The Hongkong Telegraph.
Monday, April 15, 1912.
Newseries No. 8760
HERO OF MAFEKING VISITING HONGKONG.
SKETCH OF CHIEF CAREER.
LIEUT. GENERAL SIR R.S.BADEN-POWELL, K.C.B., C.V.O., L.L.D., F.R.G.S., Founder of the British Organization of Boy Scouts to promote good citizenship in the rising generation.
Some time ago we announced that Lieut-General Sir R.S.Baden-Powell was undertaking a world trip in the interests of the Boy Scout movement. He is expected to arrive at Hongkong at six o'clock tomorrow morning by the "Luetzow."
In an interview with Mr Crowther Smith, a local Solicitor, who takes a keen interest in the Boy Scout movement, a "Telegraph" representative was informed that a telegram had been sent to General Baden Powell at Shanghai on behalf of the local Scouts. In a long wire the chief Scout replied that he would prefer not to be met officially by the Scouts as proposed.
Extensive preparations had been made in Hongkong for his arrival, and on Saturday there was a special parade of the boys.
The visit is entirely unofficial and the news that General Baden Powell was to visit the Colony came as a surprise to those in official circles. Captain Taylor, A.D.C. to the deputy Governor, will in all probability receive him and extend an invitation to Government House.
HIS CAREER REVIEWED.
Lieut.-General Sir Robert Stephenson Smythe Baden-Powell, K.C.B., C.V.O., L.L.D., F.R.G.S., was born on February 22nd, 1857, and is consequently 55 years old. He is a son of Rev. Prof. Baden-Powell, of Oxford and Langton Manor, and of Henrietta Grace, daughter of Admiral W.P.Smythe, K.S.F. He is unmarried. Following his education at Charterhouse, he joined the 18th Hussars in 1876, and served in India, Afghanistan and South Africa. He was Assistant Military Secretary in South Africa from 1887 to 1880, and held the same office in Malta from 1890-1893. Thereafter he was on special service in Ashanti, in command of the Native Levies, 1895 (star, brevet Lieut.-Colonel); Chief Staff Officer in the campaign in Matabeleland from 1896-7, Colonel of Irregular Horse, South Africa; promoted from 13th Hussars to command of the 5th Dragoon (guards, and commanded the defence of Mafeking in 1899-1900. For that service he promoted to Major-General, and continued at work in the Transvaal. He organized the South African Constabulary and was their Inspector-General from 1900 to 1903, and Inspector-General of Cavalry from 1903 to 1907.
The Boy Scouts.
In 1908 he was appointed Lieut-General commanding the Northumbrian Territorial. Division, and the same year founded the organization of Boy Scouts "to promote good citizenship in the rising generation." He has written several books, including "Pig-sticking or Hog-hunting," 1890; "Vedette," 1890; "Cavalry Instruction," 1895; "The Downfall of Prempeh," 1896; "The Matabele Campaign," 1896; "Aids to Scouting," 1899; "Sport in War," 1900; "Sketches in Mafeking and East Africa," 1907; and "Scouting for Boys," 1908. He exhibited some sculpture in the Royal Academy in 1907. His recreations are given as pig-sticking (he being a winner of the Kadir Cup), golf, polo and big game shooting, while he belongs to the Naval and Military, Cavalry and Beefsteak Clubs.
A Lover of Peace.
He has now retired from the army, and though once one of the most famous fighting men of modern times, Sir Robert Baden-Powell is an enthusiastic believer in world-wide peace, and as a result of his interest in the Boy Scout movement it has been taken up by twenty different nations.
He believes that by interesting the youth in an organization such as the Boy Scouts the doctrine of universal peace may be more easily instilled into their lives.
At the beginning of the Boer War, General Baden-Powell was sent to South Africa. Following out his belief in preparedness, [the motto of the Boy Scouts is: "Be Prepared!"] he set about to make Mafeking, the scene of his command, as nearly impregnable as possible. He showed off what stuff he is made when, with only 1,200 irregulars, he held Mafeking against a siege, led by Cronje, which lasted from October 13, 1899 till May 16, 1900.
That the hero of Mafeking and leader of Boy Scouts has a grim humour, the following letter, in reply to that of a Boer general who said he had heard that Baden-Powell's men played cricket-matches on Sunday, and proposed to send his Boers to take part, shows. He wrote:
"I have to thank you for your letter of yesterday, in which you propose that your men should come and play cricket with mine. I should like nothing better -- after the 'match' in which we are at present engaged is over; but just now we are still at our innings, 200 days, not out, against the bowling of Cronje, Snyman, Botha, and Eloff, and we are having a very enjoyable game. - I remain," etc.,