Baroness Olave St Clair Baden-Powell - heroine of the Girl Guides Association

Olave St Clair Baden Powell was born on 22 February 1889 at Stubbing Court a Georgian country house near Chesterfield.

In January 1912, accompanying her father to Jamaica, she met her husband, Lord Baden-Powell, who had founded the Boy Scout movement in 1908. Olave threw all her energies into supporting him in his work, acting as his driver and secretary, on his many scouting engagements.

During World War I she worked in YMCA huts for the troops in France. Girls had been forming themselves into unofficial groups of Girl Scouts and demanding recognition, although scouting had been designed only for boys. In 1910 the Girl Guides Association was formed. In 1916 Olave undertook to organise guiding in Sussex and was appointed county commissioner. She travelled extensively to find leaders and supporters for units all over the county, and was so successful that she was made Chief Commissioner and asked to do the same throughout the whole of Great Britain.

In every part of the country she found the right people to lead this new movement, fired them with the founder's ideals, and left them to organise it locally, with support and advice, but without interference. As guiding spread overseas, Olave travelled extensively with her husband, finding the best leaders in every country they visited and winning the support of influential people. She was made world Chief Guide in 1930 and created GBE (The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 1932.

Today The Girl Guides Association operates in more than 100 countries, promoting the advancement of friendship and understanding between women and girls of all nations. She received numerous honours from around the world including the Order of the Estonian Red Cross for her work in helping humanity. Today Guiding has over 9000 members in Derbyshire alone and some 10 million worldwide. 

Baroness Baden-Powell - nominated by Louise Collins of New Whittington.