The name Baden-Powell is known and respected throughout the world as that of a man who, in his 83 years, devoted himself to the service of his country and his fellow men in two separate and complete lives, one as a soldier fighting for his country, and the other as a worker for peace through the brotherhood of the Scout Movement.
Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell was born at 6 Stanhope Street (now 11 Stanhope Terrace), Paddington, London on February 22, 1857. He was the sixth son and the eighth of ten children of the Reverend Baden-Powell, a Professor at Oxford University. The names Robert Stephenson were those of his Godfather, the son of George Stephenson, the railway pioneer.
His father died when B.-P. was only three years old and the family were left none too well off. B.-P. was given his first lessons by his mother and later attended Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells, where he gained a scholarship for admittance to Charterhouse School. Charterhouse School was in London when B.-P. first attended but whilst he was there it moved to Godalming, Surrey, a factor which had great influence in his later life. He was always eager to learn new skills. He played the piano and fiddle. He acted - and acted the clown too at times. He practised bricklaying, and it was whilst a scholar at Charter house that he began to exploit his interest in the arts of Scouting and woodcraft.
On 28 March 1879 at lnhlobana, South Africa, during the retreat, Lieutenant Colonel Buller, while being hotly pursued by Zulus, rescued a captain of the Frontier Light Horse and carried him on his own horse until he overtook the rearguard. On the same day, under the same circumstances, he carried a lieutenant, whose horse had been killed under him, to a place of safety. Again, on the same day, he saved a trooper whose horse was exhausted, and who would otherwise have been killed by the Zulus who were within 80 yards of him.
1839–1908, British general. His military career began in China, and he later took part in the suppression of the Red River Rebellion (1870) in Canada. In Africa he fought in the Kafir and Zulu wars (1878–79), against the Boers in the Transvaal (1881), and against the Mahdists in Sudan (1884–85). As adjutant general (1890–97), Buller reorganized the army’s supply and transport services. He was made commander in chief of troops in the South African War in 1899, but his initial failure to relieve the besieged town of Ladysmith led to his supersession (1899) by Lord Roberts of Kandahar.
BULLER, SIR REDVERS HENRY (1 839—1908), British general, son of James Wentworth Buller, M,P., of Crediton, Devonshire, and the descendant of an old Cornish family, long established in Devonshire, tracing its ‘ancestry in the female line to Edward I., was born in 1839, and educated at Eton. He entered the army in 1858, and served with the 60th (King’s Royal Rifles) in the China campaign of 186o. In 5870 he became captain, and went on thç Red River expedition, where he was first associated with Colonel (afterwards Lord) Wolseley. in 1873—74 he accompanied the latter in the Ashantee campaign as head of the Intelligence Department, and was slightly wounded at the battle of Ordabai; he was mentioned in despatches, made a C.B., and raised to the rank of major. In 1874 he inherited the family estates. In the Kaffir War of x87&~79 and the Zulu War of 1879 he was conspicuous as an intrepid and popular leader, and acquired a reputation for courage and dogged determination. In particular his conduct of the retreat at Inhlobane (March 28, 1879) drew attention to these qualities, and on that occasion he earned the V. C.; he was also~ created C.M.G. and made lieutenant-colonel and A.D.C. to the queens In the Boer War of 1881 he was Sir Evelyn Wood’s chief of staff; and thus added to his experience of South African conditions of warfare.
In 1882 he was head of the field intelligence department in the Egyptian campaign, and was knighted for ‘his services. Two years later he ~commanded an infantry brigade in the Sudan under Sir Gerald Graham, and ‘was at the battles of El Teb and Tamai, being promoted major-general for distinguished service. In the Sudan campaign of 1884-85 he was Lord Wolseley’s chief of staff, and ‘he was given command of the desert column when Sir Herbert Stewart was wounded. ‘ He distinguished himself by his conduct of the ‘retreat from Gubat to Gakdul, and by his victory at Abu Klea (February 16—i 7), and he was created K.C.B. In 1886 he was sent to Ireland to inquire into the “moonlighting” outrages,and for a short tithe he acted as under-secretary for Ireland; but in 1887 he was appointed quartermaster-general at the war office. From f 890 to 1897 he held the office of adjutant-general, attaining the rank of lieutenant-general in 1891. At the war office his ‘energy and ability inspired the belief that he was fitted for the highest command, and in 1895, when the duke of Cambridge was about to retire, it was well known that Lord Rosébery’s cabinet intended to appoint Sir Redvers as chief of the staff under a scheme of reorganization recommended by Lord Hartington’s commission. On the eve of this change, however, the government was defeated, and its successors appointed Lord Wolseley to the command under the old title of commander-in-chief. In 1896 he was made a full general.
