Return to 'Scouting Milestones' links
Scouting Personalities

Return to the Index


Connaught, Arthur William Patrick Albert Saxe-Coburg, Duke of, K.G. 1850-1942

Early President of the Scout Association and long-term supporter of Baden-Powell

THE Duke of Connaught was the third son and seventh child born to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and so was brother to King Edward VII. Baden-Powell had known HRH The Duke of Connaught, K.G., since 1883 in India when HRH was Divisional General at Merut. B-P wrote of him:

The Duke of Connaught
"The Duke of Connaught ... had the extraordinary gift of seeing the human side of every venture. He realised how far his officers and how far his men could go, and through his personal sympathy and memory of every personality with which he came into contact, he gained the whole-hearted and devoted team-work of those serving under him."

The Duke also had great respect for Baden-Powell and, in his rôle of Inspector-General of the Armed Forces, wrote on B-P's retirement from the army in 1904 that he "had done more than any other Inspector-General for the Cavalry." (B-P retired as Inspector-General for the Cavalry)

In 1906, B-P toured South Africa as an aide to the Duke and there can be little doubt that he did not loose this opportunity to sound out his 'Boy Scout Scheme'. The Duke became a great supporter of Scouting and in May 1913 became President of the Scout Association, and filled this rôle until his death in 1942. The Duke was an influential character in B-P's life and HRH's appointment as Governor General of Canada, 1911-16 will have been helpful to the spread of Scouting in that country.

A special presentation of a 'swastika' Thanks Badge, specially mounted on a walking stick, was made to The Duke of Connaught, on the occasion of his engagement to the Duchess of Fife, by Baden-Powell on behalf of the Boy Scout Movement on October 15th, 1913.

The Duke in turn later presented his nephew Edward, Prince of Wales with his Silver Wolf on the Prince's return from his world tour at the 'Posse of Welcome', Alexander Palace, on October 7th, 1922. The link will take you to a photograph of this occasion.

HRH the Duke of Connaught retired from public life in 1928 but, as President of the Association, opened the 'Coming of Age Jamboree' at Birkenhead near Liverpool in 1929. After his death in 1942, the Duke of Gloucester took over the Presidency of the Association.

Return to the Index

Cornwell, John ('Jack') Travers. 1900-1916

Scout VC, whose death led to the introduction of The Cornwell Award

THE 'Boy Scout Hero' who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his courage during the battle of Jutland. The Cornwell Award tells the story of his short life.

Return to the Index


Dagge, Ada May.

Founder of the first British Boy Scout Group overseas. Diarist of the last 'Peace Cruise'

ADA May Dagge was a significant personality in Scout and Guide History. In 1910, she formed the 1st Peninsula Boy Scout Group in Oporto, Portugal which became a founder member of British Boy Scouts in Foreign Countries, an organisation which still exists today under the title British Groups Abroad. In 1912 Miss Dagge formed a Guide Company in the same city and added a Wolf Cub Pack in 1933.

In the early days much advice, information and encouragement was received from Headquarters from the then Chief Commissioner, Lieut. General Sir Edmund Elles, G.C.I.E., K.C.B. The group prospered and Miss Dagge was invited to be present at the Royal Review of the Scouts held at Windsor in 1911.

During the 1914-18 war Miss Dagge came to England to help with war work, but returned to Portugal to resume her Scouting. She was present at the First World Jamboree held at Olympia in August 1920, and received her Akela's warrant in the same year.

Miss Dagge, to her regret, had to give up active Scout work in 1923, but still continued to take great interest in the movement. On the invitation of International Scout Headquarters in 1931 she attended the 6th Biennial International Scout Conference in Vienna–Baden. Together with Lord and Lady Baden-Powell and their children, she also took part in the third Scout and Guide Cruise on the Orduña in 1934, keeping a journal of the cruise which forms the basis of the Milestones article, The Voyage of The Orduña

I am indebted to Tony Dunn, British Groups Abroad Historian for the above information.
British Groups Abroad can be contacted at

Return to the Index

Dimmock, Frederick Haydn. 1895-1955

Long-serving editor of The Scout

HAYDN Dimmock, or 'Dim' as he was known to his Scout friends, was a central part of the Scout Movement between the two World Wars and rose to the heights of a much-respected editor of The Scout. Indeed, much of Dimmock's life seems to be bound up, one way or another with Scouting and Magazines.

