is too bad. I shall be forced to give up the whole thing if there is any more of it."

Fascinating as the letters are, the booklet creates its own mysteries that has taken some time to unravel.

The collection of 60 letters came up for sale in 1973 at a London auction house. The lot was alledgedly poorly publicised and was purchased by Paul C Richards, a US manuscript dealer who was visiting London on a exchange visit to a London Scout Group with his Unitarian Scouts from East Bridgewater Massachussetts. The collection which documented the very genesis of the Scout Movement was then taken to America to form the basis of a Scouting Museum in the Group's home town. Thankfully a book was published documenting each and every letter. This occasionally comes on the market at a very reasonable price considering its contents i.e. less than £30. The Scouting Museum closed and I made it my business to find out the whereabouts of this historic collection of letters. I discovered that there had been a split between Richards and the church in 1976. Richards removed the letters that he had, as stated in an enclosure in the 1974 printings of the book, previously donated to the church on condition that a museum be built to house them. He then alledgedly emigrated. Further research revealed previously undisclosed information that Richards was around this time being prosecuted for fraudulent practices in the selling of antiquarian letters and documents. By a total coincidence I located a mention of B-P letters in archives of Boston University. Corrrespondance with the University authorities revealed that this indeed was the 'Richards' collection donated to the arvhives prior to his death in March 1993. I continued to press the Archivist for details of public access to the collection and was informed that I could obtain photocopies of the letters a considerable cost per letter. Fortunately because of the existence of the above book, which was unknown to the university authorities, this is not necessary, but it somewhat of a scandal that seminal collection of letters, should lay in an university archive in America which prior to my discoveries was totally unknown to Scouting.

1984 The Character Factory Michael Rosenthal. Pantheon Books, 329pp
Character Factory
(Image courtesy of the Dave Scott Collection)

THE sub-title of the book is Baden-Powell and the Origins of the Boy Scout Movement, but the book is not, as it is often described, a biography of Baden-Powell, as it is only concerned with the origins of the Movement. The title tells us how the author approached his work. Rosenthal's book is an intensely argued outpouring, demonstrating his contention that the Scout Movement was formed in order to bolster the decaying British Empire with the necessary cannon fodder. Every author brings to each of their pages their own preconceptions - and that is fair enough - however, given the high-level academic background of the author, surely there should be hope that conclusions would follow evidence and not the other way round.

Rosenthal drives his point home on nearly every page and he seemingly has all the necessary documentation to support his contentions. Of course he does! B-P came from a military background, he did speak to Cadet Corps. on how they could become better soldiers, he did advocate that Scouts learn marksmanship, he did set up the Scouts Defence Corp. during the 1st World War and he was intensely patriotic. However, to select 'evidence' from those parts of history pre-1908, when the fundamental philosophies on which Scouting was based had not been established, or from the period when the country was at war, fighting for its very survival, without properly examining the overwhelming evidence of B-Pís own writings on 'Peace Scouting', his life-time commitment to 'brotherhood' and applying the acid test of examining exactly what Scouts actually did and stood for, seems to me, if I can apply a military metaphor, to be missing the target by a mile!

However, the book cannot be lightly dismissed, as there is much of interest in it and Scout Historians can be grateful for much previously-unpublished first-hand material and the many bibliographical references.

1986 Baden-Powell A Family Album Heather Baden-Powell. Alan Sutton, 117pp
Family Album

HEATHER, Baden-Powell's oldest daughter, was born in 1915. She shares her 'family album' with us until the time she married John King in 1941, six months before the death of her father. The 'Album' is organised on a year-by-year basis and if it consisted of only the collection of family photographs and water-colour illustrations, some of B-P's, some of her own, then the book would still be a worthwhile tribute to Baden-Powell, the family man. But it is so much more than this. There is a substantial narrative that covers life in the various Baden-Powell family homes and set-piece events such as the presentation of 'Jam Roll' (a Rolls-Royce motor-car bought by the Scouts of the world) at the 1929 World Jamboree, World Tours on which Heather and her sister Betty often accompanied their parents and the 1930s 'Peace Cruises' on the Calgaric, the Orduña of which Heather was the Cruise Secretary and the Adriatic.

