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Baden-Powell was born Paddington in London, on 22 February 1857. His father was a Church of England priest and professor at Oxford University. His father died when he was just three years old, and it was left to his mother, Henrietta Grace Smyth to bring up Baden-Powell and his siblings. He studied at Charterhouse school and learnt rudimentary scouting skills playing in nearby woods. After school, he joined the British Army as an officer and was posted in India. He served in the British army from 1876–1910. During his army career, he learnt more advanced scouting skills, especially during his time in South Africa where knowledge of the countryside was vital for gaining information and avoiding the enemy. In 1884 he published Reconnaissance and Scouting. Jesus and lion the perfect combination canvas. From 1899 to May 1900, Baden-Powell commanded the garrison at Mafeking during the Second Boer War. The siege of Mafeking lasted 217 days and the successful defence of the town raised the national profile of Baden-Powell.

Jesus and lion the perfect combination canvas

From this initial starting point, the scouting movement soon blossomed. In 1909, there was the first National Scout Rally at Crystal Palace. It was attended by 11,000 boys and illustrated the rapid growth in popularity. There were also girls who wished to be part of this new movement. This led to the formation in 1910 of a parallel organisation, The Girl Guides, which was run by his sister Agnes Baden-Powell. The Scouting movement also became an international organisation with scouting groups forming around the world. Unfortunately, the First World War temporarily destroyed much of this international feeling; though former Scouts used much of their training in the trenches on the Western Front. However, in 1920, two years after the end of the First World War, an international scouting convention was held in Olympia, London where Baden-Powell was declared Chief Scout.

Baden-Powell met his future wife, Olave St Clair Soames, on the ocean liner Arcadian in 1912. She was 23, he was 55. The marriage gained a lot of media publicity due to the high profile nature of Baden Powell. They were married in secret and later had three children. According to a biographer Tim Jeal, Baden-Powell had some implicit though rather naive sympathy to fascism. He read Mein Kampf in 1939 and in his diary noted: “Lay up all day. Read Mein Kampf. A wonderful book, with good ideas on education, health, propaganda, organisation etc. — and ideals which Hitler does not practise himself.” His scouting movement was blacklisted by Hitler and the Nazi party. In Nazi Germany, the Scouts was listed as a ‘dangerous spy organisation.’ and “a haven for young men opposed to the new State.” Jesus and lion the perfect combination canvas. In 1940, Baden-Powell was on a blacklist of people to be arrested should the Nazi’s invade England.

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From an early age, she was interested in acting. Even with her father (a camera enthusiast), she had compiled some early motion picture videos. When she was 17, she attended the Royal Dramatic Theater School in Stockholm. She made her début on the stage but was more interested in working in films. Her first minor speaking role came in 1935 when she played a maid in a low budget Swedish film “Munkborgreven” In the late 1930s, she made her big break into Hollywood. She had starred in a Swedish production of “Intermezzo” (1936) the story of a violinist who has an affair with his daughter’s violin teacher. Bergman played the role of the violin teacher. The director David Selznick was so impressed with Bergman’s role that he bought the rights to have the film remade in Hollywood and chose Bergman to play the lead role. The film Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939) was a commercial and critical success, leading Selznick to sign Bergman for a seven-year deal.

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