Robert Baden-Powell: The UK Council for the Removal of the Scout Founder Statue

The statue, which was erected in 2008, will be removed on Thursday, local councils in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) said.

“We recognize different views on Baden-Powell’s life activities and want to create time to look at all attitudes and minimize the risk of any public disorder or antisocial behavior that could arise if the statue remains in situ,” it wrote.

The Dorset County Scout Group supports the removal, the council added.

Vikki Slade, head of the BCP council, called for a discussion on the future of the statue.

“While they are famous for creating scouts, we also recognize that there are some aspects of Robert Baden-Powell’s life that are considered less valuable to mention,” she said in a statement.

Slade also commented on the move on Facebook post on Wednesday.

“I don’t want to see the statue removed,” she wrote. “However, we had police advice that this statue was on the target list for the attack, and due to the proximity of the water and its sensitive and historical nature, I was asked to approve its temporary removal.”

The move is part of a wave of action against monuments celebrating Britain’s colonial history.

On Sunday, protesters in Bristol knocked down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston and threw him into a river, and local authorities in East London removed a statue of slave owner Robert Milligan on Tuesday.

Who was Baden-Powell?

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell of Gilwell, was born on 22 February 1857 in London and died on 8 January 1941 in the town of Nyeri, Kenya, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

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He was respected as a national hero for his actions as a British Army officer in the war in South Africa (1899-1902), and founded the Boy Scouts in 1908. Two years later he founded the Guides Girls and a similar organization for girls.

Scout movement

Scouts are intended for boys aged 10 to 14 years. The organization says that reconnaissance “exists to actively involve and support young people in their personal development, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society.”

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Baden-Powell developed an interest in teaching young people when he discovered that the 1899 military textbook “Reconnaissance Aids” was used to train boys in a wooden boat.

He decided in 1907 to set up a pilot camp for boys on Brownse Island, near Poole, and then wrote a book for what he called the Scout Movement.

Soon reconnaissance troops sprang across Britain, and in 1908 Baden-Powell published a book called “Boy Scouting.”

Two years later Baden-Powell retired from military service to focus on scouts, and that same year he founded Girls Guides with his sister Agnes.

Why was he controversial?

Baden-Powell critics say he held himself homophobic and racist looked and sympathized with fascists like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Former Bournemouth East Labor parliamentary candidate Corrie Drew told BBC TV television on Thursday: “A quick look at his history shows that he was very open to his views against homosexuality and that he was a very outspoken supporter of Hitler and fascism and a pretty strong, open racist. “

She said, “We can’t just tell shocking values ​​because they were in the past,” adding, “We can comment on a positive deed without glorifying the man.”

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Drew added that the statue is not historic – it only existed there for about ten years. “She’s not a part of our history per se,” she said.

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However, some local politicians have spoken out in defense of the statue.

Robert Syms, Member of Parliament for Poole, wrote on Twitter: “For the avoidance of doubt, I oppose the permanent removal of the Baden-Powell statue from the Poole embankment.”

Conor Burns, a representative of nearby Bournemouth West, called on the BCP council to return the statue.

“The removal of the statue of Lord Baden Powell from Poole is a huge mistake of judgment,” he said Tweeted.

On Thursday morning, Poole residents gathered to show their support for the statue.

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