The China Mail.
Hongkong, Tuesday, April 16, 1912.
SIR R.S.BADEN-POWELL, K.C.B., C.V.O., LL.D., F.R.G.S.
The Hero of Mafeking and the Founder of the British Organization of Boy Scouts.
"THE CHIEF SCOUT."
General Baden-Powell in Hongkong.
"The Hero of Mafeking," Lieutenant-General Sir R.S.Baden-Powell, K.C.B., has arrived in Hongkong and is at present enjoying the hospitality of Government House. The distinguished visitor, who is renowned alike for his service on the battlefield and for his association with the worldwide Boy Scout movement, reached the Colony early this morning on board the mail steamer "Lutzow." As the vessel slowly steamed into harbour shortly after 6 a.m. the rays of the rising sun flooded the island, throwing the rocky eminence into bold relief, tipping the peak-tops with golden beauty and shimmering on the dancing waters of the harbour with its manifold aspects of attractive activity. It was a perfect morning, and the bronzed warrior as he stood on deck and gazed at the wonderful scene looming up before him must indeed have formed rosy impressions of Britain's easternmost possession rising out of the waters of the Eastern sens.
Many a little Hongkong Scout spent a restless time last night dreaming of the great "Chief" and betimes wondering whether the next day would consummate long-cherished hopes of a sight of, and perhaps a word from, the founder of the movement. And it is said that one or two of the more enthusiastic lads even stole down to the seafront in the early hours of this morning to watch for the steamer which had on board the man whose name with them is one to conjure with. It was at first intended that the local Corps of the Scouts should camp out for the night and so be in readiness to give a welcome to their Chief, but in deference to a wish from the General this idea was cancelled, and whatever arrangements are to be made with a view to the little lads meeting their Chief will be announced later.
Shortly after the arrival of the steamer, Capt. P.M.Taylor, A.D.C. to the Officer Administering the Government, went on board and extended a very hearty welcome to General Baden-Powell, the two later leaving for Government House, where the noted visitor is the guest of His Excellency Mr. Severn.
On enquiry at Government House this morning, a representative of the "China Mail" ascertained that General Baden-Powell's visit is quite private and is not connected with his Boys' Scout tour. Our representative further learned that the General is to pay a visit to Canton, leaving by the night boat tonight, and that he will remain there for two or three days, later returning to the Colony, from which he will make his departure on Friday. On enquiring whether any demonstration is to be given by the Boys' Scouts in honour of the visit, our reporter was told that up to that time nothing had been definitely arranged, but on a decision being come to the Press would be informed.
Our representative then enquired whether it would be possible to secure an interview with the famous General. The answer was that such a desire was hardly likely to be gratified, as the visit was a purely private one.
Perhaps then, "suggested our representative,"that General Baden-Powell would not object to giving a few of his impressions of Hongkong"?
"I'm afraid he hasn't yet got any," came the reply.
"Then we are quite prepared to give the worthy General ample time to form some," pleaded our representative, clutching at the last straw in his anxiety to give "China Mail" readers an opportunity of knowing what the great soldier thought of their Colony. But even this privilege was denied with the remark that General Baden-Powell did not usually care to be interviewed, and our reporter, after trying his best had perforce to submit to the inevitable.
At Yokohama and Shanghai.
Lieut.-General Baden-Powell was the guest (???) (???) (................................................................)
couse of a speech at the Y.U.C., pointed out that the visit was not an official one, and had nothing to do with the tour he was making in connection with the Boy Scout movement. It was most gratifying, he said, to find that the movement was steadily developing.
In Shanghai the founder of the Boys' Scout movement was the guest of Col. Barnes. Last Friday a tiffin was given in his honour, and at half past five o'clock and inspection of both of the local troops of Boy Scouts, the Baden-Powell and the Shanghai, took place in the British Consulate grounds. Following upon this, General Baden-Powell was entertained to dinner at the Shanghai Club by the Baden-Powell Scout Council, and at this function the members of the Shanghai Councilwere present, as well as prominent foreign officials and officers.
On Saturday the Baden-Powell Scouts gave a camp display in the Consulate grounds, after which General Baden-Powell tiffined with Mr. Consul-General Fraser, leaving Shanghai at 5 p.m., but it was hoped that before going away he would find time to inspect the S.V.C., who were that afternoon practising the mobilization scheme.
Gen. Baden-Powell's Career.
Lt. General Sir Robert Baden-Powell was born on 22nd February 1857 being the son of the Rev. Prof. Baden-Powell, of Oxford and Langton Manor. He joined the 13th Hussars in the year 1876 and as adjutant served with that regiment in India, Afghanistan and South Africa. He was in the operations in Zululand in 1888, being mentioned in despatches. After serving at Malta in 1890 and the three following years he was in special service at Ashanti, in command of Native Levies in 1895, being then promoted to Lient. Colonel. He was the Chief Staff Officer in the campaign in Matabeleland in 1896-97 being raised to Brevet Colonel. In 1897 too he was promoted from the 13th Hussars to the command of the 5th Dragoon Guards. Then in 1899 and 1900 came his historic defence of Mafeking in the Boer War, when with a handful of men he held out against the pick of the Boer army for month after month. For his magnificent service in this connection he was promoted Major General and later for operations in the Transvaal he was mad C.B. His war service over, he then organised the South African Constabulary, of which he was Inspector General from 1903 to 1907. Subsequently he became General Commanding the Northumbrian Territorial Division and four years ago he founded the Boy Scouts organisation to promote good citizenship in the rising generation. He was knighted in 1909, General Baden-Powell is the author of numerous books in military and sporting matters, and one of his favourite recreations is pig-sticking, he having won the Kadir Cup for this sport. As he successfully resisted the seige of Mafeking so has he held out against the advances of Cupid - he is a confirmed bachelor.
During this morning the general was conveyed in a Government House chair about the principal through fares of Hongkong and he was evidently (???) interested in what he saw.
No formal programme was arranged for the visit of the famous General.
It was at first thought that he would hold an official inspection of the Boy Scouts of the Colony, but this afternoon a representative of the "China Mail" was informed by Mr. Crowther Smith, Captain of the Boy Scouts, that no function of the kind had been arranged.
The General's experiences in the Colony today has passed unceremoniously, and many people who saw him were doubtless unaware that they were looking upon the distinguished hero of Mafeking.