Heather grew up in a loving environment and seemed, like many daughters seem, to have had a special relationship with her father. He always wrote to her as 'My very dear old Heatherum', and signed himself 'Your loving DAD'. Despite living life somewhat in 'a goldfish bowl', often on show, often in guide uniform, life, from what Heather tells us, seems never to have been very 'normal', but certainly very happy. The book is full of poetry, colour and gaiety.

Despite B-P's public role in which his family also were often fully engaged, he, not unnaturally, kept his home life, if not private, then in at least in a different compartment to his other rôles. His relationship with his children is an aspect of him that we seldom hear about, though as always there are Biographers who in the absence of fact seem willing to rush into print with a sometimes destructive comment. Heather's book was published prior to some of the worst offenders. It is a pity that they that fail to take note of this very warm account of what it was like to grow-up being proud to be called Baden-Powell.

1989 Baden-Powell Tim Jeal. Hutchinson, 670pp

THIS is a veritable encyclopaedia and has become the standard work of reference. The depth of the research is undeniable. The author went to considerable trouble track down 'witnesses', or their relations still living at the time the book was being researched. As many will now have died, this is of no small consequence.

The academic presentation of sources is extremely thorough and the book is a mine of information. There are black and white photos, which, in 1989, was the norm, as was their grouping into clusters of pages printed on photographic paper, though this often takes the images many pages away from where the relevant text might be.

Baden-Powell's biographers fall, in the main, into two camps. There are those who tell it 'warts and all' and there those who are touching in their sycophancy. Jeal falls into neither of these two camps and is all the more dangerous for it! He seems careful to balance the evidence and happy to condemn the extremes of other biographers. However, my chief criticism would be that, on many key issues, he sits on the fence in a 'let the readers make their own mind up' stance - and then casts sufficient doubt as to allow most to come to a negative conclusion. This is most destructive, as the book is seemingly so authoritative.

Two examples from many:
Jeal categorically states that there is no evidence whatsoever to confirm the oft-quoted slur that Baden-Powell was a homosexual. The author went to a great deal of trouble to discover private letters from B-P to 'The Boy' McLaren, but found no evidence of any impropriety. Jeal then devotes a surely disproportionate number of chapters to B-P's "relationships", and concludes that he was a 'repressed homosexual'. As one who has read B-P's own diaries, most of his written works, the correspondences that he maintained with various women friends, the descriptions by others who were close to him for long periods of time and spoken to some of his relations, I have to say that Jeal does not prove his case to me. Jealís chief witness would seem to be a Harley Street Doctor, with an interest in Freudian psychology, whom B-P visited in an attempt to cure his headaches post-1917 when he was over 60 years-old - a point Jeal conveniently omits to mention. The doctor's 'evidence' (as with many of Freudís theories) would be considered to be very flawed today, but, Jeal-like, I will leave you draw your own conclusions.

Secondly, a clear example of fence-sitting is to be found in what Jeal has to say on the subject of Dinizuluís beads. In the first edition, Jeal infers that the beads B-P gave to Gilwell were not those of Dinizulu, but some he took from (or was given by) an African girl. The way Jeal leads the reader to suspect B-P of wrong-doing is masterly! In later editions of the book, revised after the then-Archivist of the UK Scout Archive took Jeal to task on this very issue, there is an alteration to the text of this episode, but if this was meant to appease the Archivist, it would not appease me, as there is just more innuendo. The facts of the matter is that there are both sets of beads in the UK Scout Archives and Jeal's inference is baseless. Of course, the problem in defending this insidious fence-sitting, is that you lay yourself open to the charge of hero-worship and toeing the party line as all the pre-1960 biographies did. I am not blind to B-P's faults, but I need evidence, not innuendo.

Nevertheless, Jeal's work is another 'must have' - it is so complete that, though written in 1989, no other work has come close to it since, and I doubt that one ever will.

1992 Baden-Powell The Welsh Dimension Ivor Wynne Jones. Llechwebb Slate Caverns, 32pp
Welsh Dimension

THIS very slim booklet has the sub-title A Condensed Biography.

