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The Butterfly Man

As a youth the Butterfly Man would skip classes to go into the fields where he could sketch, sometimes taking his lunch and caring not a whistle for the proper disciplines of an English public school.

Brave lad.

He joined the Army in 1876, aged nineteen, and served in India, South Africa, Malta and Rhodesia; brutal, primitive wars where many were sacrificed. The Butterfly Man was both decorated and promoted for his part in the many conflicts.

During one of his tours he worked as an intelligence officer in Malta where he learnt to disguise himself as a butterfly collector, then, as the Butterfly Man, he would roam the hostile terrain looking for butterflies and hiding from the enemy, as he did in his school years when the disciplinarians were hunting him.

This is one of his butterflies ..

baden powells butterfly man

and this – enemy fortifications.

baden powells fort

.. showing the fort layout and road entries together with all the cannon and machine-gun emplacements


4 Comments Post a comment
  1. gordon1552 #

    Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB, KStJ, DL. An amazing man and quite the spy 🙂

    Just a thought Pete but you might want to take a real close look at the Mafeking Siege 10 bob note. 🙂

    August 27, 2019
  2. What am I missing?

    August 28, 2019
  3. gordon1552 #

    Zoom in to the rectangular outer border Pete, they look like lines. A closer look will tell you otherwise. It’s not just that part of the image, but that’ll do for a start.

    August 29, 2019
    • The 10s notes, apart from the master, were not hand drawn but were printed by Townshend & Son (Mafeking) during the siege using woodcut printing – as far as the border is concerned, I’m seeing something like bamboo palings, some short, some not so short. Nothing else.

      August 29, 2019

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