Kenneth McLaren

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Kenneth McLaren DSO (sometimes known as Kenneth MacLaren),[1] DSO, (1860–1924) was a Major[2] in the 13th Hussars regiment of the British Army. After his military service he assisted with the growth of the Scouting movement founded by his friend Robert Baden-Powell.

In 1898 McLaren married Leila Evelyn Landon, who died in 1904. He married Ethyl Mary Wilson in 1910 despite the advice of Baden-Powell, who considered her below his station.[3]

Military service[edit]

McLaren had schooled at Harrow[4] and studied at Sandhurst[5] before joining his regiment, the 13th Hussars in 1880.[6] He was posted to India, where he served as regimental adjutant and later aide de camp to General Baker Russell.[1][7] In South Africa he was gravely wounded at the siege of Mafeking in March 1900, falling prisoner to the Boers.[1] He was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in November 1900.[8] McLaren played polo throughout his military service,[9] and was umpire of one of the two matches in the 1908 London Olympics.[10]

McLaren first met Baden-Powell (also a 13th Hussars officer) in 1881. Although McLaren was 20 at the time, Baden-Powell nicknamed him "the Boy", on account of his appearance.[5][6][11][12][13] The two became fast friends, their relationship being one of the most important friendships in Baden-Powell's life.[3][13][14]

McLaren was recalled to military service in World War I, but retired again in 1915 due to ill-health.[4][15]

Boy Scouts[edit]

McLaren was one of the staff at Baden-Powell's Brownsea Island Scout camp in 1907.[3][13][16][17] Baden-Powell convinced McLaren to be his first manager at the C. Arthur Pearson Limited office of The Scout magazine but McLaren resigned that position in March 1908.[3][18][19]


  1. ^ a b c "Captain Kenneth MacLaren, 13th Hussars, who it will be remembered was for a time adjutant of the regiment, was in July 1899 acting as A.D.C. to General Sir Baker Russell. He was then ordered to South Africa, as Colonel R. S. S. Baden-Powell had applied for his services. Captain MacLaren had been seriously wounded outside Mafeking, March 31, 1900." CHAPTER XXXVI. South African War, 1899-1900. Part Two. To December 1900.Regimental History, C. R. B. Barrett, History of the XIII Hussars, 1911 [1]
  2. ^ "Obituary Many of our older readers will have heard with deep regret of the death of Major Kenneth McLaren, late of the 13th Hussars. Cavalry journal, Volume 15 - Page 105
  3. ^ a b c d Jeal, Tim (1989). Baden-Powell. London: Hutchinson. pp. 74–83. ISBN 0-09-170670-X. 
  4. ^ a b Military career
  5. ^ a b Craigmoe, Peter (2006). Burnham: King of Scouts. ISBN 978-1-4120-0901-0. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  6. ^ a b Jeal, p. 66
  7. ^ "Naval and military intelligence". The Times. 1895. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27359. p. 6305. 27 September 1901.
  9. ^ The Badminton Magazine of Sports and Pastimes, Volume 9, p. 277, Longmans, Green and Co., 1899 (Original from Princeton University)
  10. ^ Horace A. Laffaye, Nigel À Brassard, The Evolution of Polo, McFarland, 2009, ISBN 0-7864-3814-2, p. 119
  11. ^ Brian Gardner, Mafeking: a Victorian legend, Cassell, 1966, p. 19
  12. ^ Ronald Hyam, Britain's imperial century, 1815-1914: a study of empire and expansion, Barnes & Noble Books, 1976, ISBN 0-06-493099-8, p. 137
  13. ^ a b c Warren, Allen (2008). "Powell, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-, first Baron Baden-Powell (1857–1941)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 
  14. ^ The character factory: Baden-Powell and the origins of the Boy Scout movement - Page 48; Michael Rosenthal
  15. ^ Supplement 4039 to the London Gazette, 24 April 1915.
  16. ^ Knobel, Bruno (1962). Das große Abenteuer Lord Baden-Powells (in German) (2 ed.). Zürich: Polygraphischer Verlag AG Zürich. p. 197. 
  17. ^ "1907-eine Bewegung entsteht Die Insel Brownsea: Es geht los!". SCOUTING — Unabhängige Zeitschrift für Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder (in German). 2/2007: 10. 2007. 
  18. ^ "Gilwell Gazette Vol 1 No.7" (PDF). April 20, 2007. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  19. ^ Ernest Edwin Reynolds (1962). BIPI (in German) (3 ed.). Augsburg: Verlag Die Brigg. p. 91.