Lord and Lady Powell

 

Lord Baden Powell

 

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell was born on February 22, 1857 in Paddington, London. He was the sixth son and eighth of ten children of the Reverend Baden Powell, a professor at Oxford University. Baden Powell attended Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells, where he gained a scholarship for admittance to Charterhouse School. Baden Powell was always eager to learn new skills such as playing the piano and fiddle, bricklaying, the arts, acting, canoeing, hunting and orienteering.

Baden Powell gained second place for the cavalry in open examination for the army and was commissioned straight into the 13th Hussars, bypassing the officer training establishments. Subsequently B-P became their honorary Colonel for 30 years. Baden-Powell saw service in India, Afghanistan, Malta, and South Africa. Success led to his being promoted to command the 5th Dragoon Guards In 1897 at the age of 40. It was to the 5th Dragoon guards the B-P gave his first training in scouting and awarded soldiers reaching certain standards a badge based on the north point of the compass.

In 1899 came Mafeking, the most notable episode in his outstanding military career, by which he became a Major-general at the age of only 43. During the 217 day siege, B-P’s book “Aids to Scouting” was published and reached a far wider readership than the military one for which it was intended. Following Mafeking, B-P was given the task of organizing the South African Constabulary and it was not until 1903 that he returned to England as Inspector General of Calvary. Upon arrival back in England B-P found that his book “Aids to Scouting” was being used by youth leaders and teachers all over the country. B-P spoke at meetings and rallies and whilst at a Boys Brigade gathering he was asked by its founder, Sir William Smith, to work out a scheme for giving greater variety in the training of boys in good citizenship

 

Lady Baden Powell

Olave St.Clair Soames, born 22 February 1889 in Stubbing Court near Chesterfield, a sister to Auriol and Arthur, parents Katherine and Harold Soames. Olave was educated by her governess and never went to school. While she was growing up her hobbies included music, horseback riding, boating, skating, tennis croquet, football, squash and hockey. Olave didn’t learn to swim until she was 15 years old and became one of her favorite sports.

On January 3rd 1912 Olave and her father set out on a voyage where she met Lieutenant General Sir Robert Baden-Powell. Olave was surprised that Lord Baden Powell recognized her from 2 years earlier when he had seen her walking her dog in London. It turned out they both celebrated their birthdays on February 22nd. Even though there was a 32 year difference in their ages they fell deeply in love. Olave received permission from her father to marry and on Wednesday, October 30th, 1912 the couple were wed in a quiet ceremony.

 

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