Roland Philipps

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Roland Erasmus Philipps (27 February 1890 - 7 July 1916) was a writer and a leading Scout official. He was the second son of John Philipps, 1st Viscount St Davids and his first wife, Leonora Gerstenberg. He was educated at Twyford School, Winchester College and New College, Oxford.[1]

Philipps became an early scout leader. In July 1912 he was appointed assistant district commissioner for East London. Towards the end of 1912 and into 1913 he and Stanley Ince established the Hackney Lectures on Scout Law.[2] In 1913 he was appointed commissioner for northeast London, and in November 1913 he was made responsible for all of East London. He wrote several books on Scouting, some published after his death.

Philipps served as a captain in the British Army during the First World War. In 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross. He was killed on 7 July 1916 leading his men into action on the Western Front.[2][3] Philipps' only sibling and previous heir presumptive to the title (Viscount St Davids) had also been killed in the First World War on 13 May 1915.

Roland House, in the East End of London, which he left in his will to the Scouts of East London, was an important part of Scouting in London and more widely in Scouting in the United Kingdom. The House on the Green, as it was known, became a memorial to him.[4] It was a home to several Scout Leaders from Groups in East London, a hostel for visitors, the headquarters of a Rover Scout Crew and a Scout Shop.[2]

The Patrol System.jpg

A Scout Group in Mexico is named after him, and has recorded his biography in detail.[5][6]

The Hon. Roland Augusto Jestyn Estanislao Philipps, (better known as blues musician Todd Sharpville), was named after his ancestor Roland Erasmus Philipps.

Partial bibliography[edit]