Before he found fame as the triumphant defender of Mafeking in the Boer War, Robert Baden-Powell, later the founder of the worldwide Scout movement, was a notable colonial soldier in India and Africa and recorded his exploits in a number of books. This is his account of his campaign to put down a revolt against British rule raised by the warlike Matabele tribe in the territory that later became Rhodesia and is today’s Zimbabwe. This lavishly illustrated book – it carries 100 drawings, photos and and maps, some drawn in B.Ps own hand, for he was as gifted an artist as he was a warrior – is the great man’s own campaign diary. The ideals of the Scout movement he would one day lead were already forming in B.P’s head, for the book is full of advice to ‘Be Prepared’ – later the Scout movement’s motto, – as well as unconscious humour such as the caption to a picture of B.P charging down rocks hotly pursued by Matabele warriors: ‘When pursued by the Matabele among the boulders of the Matopo country it was of the greatest advantage to be equipped with rubber-soled shoes, and to have that command of your feet which is acquired in the practice of skirt-dancing’. More than just a curio of a colonial campaign, this book is a fascinating compendium of scouting lore and a must for anyone interested in Africa.
MATABELE CAMPAIGN 1896: Being a Narrative of the Campaign in Suppressing the Native Rising in Matabeleland and Mashonaland
Robert Baden-Powell’s diary of his 1896 campaign to crush the Matabele revolt in today’s ZImbabwe. Lavishly illustrated and a must for anyone interested in Africa, Scouting, or B.P. himself.