If you are thinking that there is not going to be a lot of room left to explore a 'Welsh Dimension' after condensing B-P's life into 32 pages, less 18 illustrations and photographs - many of them taking up a whole page - then I would have to agree. The basis of the book is that B-P's mother, Henrietta, was the sister of Sir Henry Smyth, whose wife was the daughter of the Llechwebb Slate Caverns owner, a Mr J W Greaves, who B-P used to visit in Wales (are you still following?) This, and even more complicated relationships, are explained without the obvious crutch of a family tree. Having said that, there are some unique illustrations and references which I have found useful, though clearly the booklet is not meant to be used at any depth to explore any one area of B-P's life.

Under 'Further Reading' the author quotes only one reference on the life of B-P, the very comprehensive biography by Tim Jeal (see above) which, I presume, provided the basis for most of this book, other than the 'Welsh Dimension'.

The Seige of Mafeking Ed. Iain Smith, Brenthurst Press, 2000, 2 Vols, 530pp
Siege of Mafeking

TO get the superlatives out of the way first, this is simply the grandest, largest format, most comprehensive and most expensive book on The Siege of Mafeking ever written. Each chapter is written on a particular aspect of the Siege by the leading figures of Mafeking historical research. Contributors include Thomas Packenham, whose work on the Boer War is legendary, and Tim Jeal, B-P's famed biographer. The book is yet further strengthened by having access to the Vyvyan papers, a huge private collection of material relating to Mafeking acquired by B-Pís second-in-command, Lieutenant-Colonel Courtney Vyvyan. No expense has been spared in the production of these lavish volumes and the number of illustrations is truly amazing, whilst their quality is breath-taking!

So, does this provide all that you ever wanted to know about Mafeking? Well, not quite. It may seem perverse to criticise the one book that goes out of its way to portray ordinary lives by having, for instance, a chapter on Women in the Siege and another on Black Africans, but there is still not enough information on the ordinary members of the Town Guard or non-ranking soldiery, let alone their families. A serious omission in my view, in light of my own research for the Milestones, is the lack of information about the Mafeking Cadets, made even more surprising by the fact that Mr Jeal was one of the contributors. Given the world-wide interest in Mafeking stamps and 'home-made' currency of 'Siege Notes', the information provided can only be described as scant - though typically there are excellent illustrations. There is little, if anything, on another Mafeking collectable - the 'Sowen tickets' that were issued for the porridge-like ration issued, on payment, to all whites and free to some black Africans. To conclude my dissatisfactions, a book costing almost £200 should not have fundamental errors, such as the statement that no V.C.s were won at Mafeking when there were in fact three!

Despite my criticisms and its price this is a must-have book. As Winston Churchill nearly said of British Democracy, it may have its faults but at the moment it is the best available!

2006 Mafeking's Artillery Colin Walker. Write Books, 71pp
Siege of Mafeking

On his retirement in 2000, Colin began to research The Siege of Mafeking. His early researches into the Mafeking Cadets for these webpages led to the compilation of the Mafeking Siege Register, a unique database recording the activities of the besieged. Primary resources, such as the published and most of the unpublished Siege Diaries, Baden-Powell's Staff Diary, the complete run of Mafeking Mail Siege Slips, etc. A visit to Mafeking to collate information in the town's Museum resulted in further data and names being added to the register which now contains the Mafeking history of over 1800 people. From this knowledge base, further books and magazine articles written, resulting in email contact with families who had a relative amongst the besieged. Amazingly, 107 years after the event, two contacts were from individuals whose fathers had fought in Mafeking. This quite astounding research has provided the 'evidence base' for this major work on the on weapons used in the Siege, including, the 'Lord Nelson' an old naval cannon found in Mafeking, 'The Wolf' made in the Railway workshops and the famous Boer Long Tom. There are many illustrations including photographs taken during the siege and of the weapons today, taken by the author in their various locations, across the world. The garrison, in one of the most remote locations in the British Empire, was outnumbered and outgunned. This publication ably demonstrates just why it was that Baden-Powell was able to lead 'Gallant Little Mafeking' successfully through the longest Siege of the Boer War. Another review of this book can be found at 'Mafeking's Artillery' The book is professionally published with ISBN, and is available from the author for £11.99 plus £1.00 pp. Colin can be contacted on this email link Scouting Milestones

See also The Seige of Mafeking for a complete listing of all Mafeking Resources. Another review of this

2006 JT Cornwell VC and The Scouts's Badge of Courage Colin Walker, Write Books, 75pp
Cornwell Book Cover

The book, written by Colin Walker the author of these pages, is a development on the work that can be found here on Scouting Milestones on Jack Cornwell VC Page.