Haydn Dimmock

Dimmock was persuaded by a schoolmaster in 1909 to read an edition of the The Scout and rapidly became hooked on Scouting. That was not really surprising as, prior to seeing any official literature, he was given to wearing a broad-brimmed hat with Scout membership badge in his buttonhole. The magazine encouraged him to form his own patrol. After his family moved from Enfield, in Middlesex, to Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, he joined the local troop and shortly afterwards he was asked to assist in producing the group Magazine. The family had to move again, returning to Enfield in 1910, where the local Scoutmaster was the legendary P B Nevill, who was connected with Roland House. Dimmock was impressed by the group, but not overwhelmed, and was soon volunteering his own talents as the editor of a new troop magazine, The Stalker. So good was this magazine that it was extended, with Dimmock still in editorial control, as the local District magazine, printed by Scouts on their own printing press. The sales of this magazine, said his County Commissioner, interfered with those of the Headquarters Gazette ! Arrangements were made for Dimmock to meet Percy Everett, who was the Scout Headquarters link with Pearson's, The Scout magazine's publishers, and its editor 'Uncle' Elwes. By 1918 Dimmock had become the Editor of The Scout, a position he was to hold until 1954, a total of 36 years. During this time Dimmock played a central part in the development of the Scout Association and worked closely with most of its central personalities, including B-P, up to his leaving England for the last time to go to Africa in 1938.

In his book, Bare Knee Days, Dimmock tells of visit he made in 1928 to the Carlton Theatre, London. He very much enjoyed the show called Good News mainly thanks to the energy and charisma of the lead actor, one Ralph Reader. (There is to be a future Milestone's article on Reader and the Gang Shows.) Later Dimmock wrote to Reader and the two met over lunch in the Scout Restaurant in Imperial Headquarters. Dimmock recalled correspondence he had had with Reader when the actor was Boy Scout, about a sick rabbit! Talk soon got round as to how Reader might become involved with Boy Scout productions and he was speedily introduced to those responsible for the pantomimes at Roland House and then to the Holborn Rovers. Ralph Reader, in his book It's been terrific recalls this meeting, "Long before I left him I knew I wanted to be back with the greatest youth movement of all." So Dimmock played a central rôle in introducing Ralph Reader back into Scouting, and was at least partially responsible for the subsequent Gang Shows that have been such a feature of Scouting in London and wherever Scouting is to be found.

HAYDN Dimmock's other main passion in life was that of steam trains, and part of his genius was an ability to combine his interests. It was Dimmock who was responsible for the 'Train Cruises' of the 1930's. Perhaps it was his interest in trains that persuaded him to accompany E E (Josh) Reynolds on his 1944 visit to the Scout International Relief Service teams (SIRS), set up by Reynolds, which were working in Europe - mainly with 'Displaced Persons' - as the Nazis were forced into vacating their former occupied territories. If it was, he must have found it somewhat frustrating. Their booked train failed to leave London for four successive days. Not that Dimmock did not deserve to be present at any meeting of SIRS, his fund-raising ideas enabled the £30,000 required to start the organisation to be raised in one day.

Scoutcar badge
Thumbstick badge. The inscription reads: 'The Scout National Speedster Championships 1939'

He is credited with devising 'Bob-a-Job Week', though this was not in the form I knew it as Wolf Cub until 1949, which was a feature of Scouting until it was discontinued in 1970. B-P was vehemently opposed to any form of 'begging', even the selling of 'flags' on 'flag days', a fund-raising ploy used by all other charities of the day. In 1914 B-P's publisher Pearson, who was always a philanthropist, had started to go blind, and wanted to raise money for Braille publishing. He sent for Dimmock, then a junior on the staff of The Scout, and the idea of Scouts raising money by working for it, albeit in this case for a charity, was born.

Another innovation credited to Dimmock was the 'Soap Box Derby', which was started in 1939. In truth the idea started in America, but when Dimmock adapted it for British use, he decided that the cart should be self-propelled and they were usually pedal-powered, as opposed to the freewheeling downhill racers of the United States. The vehicles had to made by the Scout Group, with marks being given for design. There is still an annual 'National Grand Prix', held in a different location each year, which attracts many thousands of spectators.

DIMMOCK'S dedication to Scouting was well-recognised and his many friends were delighted when he received the M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) in the 1951 New Year's Honours List.

