Baden-Powell grave
Baden-Powell grave
Details
Established1941
Location
CountryKenya
Coordinates0°25′08″S 36°57′00″E / 0.418968°S 36.950117°E / -0.418968; 36.950117
Owned bySt. Peter's Cemetery

The graves of Lieutenant-General The 1st Baron Baden-Powell and his wife, Olave, Baroness Baden-Powell, G.B.E., are in Nyeri, Nyeri County, Kenya, near Mount Kenya. Lord Baden-Powell died on 8 January 1941, and is buried in St. Peter's Cemetery in the Wajee Nature Park. When his wife Olave, Lady Baden-Powell, died, her ashes were sent to Kenya and interred beside her husband. Kenya has declared Baden-Powell's grave a national monument, Scouters consider the grave, "one of the most revered shrines and pilgrimage sites in the world."

Background

Baden-Powell, who knew and liked Kenya, decided to start wintering in Nyeri at the Outspan Hotel of his friend, Eric Sherbrooke Walker.[1] He chose Kenya as his last home because of favorable climate and the political situation in Europe.[2] Baden-Powell knew his health was failing and planned accordingly. He said, "I'd rather die in Africa, where my heart is, than anywhere".[3] His will stipulated that he was to be buried in Nyeri, eschewing the tomb allotted to him in Westminster Abbey. He left final letters for Scouts and Scouters, and made plans for his burial.[4]

His death was world-wide news.[3][5] Speaking for Canada, Prime Minister MacKenzie King called it, "a loss which will be felt throughout the civilized world". He also said, "The Boy Scout movement will in itself be his enduring memorial".[6] Baden-Powell was given a military funeral with a procession.[7][8] He was buried in St. Peter's Cemetery in the Wajee Nature Park.[9]

When Baden-Powell's wife, Olave, died on 25 June 1977, she was cremated and her ashes taken to Kenya for interment at the Baden-Powell gravesite.[10] A memorial service was subsequently held for them in Westminster Abbey.[11] The memorial stone is in the south aisle of the nave of Westminster Abbey, against the screen of St George’s chapel and was unveiled on 12 February 1981.[11]

Inscription

Close up
Close up
Robert Baden Powell

Chief Scout of the World
22nd February 1857
8th January 1941

Olave Baden Powell
World Chief Guide
22nd February 1889
25th June 1977

ʘ

His gravestone bears a circle with a dot in the center, "ʘ", which is the trail sign for "Going home", or "I have gone home".[12]

Legacy

Kenya has declared Baden-Powell's grave a national monument.[13] The nation's largest newspaper, the Daily Nation, has called the Scouting founder's final resting place "one of the most revered shrines and pilgrimage sites in the world",[12] with as many as 50,000 people visiting the site each year.[13] Each year on 22 February, members of the Kenya Scouts Association and Kenya Girl Guides Association celebrate Founders' Day at the grave.[14] The British government employs staff to maintain the site.[15]

See also

References

  1. ^ Jeal, Tim (2007). Baden-Powell: Founder of the Boy Scouts. Yale University Press. p. 555. ISBN 9780300125139.
  2. ^ Africa Scout Region. "Why did Baden Powell choose Nyeri, Kenya as his last home?". World Scout Bureau. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Lord Baden-Powell Dies at 83, World Hero of Boer Conflict Helped to Found Boy Scouts". Richmond Times-Dispatch. AP. 9 January 1941. p. 12. Retrieved 13 October 2020 – via Newspapers.com.open access
  4. ^ "B-P prepared a farewell message to his Scouts, for publication after his death". World Scouting. 1939.
  5. ^ "Kenya: The Funeral of Lord Baden-Powell". Reuters. 9 January 1941.
  6. ^ "Tributes to Scout Founder Are Voiced Across Dominion". The Province. Vancouver, British Columbia. Canadian Press. 8 January 1941. Retrieved 13 October 2020 – via Newspapers.com.open access
  7. ^ "Funeral Of Lord Baden-Powell 1941". British Pathé. Funeral procession of Robert Baden-Powell, head of the scouting movement for boys, in Kenya
  8. ^ "The Funeral of The Chief Scout, Lieutenant General the Right Honourable Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell O.M." Imperial War Museum. The scene at the graveside during the military funeral of Lord Baden-Powell at Nyeri, Kenya. According to the original caption, the church at Nyeri is too small for such a large congregation, so the service is held beside the grave. Brigadier General Sir Godfrey Rhodes can be seen beyond the coffin, wearing the uniform of the Scout Commissioner of Kenya.
  9. ^ "Baden-Powell". World Scout Bureau. 8 January 1941. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Lady Baden-Powell dies; widow of Scouts' founder". Chicago Tribune. 27 June 1977. Retrieved 13 October 2020 – via Newspapers.com.open access
  11. ^ a b "Robert & Olave Baden-Powell". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  12. ^ a b Wendell, Bryan (11 April 2014). "Scouting family takes pilgrimage to Baden-Powell's grave in Kenya". Bryan on Scouting. BSA. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  13. ^ a b "The burden of Lord Baden Powell's resting place". Business Daily Africa. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Historic shrine that's home to boy scouts and girl guides". Daily Nation. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  15. ^ Komu, Nicholas (12 June 2020). "Focus shifts to Baden Powell's grave in Nyeri as racism skeletons emerge". Nairobi News.