A tribute to
the third Lord Baden-Powell
Robert was born on 15th October, 1936, in Johannesburg. His father was working in Gwelo for the Southern Rhodesia Government. Robert was the eldest child of (Arthur Robert) Peter, the second Lord Baden-Powell (30 October 1913 - 9 December 1962), and his wife Carine nee Boardman.
Peter continued working for the SR Government, and Robert's childhood was in SR. And as a small child he went to a nrsery school / playroup. Peter was allowed to leave after the end of the Second World War, and the family came to England in about 1948, when Robert was 12. Peter's father, the 1st Lord B-P, had died in 1941, so Peter was now the 2nd Lord B-P, and took his seat in the House of Lords.
Robert's "career" was somewhat chequered - he was educated at Bryanston, where he learned to play the viola, the piano and the organ.
He was called up for National Service, and served as an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy. He was in HMS Buwark during the Suez Crisis - while ashore in Malta he happened to meet his grandmother who was passing through - she was due to visit Egypt on her way to Kenya, but was diverted.
Upon leaving the Navy, Robert took a succesion of jobs - driving instructor, etc. - before setting up "Whisky Galore", an off-licence shop in Nottingham.
Robert's father died from leukemia in 1962 aged only 49, whereupon Robert, then aged 26, succeeded to the Title of Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, originally conferred on his grandfather whose name he shared, the Founder of the worldwide Scout Movement and, with his sister Agnes, of the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts - together, the Scouts and Guides are the greatest Movements for Peace that the world has ever known.
Occasionally Robert would go home from Nottingham to Batt's Corner, Dockenfield near Frensham, Surrey. His younger brother Michale also left school, and started to work for Fairey Aviation; their younger sister Wendy was still living at home.
Another frequent visitor was another Rhodesian, Patience, the daughter of the Batty's, good friends of theirs - and as five-year-olds Patience and Robert had been at the same kingergarten.
Carine would say to Patience, "Oh, you MUST meet Robert ! You would get on SO well !" And she would say the same to Robert about Patience. So those two were determined to try NOT to meet, and determined to hate the other when they did meet.
But Cupid intervened. Robert's mother Carine eventuall did manage to arrange for them to meet. They found that Carine had been correct.
They announced their engagement in Nottingham on Monday 17th July 1963.
Robert had taken his seat in the House of Lords, and spoke very occsionally. He also became a Member of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, by patrimony - the family had been Members for some 300 years, and his grandfather had been Master in 1912.
Robert and Patience now sold up in Nottingham, and moved into the large annexe of his grandmother's Grace-and-Favour apartment at Hampton Court Palace.Robert became a Director of several companies.
They invested in a heavily-mortgaged office block in Hammersmith, but when the property market fell over a cliff, they had to sell everything, and moved into a rented house in Albury, Surrey.
Patience died after a long battle with Motor Neurone Disease on 18 December 2010 at age 74 at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Farnham, Surrey.
After a long battle with Cancer, Robert also passed away in the early hours of Saturday 28th December, 2019. Thankfully it was all much as he had wished. He was at home and at peace, surrounded by family and friends and his favourite carer in his last days, and his pain was being capably managed by his GP and the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, who did a wonderful job of looking after him.
Robert was cremated on 15th January, 2020, and this was followed by a Service of Thanksgiving held in the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, in the Surrey village of Albury, where he had lived for the previous ten years.
During his final illness, Robert asked a friend, Anthony Cassidy, to speak at his funeral, and this Tribute, was prepared by them both and read by Anthony Cassidy. The Rector of the Parish also gave an address.