Dimmock's 'trade' was writing, which he did with a sense of humour, as is illustrated by the title of his autobiography, Bare Knee Days. He also wrote many Scouting stories aimed at Scouts, The Jamboree Journey and Always a Scout being the best known. He was also an excellent speaker and much in demand at County events well into the 1950's. The Chief Scout at the time, Lord Rowallen, who wrote Dimmock's obituary for the The Scouter in May 1955, remarks on 'Dim's' powers as an "orator par excellence", as far as Scouts themselves were concerned at camp fires, PL's conferences and Scouts' Owns. This is a most fitting tribute as it emphasises Haydn Dimmock's greatest achievement, an ability to relate to the boy and create for him a world that would capture his imagination and that of hundreds of thousands like him.

Return to the Index


Elwes, H Geoffrey 'Uncle'. ?-1936

Early involvement in Scouting. Long time Editor of Headquarter's Gazette

'UNCLE' Elwes played a rôle in the early days of Scouting. He was present at Baden-Powell's 'Second Holiday Camp' at Beaulieu. From his Editor's Chair, he commented on many aspects of Scouting, including the Scouts Defence Corps, the early Senior Scouts and the Rover section. He ran the St. George's Scout Club, founded at the start of the First World War, was a friend of Roland Philipps, a member of the 'board of examiners' on early Wood Badge courses, a member of the Committee of Management of the 'Scouts' Friendly Society and Headquarters' Commissioner for Old Scouts.

His book The Scout Spirit is a collection of some of his avuncular articles in Headquarter's Gazette.

Return to the Index

Evans-Lombe, John Michael, M.C., 1896-1938 and Thomas Brian Ashton 1893-1994

Brothers at Baden-Powell's 'Experimental Camp'

FOR more, see the entries on these brothers on the Brownsea Island Page

Return to the Index

Everett, Sir Percy Winn. 1870-1952

The first Deputy Chief Scout. B-P's 'Right-hand'

EVERETT'S family came from the Ipswich area. His father was the Member of Parliament for Woodbridge, Suffolk and Percy went to Ipswich School, where he was a fine athlete and cricketer.

Percy Everett first met Baden-Powell in 1906 at a house-party given by B-P's publisher Sir Arthur Pearson, at his home in Frensham Place, Surrey. Everett, Pearson's Editor-in-Chief, was present and he remembered the conversation between B-P and Pearson, which was to lead to the name 'Boy Scout' being chosen for the new movement. It is not possible to be nearer to the birth of Scouting than that!

B-P and Everett
Fooling around with shoulder tabs, as worn by the boys at Baden-Powell's Experimental Camp, on the Brownsea Anniversary in 1928, B-P has written on the photograph:
"We've been together now for twenty years
And it don't see a day too much:
There ain't a Scouter living in the land
As I'd change for P.E. as such."

Pearson assigned Everett to B-P, to assist him with the publication of Scouting for Boys and so Pearson travelled to Brownsea Island to observe B-P's Experimental Camp. He was not there for the whole camp, as sometimes he and B-P allowed people to think, but he was there for the last campfire. He was hooked, and the feeling was mutual.

Everett was to spend a few days at B-P's next two camps at Humshaugh and Beaulieu. As he was being rowed to the TS Mercury with his son Varley, who was a participant at the camp, Everett first met Geoffrey 'Uncle' Elwes, Editor of the Headquarters Gazette. They were to become lifelong friends. Varley, who went to Sandroyd School, on the Wiltshire/Dorset borders, where he started a Scout patrol that formed the basis for the School Scout Troop, was to become a keen Scout and was often used as photographic model for early Scouting pamphlets. His visit to TS Mercury may have had a lasting impression, as he went on to become at Lt-Commander in the Royal Navy. Everett's wife, the former Miss R Cay from South Shields, was to become Secretary of Hertfordshire Girl Guide Association and their daughter, Winn, was a keen Girl Guide before she went on to become a surgeon.

There was a strong bond between Baden-Powell and Everett. They and their families were the best of friends. They stayed, with their families, in each other's houses. They corresponded on a daily basis, sometimes the letters were more than one a day, yet reading their letters there is what I would describe as a very English reserve and formality. Yet it is not too fanciful to say that Everett was a disciple of B-P, a person who tried to model his life on B-P's teachings. He daily carried out the exercises B-P advocated in Scouting for Boys and even tied his shoelaces in B-P's manner!