Entered Navy in 1866, Transferred to Army in 1874.
Distinguished career as a cavalry officer. Commanded cavalry in Boer War.
Promoted Field Marshal 1913. Chief of Imperial General Staff 1912-1914.
Commander in Chief British Expeditionary Force (BEF) 1914.
Moved the BEF to France in the opening days of the War.
Expected to join the French army in offensive operations on concentration in August. Instead the BEF was attacked by superior German forces from the right wing of the massive German wheel through Belgium. Desperate battles at Mons and Le Cateau.
Orders retreat of the BEF, Informs his staff of his intention to withdraw the BEF from the battle line to refit south of the River Seine. Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for was travels to Paris and directs French to support the French forces in their battle with the advancing Germans.
The BEF retreats south of the Marne, then turns around and attacks. This attack was critical in forcing the Germans to retreat to the Aisne River (Battle of the Marne).
French continues as Commander in Chief of the BEF, through the critical battles in the northwest where the Germans attempt to break the allied defenses at Ypres. This battle spelled the end of the "Old Contemptibles", the original BEF.
Continues in command of the BEF until September 1915.
During that time the BEF conducts attack the German line at Neuve Chappelle in March. Defends itself against a major German attach at Ypres, where the Germans use poison gas for the first time on the Western Front. Conducts two more major offensive operations at Festaburt and Loos. Each of these attacks is a failure, with constantly increasing casualties with little success. French blames the high command for shortages of high explosive shell. His subordinates, particularly Gen. Haig, the First Army commander, blames French.
French is relieved of his command, September 1915.
Commander Home Forces, 1915-1918.
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1918-1921.
PERHAPS one of the most famous patriotic songs of the Anglo-Boer War was The Absent-minded Beggar by Rudyard Kipling.
Kipling had visited South Africa before the war and later became a friend of Alfred Milner and Cecil Rhodes. When the war broke out, he was asked by Britain's Daily Mail proprietor Alfred Harmsworth to work as a war correspondent.
Initially, he felt he could not take up the post, but he did contribute The Absent-minded Beggar and the poem was published on October 31 1889.
It was set to music by Sir Arthur Sullivan, who, with William Gilbert, had written the famous Gilbert & Sullivan operas. Proceeds from the sale of the resulting song sheets were "devoted by the Daily Mail in the name of Rudyard Kipling to the benefit of the wives and children of the reservists".
The picture printed on the sheets, showing a British soldier with a bandaged head holding a rifle ready to face the enemy, was from the painting titled A Gentleman in Khaki by British artist Richard Caton Woodville. Thought to have inspired Kipling's poem, the image became so popular that it was used on cups, saucers and copper plaques and in many other forms throughout the war.
Lord Kitchener of Khartoum (1850 - 1916)
Lord Kitchener © Best known for his famous recruitment posters bearing his heavily moustachioed face and pointing hand over the legend, 'Your country needs you', as secretary of state for war at the beginning of World War I Kitchener organized armies on an unprecedented scale and became a symbol of the national will to win.
Commissioned in the Royal Engineers, in 1886 Kitchener was appointed governor of the British Red Sea territories and subsequently became commander in chief of the Egyptian army in 1892. In 1898 he crushed the separatist Sudanese forces of al-Mahdi in the Battle of Omdurman and then occupied the nearby city of Khartoum, where his success saw him ennobled in 1898.
In 1900 he became commander in chief of the Boer War, where he fought the guerrillas by burning farms and herding women and children into disease-ridden concentration camps. These ruthless measures helped weaken resistance and bring British victory.
On returning to England in 1902 he was created Viscount Kitchener and was appointed commander in chief in India. In September 1911 he became the proconsul of Egypt, ruling there and in the Sudan until August 1914. When war broke out, Kitchener was on leave in England and reluctantly accepted an appointment to the cabinet as secretary of state for war. Flying in the face of popular opinion, he warned that the conflict would be decided by Britain's last 1,000,000 men. He rapidly enlisted and trained vast numbers of volunteers for a succession of entirely new 'Kitchener armies'. By the end of 1915 he was convinced of the need for military conscription, but never publicly advocated it, deferring to Prime Minister Asquith's belief that it was not yet politically practicable.
In his recruitment of soldiers, planning of strategy and mobilisation of industry, Kitchener was handicapped by bureaucracy and his own dislike for teamwork and delegation. His cabinet associates did not share the public's worship of Kitchener and gradually relieved him of his responsibilities for industrial mobilisation and then strategy. He was killed in 1916 when HMS Hampshire was sunk by a German mine while taking him to Russia.
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