Robert Baden-Powell would be turning 161 on February 22 and Rose Hill School pupils celebrate his birthday every year.
Baden-Powell attended the school at the original site on the London Road in the 1860s, and he credits his time at Rose Hill, under Headmaster Thomas Allfree, exploring the nearby common and woods with the creation of the Scouts many years later. His book Scouting for Boys was the fourth bestselling book of the twentieth century and sold 150 million copies. He kept in touch with the school until his death in Kenya in 1941.
In his final letter to the Scouts Baden-Powell wished the Scouts a happy life. ‘One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so you can enjoy life when you are a man. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.
‘Be prepared” in this way, to live happy and to die happy – stick to your Scout Promise always – even after you have ceased to be a boy – and God help you to do it’.