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123313212 Nigel 1943-

Nigel was born on 10 February 1943 in Mbeya, Tanganyika, the middle son of Gervas Clay and Betty née Baden‑Powell.  He was educated at Peterhouse, Rhodesia and the University of Rhodesia, but did not complete the course.

In 1962 Nigel entered the Provincial Administration of the Zambian Government, following in his father's footsteps.

Although he had been born in Africa, upon Zambian Independence on 24th October 1964 Nigel decided to take the option of British Aided Conditions of Service rather than becoming a Zambian Citizen under Local Conditions.

In 1966 (aged 23) Nigel transferred to the Tsetse Control Department, being posted to Sesheke in the Western Province, formerly Barotseland, to continue tsetse control operations in the Mashi area on the border with Angola. He was subsequently posted to the Gwembe valley at Chibuwe on the shore of Lake Kariba in January 1968. It was a God-given job for him as it allowed him to live in the bush and virtually hunt to his heart's content as his large African labour force always needed meat. The following year his brother Crispin came from Wales upon graduation to join him.

In 1969 Nigel and Crispin drove down to Durban, and then travelled back to England on leave  on board the SA Vaal sailing to Southampton, and on the ship Nigel met Elaine Hughes, on, the 11th June, 1969, her parents' wedding anniversary;  they were married on 23 August 1969 at St. Peter's Church in Bournemouth.  After a honeymoon in Kenya, and a trip to Durban to collect the car that Nigel had left there, they took a week to drive from Durban to Luusaka, Zambia, and then down to Chibuwe on Lake Kariba to begin Nigel's second three-year contract with the Zambian Government in September 1969.

They lived in a mud hut with thatched roof (a chitenje) right on the shore of Lake Kariba. Their nearest white neighbours (among them Paul and Marion Barton, teachers at the school at Chipepo, on contract from Canada) were a 20 minute motor boat ride away, or an hour's very rough drive in the dry season, impassable in the rains. There was a village of Africans, who were Nigel's labour force, living a five-minute walk away. They also had a town-house in Choma at the top of the escarpment about a three-hour drive away (in the dry season, ditto rains). Choma is on the line of rail midway between Lusaka in the east and Livingstone in the west, and was the nearest town for hospital, post office, shops and social activities. They usually went up once a month, weather permitting, to collect provisions and pay for the labourers, and stayed one or two nights making full use of the tennis club and some social contact.

Nigel and Elaine have two sons and a daughter :-

Gerard (Robert) Baden   was born on 9 September 1970, in Bournemouth.

In 1971 Nigel was transferred to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife as a Senior Wildlife Ranger and was posted to Livingstone, but with the task of developing a new National Park to the west of the Sioma Falls on the Zambezi River, called the Sioma Ngwezi National Park. It was his old stamping ground from his early days in the Tsetse Control Department! This entailed many weeks away from Elaine and their young son who remained in their little cottage in the Rest Camp a mile up-river from the Victoria Falls. Because of the actions of the Paramilitary Police who were patrolling the Angola Border, it became too dangerous for Nigel to continue with his duties and so they made the decision to leave Zambia and emigrate to Rhodesia.


After an extended holiday in South Africa and Namibia, visiting Nigel’s brothers, the family settled in Umtali in the Eastern District of Rhodesia and Nigel started work with the Department of Co-operatives as a Co-operatives Officer, promoting and assisting with the establishment of co-operative societies in the African Tribal Trust Lands.

Nigel and Elaine built their very first house in Umtali in 1971, which they expected to retire to in about 2010 – but it was not to be.  Nigel and his family left Zambia in 1972, and moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where he was Deputy Principal of Domboshawa Training College, 1973‑83.

Olivia (Isabel) Baden      was born on 26 September 1973 in Umtali, Rhodesia; she trained at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra as an Officer Cadet in the Australian Army, and was promoted to Lieutenant on graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon.  Olivia married Ian Walton, born 12 May 1963 in Beerwah, Queensland to Arthur and Margaret Walton. Olivia and Ian have a daughter Isabelle, born in Brisbane on 13th January 2002 , a second daughter Caroline, born in Brisbane on 11th July 2005 , and a son Nicholas, born in Brisbane on 23rd October 2003. Olivia and Ian have lived in Townsville since July 2011 and Ian is the Senior Pastor of the Fairfield Baptist Church.  Isabelle married Hunter Hoodcamp on 12th June 2021 in Brisbane and they live in Canberra where Hunter is an Officer Cadet at the Royal Military College, Duntroon. He plans to qualify as a helicopter pilot upon graduating from the RMC.