SIR Percy Everett, as he became, only wrote one book, and that little more than a booklet, entitled The First Ten Years, published in 1948. This is a little surprising, given that he was after all a literary editor. It is a pity that there was never a second, a third, fourth and even a concluding fifth volume.

It would be easy to assume, on reading the chronology of Everett's Scouting appointments and achievements, that the man must have been totally committed, and had no time left in his life for anything else, but this was not the case. Everett was a well-rounded, amusing and social person. He was the president of the Crime Club, a bridge aficionado, publisher of brian-teasers under the pseudonym 'Mr X' in the Royal Magazine, was Chairman of one hospital and on the board of two teaching hospitals, besides having a keen interest in the fire service. He was also a governor of his old school.

Everett's contribution to Scouting is only exceeded by that of B-P himself. The Chief was only too happy to acknowledge this fact, by awarding Everett the only other six-bead Wood Badge, the other being his own. The ultimate accolade, which was made during Everett's lifetime, was The Founder's assertion that from the time he met he met Everett in 1906, when Scouting was only an idea, to his final departure to Africa in 1938 - by which time Scouting had become the largest youth organisation that the world had ever seen - that Everett had been his 'right hand'.

Sir Percy Everett's Scouting Chronology
1906 First met Baden-Powell at a week-end party at the house of Sir Arthur Pearson
1907 B-P's editor whilst he was writing Scouting for Boys
Attended Brownsea Experimental Camp for the final day including the campfire
1908 Founded 1st Elstree Troop, in the early months of 1908, when six boys asked him to become their Scoutmaster
Attended B-P's Humshaugh camp for a few days
1909 One of three Scoutmasters responsible for the land camp at Bucklers Hard during B-P's Beaulieu camp
County Commissioner for Hertfordshire
Commissioner for Headquarters
At Crystal Palace Rally Everett prepared the important resolution on multi-faith Scouting
1910 County Commissioner for Middlesex - a position he held until 1914
1911 Helped organise the crucial 1911 county gathering at Windsor Great Park, for which he was awarded his Silver Wolf
1913 Everett was asked by B-P to prepare a set of rules for 'junior scouts' which became the Wolf Cub section
1917 Became Secretary of the Scout Association
Honorary Secretary of the Girl Guides Association
1918 Was amongst the first five 'Chief Scout Commissioners' appointed by B-P
1919 When Gilwell Park opened, appointed Commissioner for Training
1921 In B-P's absence was on the selection committee for Shackleton's Quest Expedition and so helped to select 'Scout Marr'
1928 At Brownsea Re-union at Pax Hill
1929 Assisted in the organisation for the Arrow Park Birkenhead World Jamboree
1930 Knighted "for services rendered in the Boy Scout and Girl Guide Movements" after 6 letters to 'the authorities' from B-P
1933 Calgaric Cruise. Though B-P was on board he was very ill and Everett deputised for him
1936 Represented the Chief Scout at the Pan-Australian Jamboree
Treasurer of Roland House, a position held until 1950
1938 Orduña Cruise, again B-P on board but very ill, Everett deputised for him
1939 Visited Canada and the USA as representative of the Chief Scout
1940 Lord Somers, Acting Chief Scout, accepts an appointment as a Red Cross Commissioner in the Middle East. Everett one of a triumvirate, with Lord Hampton and Sir Alfred Pickford, acted in his absence to run the Scout Association (as Lord Baden-Powell was now resident in Kenya) until 1941 when after B-P's death Lord Somers was elected Chief Scout.
1941 Made Deputy Chief Scout for Great Britain
1948 June 5th. Sir Percy unveils a memorial at the Wimbledon Windmill commemorating B-P's writing part of Scouting for Boys at this address and from where Sir Percy collected his copy to take to the publishers
1949 Everett presented Gilwell Park with the six-bead Wood Badge conferred on him by B-P.
1952 Resigned from his Scouting offices shortly before he died on 23rd February, aged 82.

Return to the Index

Continue to browse alphabetically

Return to the "Milestones" introduction, or go to Childhood Memories First Page
Johnny Walker hopes that you will sign the Visitors' Book, look at the Feedback Page and welcomes your comments about this Site,
which is v 3.4 and was last updated in February, 2006.
If you have any technical queries or comments, contact WebPages designer, Mike Ryalls.

This article, the text, the images (unless separately acknowledged) and the underlying coding are Copyright C R Walker©, 2003 - 2006