Its title J.T.Cornwell VC was designed to avoid the confusion that exists about the name of the Scout Hero. He was Christened John, but as was fashion of the day, was known to all as Jack. The book documents his roots and Scouting history in East London through to his fatal wounding in the Battle of Jutland. This much is well known, however Jacks's subsequent burial in a 'common grave' and the newspaper campaign to have him exhumed and buried in 'a manner fit for heroes' is not. Cornwell became a National Hero was was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, being still the youngest Englishman to have ever had this honour.

Baden-Powell was moved by his example and created the Cornwell Award which is still in existance today. The book documents the first recipeant of this Scouing Award and also the story of Stanley Ince the only adult ever to recieve it.

The story of Jack Cornwell seen by some as inspirational has been commemorated on a range of artifacts ever since the 'official' funeral. This are document in the book as postcards, cigarette and trade cards all depicting Jack- or to be precise on of his brothers the Boy Hero was of course dead. In 1976 the British Post Office issied a stamp bearing his image (well that of his brother!) in a series of stamps to commmorate the 150 anniversay of the Britains Highest Gallantry Medal. The stamp is illustrated in the book which contains 65 images.

The book is professionally published with ISBN, and is available from the author for £8.00 plus £1.00 pp.(You may pay via cheque if you live in the U.K.) Colin can be contacted on this email link- Write to Colin


2007 Brownsea:B-P's Acorn, The World's First Scout Camp. Colin Walker. Write Books, 160pp
Siege of Mafeking

Brownsea: B-P's Acorn is the story of the World's First Scout Camp and the subsequent Scout History of the Island up to the present day, including the 1907-2007 Scout Centennial Celebrations. Whilst consulting all existing historical resources nothing has been taken for granted and, from his own first-hand detailed research, Colin Walker has been able to discover much previously unpublished information. He challenges the accepted wisdom on the number of boys at the camp, giving exact provenance for his conclusions about the 'mystery boy'. A brief biography of each participant is provided, with much of the information coming from relatives and friends of the 'Brownsea Boys' themselves. All known correspondence relating to the camp, some sent from the Island (scan of a 'cover' included) and every photograph thought to be taken there is illustrated.

Colin (who is also the author of these pages)was an advisor to the Re-enactment Camp held on Brownsea (The Brownsea Sunrise Event) exactly one hundred years after Baden-Powell first blew his Kudu horn to rouse the campers at the start of his Experimental Camp.

B-P's Scouting Biographer, William Hillcourt, once called for all the existing information on the Scout History of Brownsea to be compiled in one place. This is definitive volume with 160 A4 format pages (mainly in colour) and 140 photographs, is it!

The book is professionally published with ISBN, and is available from the author for £15.00 plus £2.50 pp.(You may pay via cheque if you live in the U.K.) Colin can be contacted on this email link- Write to Colin


1908 Brownsea:B-P's Acorn, The Dawn of the World Scout Movement. . Colin Walker. Write Books, 160pp


n starting to research these web-pages, particularly the 'Mafeking Cadets', the author started to compile the 'Mafeking Siege Register', a unique database recording the activities of the besieged, now published as book advertised abpve. Information came from a whole range of primary resources, diaries, contact with relatives of the besieged and also the run of the Mafeking Mail Siege Slips.

Following the Siege in 1900 the Slips were re-published as a bound edition, using the same paper stocks, by the original printers, Townshend & Son, They are now exceedingly rare and very expensive. The difference in the size and colour of the original papers gives the bound copies a special character, but over the intervening 108 years, the tissue paper issues - no matter how well kept - have browned and gone brittle.

