Baden Drive, E4

Place Name

As with Powell Drive this is named in honour of the founder of the scouting movement which has its headquarters at the nearby Gilwell Park estate. It was purchased in early 1919 by William De Bois Maclaren, a publisher and Scout Commissioner from Scotland. During a business trip to London, he was saddened to see that Scouts in the East End had nowhere suitable to have outdoor adventures. Maclaren bought the estate for the Scout Association. PB Nevill, Scout Commissioner for the East End first took his Rover Scouts to begin repairing the estate on April 17, 1919 and it was officially opened on July 26, 1919. Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell (February 22, 1857 – January 8, 1941), 1st Baron Baden-Powell, is best known for forming the scouting movement in 1907 and writing Scouting for Boys. He had previously been a commander in South Africa, where he successfully defended the town of Mafeking during a 217-day siege using a number of clever deceptions including the laying of fake landmines and ordered his soldiers to move as if avoiding barbed wire, among other improvisions. The Boers believing that the town was more heavily defended than it actually was, eventually retreated. However, in later life he became a controversial figure. In 2010, declassified MI5 files revealed that he had been invited to meet Adolf Hitler after holding discussions about building closer ties with the Hitler Youth programme. Baden-Powell has also been accused of holding racist and homophobic views.

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