African Seeds

Retirement to Nyeri


Gone home

* B-P's retirement

`There is an old African legend about the majestic bull elephant. When he realizes that death is near, he returns deep into the darkest jungle. There he dies hidden from the world.'

Baden-Powell chose Africa for his retirement. He and his wife and Chief Guide Olave Baden-Powell retreated in 1938 to the town of Nyeri in Kenya, for a few years' peace and rest away from the demands of London. Their home, specially built for them in the grounds of the Outspan Hotel, was named Paxtu after their London home, Pax Hill. Paxtu is also a Swahili word meaning `complete'.

* Last resting place

On 8 January 1941, B-P died at Paxtu at the age of 83. He was buried on the slopes below Mount Kenya, in the grounds of St Peters Anglican church. His wife's ashes are beside him. His headstone shows the simple Scout sign for "Gone Home".

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Photo from the collection of 1st Claremont Scout Group (in 1977 the name of Olave Baden-Powell was also engraved on the headstone).
Elephant quote from Hillcourt, Baden-Powell: the two lives of a hero