Baden-Powell grave

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 January 8, 1941, and is buried in St. Peter's Cemetery in the Wajee Nature Park.[1] 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.[2][3] 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".[4]

Baden-Powell grave
Baden-Powell grave
Details
Established1941
Location
CountryKenya
Coordinates0.418968°S 36.950117°E / -0.418968; 36.950117
Owned bySt. Peter's Cemetery

Background

Baden-Powell, who knew and liked Kenya, decided to start wintering in Nyeri at the Outspan Hotel of his friend, Eric Sherbrooke Walker.[5] He chose Kenya as his last home because of favorable climate and the political situation in Europe.[6] After both he and Olave died, a memorial service was held for them in Westminster Abbey.[7] 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 February 12, 1981.[7] The grave has become a pilgrimage site,[8] with as many as 50,000 people visiting the site each year. [3]

Each year on February 22, members of the Kenya Scouts Association and Kenya Girl Guides Association celebrate Founders' Day at the grave.[4]

Inscription

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":[9]

Funeral

Baden-Powell knew his health was failing and planned accordingly. His will stipulated that he was to be buried in Nyeri, eschewing the tomb alloted to him in Westminster Abbey. His death was world-wide news.[10] He left final letters for Scout and Scouters, and made plans for his burial.[11] When he died, he was given a military funeral with a procession.[12][13]

See also

References

  1. "Baden-Powell". World Scout Bureau. 8 January 1941. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  2. Kit and Morgan Benson. "Olave St. Clair Baden-Powell". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  3. "The burden of Lord Baden Powell's resting place". Business Daily Africa. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  4. "Historic shrine that's home to boy scouts and girl guides". Daily Nation. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  5. Jeal, Tim (2007). Baden-Powell: Founder of the Boy Scouts. Yale Univerrsity Press. p. 555. ISBN 9780300125139.
  6. Africa Scout Region. "Why did Baden Powell choose Nyeri, Kenya as his last home?". World Scout Bureau. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  7. "Robert & Olave Baden-Powell". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  8. Wendell, Bryan (11 April 2014). "Scouting family takes pilgrimage to Baden-Powell's grave in Kenya". Bryan on Scouting. BSA. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  9. Kit and Morgan Benson. "Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell". Find a Grave. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  10. "Baden-Powell, 83, Claimed by Death". Wilimington Morning Star. Wilmington, NC. AP. 9 January 1941. p. 3. Funeral Services For Founder Of Boy Scouts Will Be Conducted Today
  11. "B-P prepared a farewell message to his Scouts, for publication after his death". World Scouting. 1939.
  12. "Funeral Of Lord Baden-Powell 1941". British Pathé. Funeral procession of Robert Baden-Powell, head of the scouting movement for boys, in Kenya
  13. "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.
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