Baden-Powell - RDG Museum

RDG Museum

Baden-Powell - RDG Museum


Lieutenant Colonel Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941), who commanded the 5th Dragoon Guards in India from 25 April 1897 to 8 July 1899, was to put his experience as Commanding Officer and those gained in South Africa to form the Boy Scout movement. He had at first formed the sons of soldiers serving with the Regiment into groups to teach them self-preservation and leadership, and the scouting knowledge gained in South Africa added to his ambitions.

The following is an extract from Major General Evans' History of the Regiment:

The 5th Dragoon Guards at this time (1899), when they were ordered to make ready to join the contingent which was being organised in India for service in South Africa, were commanded by an officer of outstanding personality and ability. Lieutenant Colonel R S Baden-Powell, "B-P" as he was always called, held strong and slightly unorthodox ideas on the need for flexibility in cavalry tactics and the advantages to be gained from training, not only the junior leader, but also the individual soldier to be self reliant and capable of independent action in accordance with a general principle. Under him, NCOs and men were instructed in "personal tactics" - then regarded as a specialised subject - scouting, and taught to use their brains in taking advantage of natural cover as well as riding knee to knee, and encouraged to use their initiative".

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