Biography of English Spy Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell

About the English spy Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powel who spied for England during the Boer War.

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell. British. Worked for: England, Boer War, 1899.

Lord Baden-Powell's favorite disguise was that of a mad butterfly enthusiast. Prior to his service in South Africa, he had dashed, net in hand, around military forts in Germany, French Tunisia, and Algeria. At the end of each "sporting" day, Baden-Powell drew pictures of his captured pets. Hidden in the sketches were accurate layouts of each fort, plus the size and location of its guns. In the Boer War, Baden-Powell was a general in the British Army, but he did find time to complete one important reconnaissance trip into the Drakenburg Mountains of South Africa. He claimed to be a newspaper correspondent "with a view to recommending the country for immigration." Wearing ragged clothing and his face enhanced by a beard (grown for the mission), he chatted freely with the Boer farmers and indulged in much "idle" gossip. The maps he drew during the trip proved to be quite valuable as they corrected numerous inaccuracies in the old maps then being used by the British military. Also an author, Baden-Powell described his tracking and scouting methods in a book, Aids for Scouting. Out of this book emerged the international Boy Scout movement led by its hearty advocate, Robert Baden-Powell.

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