Kenneth McLaren

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Kenneth McLaren (1860–1924) was a British Army major[1] in the 13th Hussars who served with Robert Baden-Powell in India. He was exceptionally young looking,[2] considered by BP to pass for a boy of fourteen when he first set eyes on him in 1880. The two became fast friends, their relationship being the most important emotional attachment in the latter's life.[3]

McLaren was brought in to help with the growing Scout movement in 1907, serving on the staff at the Brownsea Island Scout camp.[3] Later, Baden-Powell invited him to be the Boy Scouts' first manager.[3] In the early power struggles of the period, Baden-Powell trusted in his friend to prevent others from leading the organization in a wrong direction. (Jeal, p.388)

Baden-Powell nicknamed McLaren affectionately "The Boy," and remained close to him until (against Baden-Powell's advice) McLaren chose to remarry after divorcing his wife of thirty years, to a woman who in Baden-Powell's opinion was below his station.[3]

McLaren had schooled at Harrow and studied at Sandhurst before joining his regiment in 1880.

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Notes

  1. "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
  2. "Indeed, the most intense relationship of his life was with Kenneth McLaren, a young officer in the 13th Hussars whom he met in 188o and whose good looks" The character factory: Baden-Powell and the origins of the Boy Scout movement‎ - Page 48; Michael Rosenthal
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jeal, Tim (1989). Baden-Powell. London: Hutchinson. p. 74 - 83. ISBN 0-09-170670-X.