Research for various publications including 'Mafeking's Artillery' and 'The Mafeking Siege Register' meant increased use of Colin's treasured original. It had long been obvious that a 'working copy' would be useful, -a copy in computer 'Word' format, enabling it be 'interrogated' by 'single word search', invaluable. Unfortunately the only way of achieving this aim was to laboriously copy the original word for word into a lap-top, a project which has taken many many years to complete.

A visit to Mafeking provided further motivation, and as the work neared completion, friends and asociates requested that they also like to have a relatively cheap 'working copy', and the idea of this publication was born.

The history of the Siege, is told as it happened, day by day, through the eyes of its editor and his contributors, including Baden-Powell himself, enlivened by original Mafeking photographs and Colin Walker's knowledgeable commentary, This unique work provides a fascinating and endearing insight into the most famous Siege in world history.

Because of its size and its specialist nature it has been decided to publish the work as a limited edition of only thirty books. Each copy will by numbered and signed by the editor/author. The work will only be available through Colin Walker and absolutely no other source.

The book is professionally printed but is only available from the author at £35.00 plus £3.50 pp.(You may pay via cheque if you live in the U.K.) Colin can be contacted for his address on this email link- Write to Colin


2006 Mafeking's Artillery Colin Walker. Write Books, 71pp
Siege of Mafeking

On his retirement in 2000, Colin began to research The Siege of Mafeking. His early researches into the Mafeking Cadets for these webpages led to the compilation of the Mafeking Siege Register, a unique database recording the activities of the besieged. Primary resources, such as the published and most of the unpublished Siege Diaries, Baden-Powell's Staff Diary, the complete run of Mafeking Mail Siege Slips, etc. A visit to Mafeking to collate information in the town's Museum resulted in further data and names being added to the register which now contains the Mafeking history of over 1800 people. From this knowledge base, further books and magazine articles written, resulting in email contact with families who had a relative amongst the besieged. Amazingly, 107 years after the event, two contacts were from individuals whose fathers had fought in Mafeking. This quite astounding research has provided the 'evidence base' for this major work on the on weapons used in the Siege, including, the 'Lord Nelson' an old naval cannon found in Mafeking, 'The Wolf' made in the Railway workshops and the famous Boer Long Tom. There are many illustrations including photographs taken during the siege and of the weapons today, taken by the author in their various locations, across the world. The garrison, in one of the most remote locations in the British Empire, was outnumbered and outgunned. This publication ably demonstrates just why it was that Baden-Powell was able to lead 'Gallant Little Mafeking' successfully through the longest Siege of the Boer War. Another review of this book can be found at 'Mafeking's Artillery' The book is professionally published with ISBN, and is available from the author for £11.99 plus £1.00 pp. Colin can be contacted on this email link Scouting Milestones

See also The Seige of Mafeking for a complete listing of all Mafeking Resources.

2009 'Jam Roll' Baden-Powell: The Man and His 'Motors'. Colin Walker. Scouting Milestones, 75pp
Jam Roll Cover

The book was inspired by the purchase in 2008, for Scouting, of Baden-Powell's Rolls Royce 'Jam Roll'. It is the story of Baden-Powell's cars, from his 1908 18hp Thornycroft, to the laying up of the vehicle in 1938 when its owner departed for Kenya.

This period exactly matches the Founder's active leadership of the Scout Movement. Using the vehicles as a focus, the author has been able to provide an insight into the lives of Baden-Powell and his family, and the changing social conditions they lived through.

Jam Roll's history in private ownership is full documented including its purchase in 2008 by the charity, B-P Jam Roll Ltd.

There are over 40 historic images as well as recent colour photographs.

The foreword is by the Founder's grandon the Hon. Micheal Baden-Powell who is the one a director of the Charity and its principal spokesman.

The book is professionally published with ISBN, and is available from the author for £8.00 plus £1.50 pp. All profits from this book are donated to the charity B-P Jam Roll Ltd Charity No. 1124591, who have perchased the car on behalf of Scouting are responsible for its long term preservation and display. See The Jam Roll Appeal.

Professionally published with ISBN, the book is available from the author for £11.99 plus £1.00 pp. The PayPal button below is set for UK postage only, Pleaese contacted Colin on this email link Scouting Milestones should wish the book to sent anywhere outside the UK.

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