Obituary: Lord Robert Crause Baden-Powell, 3rd Baron of Gilwell

Submitted by NGooderson on Wed, 01/08/2020 - 15:26

Lord Robert Crause Baden-Powell—grandson of the founder of Scouting, Robert Stephenson Smythe Baden-Powell—sadly passed away on the 28 December aged 83, following a long period of illness. Born on 15 October 1936 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the son of the 2nd Baron, Arthur Robert Peter Baden-Powell and Carine Crause Baden-Powell (née Boardman), Robert was educated at Bryanston School in Blandford. He succeeded his father as the 3rd Baron of Gilwell in 1962, and married Patience Hélène Mary Batty a year later. Patience passed away in 2010.

Robert took an active involvement and interest in Scouting, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who had founded Scouting in 1907. Joining as a Cub Scout in 1946, Robert went on to become an Assistant Scout Leader with the 100th Nottingham Group between 1959 and 1962. He moved to London and became Group Scout Leader and Venture Scout Leader of the 6th Putney Group from 1965 until 1969, and was also a leader with the Ripley Venture Scout Unit. As a leader, he passionately believed that Scouts should evolve as society changed, with young people being given more opportunities to lead rather than being led by adults.

Robert held the following appointments: Chief Scout’s Commissioner (1968–1982); President of West Yorkshire Scout Council (1972-1988); Member of the Committee of Council (1972–1978) and General Purposes Sub-Committee (1973-1981) and Vice-President (1981-2019). He was awarded the UK Silver Acorn and Silver Wolf, as well as the Canadian Silver Fox. At an international level, Robert led the UK contingent to the World Scout Jamboree in Norway in 1975, he was a Deputy Camp Chief for two Canadian national Jamborees (1977 and 1981) as well as for the World Scout Jamboree in Canada in 1983, and more recently welcomed 40,000 Scouts at the opening of the 2007 World Scout Jamboree held in the UK and celebrating the Centenary of Scouting. Robert became a Baden-Powell Fellow in 1982 and in 1983 received the Bronze Wolf, the only award presented by the World Scout Committee, recognising outstanding service by an individual to the World Scout Movement.

During the 1950s, Robert undertook National Service in the Royal Navy including the Suez Crisis of 1956. His career involved time as a motor car salesman, wine merchant, public relations officer with the BBC, Chairman of London and Cheshire Insurance Company (1961–1966), money broker (1964–1984), Director of City Share Trust (1964–1970) and Bolton Building Society (1974-1988), and Managing Director of Fieldguard Limited (1984–2019) and Highline Estates Limited (1986–1995). He was also a member of British Quarter Horse Association between 1984–1989, and Chairman in 1990. In addition to this, he was Chairman of Quarter Horse Racing UK (1985–1988) and President of Camping and Caravanning Club (1992–2002).

His interests included the breeding and racing of Quarter Horses at Clandon Manor Farm in Surrey where he also lived. He also enjoyed swimming, fishing, model making, gardening, bee keeping, badminton and music.

Robert and Patience had no children, therefore the title of 4th Baron Gilwell now moves to his brother, The Honourable David Michael Baden-Powell, who lives in Australia.


Text courtesy of Scouts UK. Photo of Robert Crause Baden-Powell signing copies of his grandfather's "Scouting for Boys" © Derek Pollard