Adam (Paul) Baden      was born on 23 December 1975, in Umtali, Rhodesia

Towards the end of the 1970’s it became clear that there was little future in remaining in Rhodesia, and Nigel and his family left Africa, the land of his birth, and emigrated to Australia. On 24th October 1980 the family landed in Perth, Western Australia as immigrants.  As an expert in African Game, and skilled in teaching Africans, Nigel did not really fit into the Australian Immigration Department's pattern.  However, they were quite interested in Elaine's catering qualifications, and the family was sponsored by Nigel's first cousin Michael Baden-Powell, who had been at school with Nigel's brother, Robin.  Michael was three years older than Nigel, and had himself emigrated to Melbourne in 1965; he had married a local girl and raised a young family.  He had become established as an insurance agent with The Australian Mutual Provident Insurance Company

Melbourne, Australia

Nigel and his family arrived in Perth on 25th October 1980 and Nigel kissed the tarmac and told their three young children that this was now their home country. They were warmly welcomed by Michael Baden-Powell and his wife, Joan, and their 3 young sons, who were roughly the same ages as their own children.Michael suggested that Nigel  try the AMP; Nigel duly got a job as a Home Service Agent. 

Michael invited Nigel and his family to stay with him, and arranged for Nigel to try "the insurance business".  Nigel took to this immediately, and did very well at it. 

Nigel and his family had become very involved with the Scout and Guide Movements, and - like Nigel's great grandnother - they suffixed the additional surname Baden.

After 8 months in Melbourne, Nigel and Elaine felt they needed to find somewhere less frenetic than Melbourne. Also, they did not care for the Melbourne climate after Africa, so in 1981 they moved to Toowoomba in Queensland.   


They bought a house in Toowoomba, on the great dividing range some 50 miles (80 kms) west of  Brisbane, where Nigel soon established a successful insurance agency.

After eight years of this, Nigel and a colleague left the A.M.P. and started a new joint venture, which had considerable promise.  Unfortunately, a world recession and other factors intervened, and in 1992 the venture collapsed. With two of their children having left home, Nigel and Elaine decided to move  


They moved to Brisbane and rented for five years, but eventually bought a home in the western suburb of Kenmore where they lived happily for 18 years. Nigel sold his financial planning practice in 2001 and retired for the first time! Three years later Gerard invited Nigel and Elaine to join him in a real estate agency until they both retired in 2009.  


In 2015, they sold their home and moved into a Retirement Resort at Beachmere, 30 minutes drive north of Brisbane.



Elaine (Isabel Nora) née Hughes,

Elaine was born in  Liverpool, England, on 27 April 1944, the only daughter of Albert & Nora Hughes, who owned a bakery in Liverpool.  They moved to Bournemouth in 1958, when Elaine was 14, to buy a hotel which they ran until they retired ten years later, in 1968. 

Elaine had been working in Bournemouth, but went out to Cape Town in 1967, where she worked for a motoring magazine.  In January 1969, her parents went out to visit their daughter, and to see South Africa.  On virtually the last day of their trip, they were involved in a very serious car accident, and Albert spent many months in hospital.  When he wasfit enough to travel, Elaine accompanied them on their voyage back to England, and on the ship met Nigel, whose parents and mother's parents had met on board ship .....

In 1970, after she returned to Africa with her first-born, Elaine taught for a while at the Njase Secondary School about 10 minutes drive out of Choma. On her last day of teaching, she was walking back to her car in the car park and found her whole class of about 20 girls grouped under a tree. As she approached they started singing a quite haunting farewell song with magnificent harmonising. Elaine sat on the bonnet of her car just listening to them, with tears streaming down her face. It was beautiful, and a delightful and spontaneous unforgettable gesture of friendliness.


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