'Colonel Baden-Powell, Defender of Mafeking' postcard, no publisher details, issued during the Boer War. The postcard is in unissued condition. The motto on the unfurling banner below Baden-Powell's portrait reads: 'Either conquer or die'.

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell (1857 - 1941), also known as Lord Baden-Powell, rose to the rank of lieutenant-general in the British Army, though is perhaps best remembered today as the founder of the Scout Movement. He saw military service in India and in the 1880s in the Zulu War before returning to South Africa during the Second Boer War.

While organising a force of Legion of Frontiersmen to assist the regular British army, he was surrounded and trapped in the town of Mafeking (now Mafikeng, west of Johannesburg) by a superior Boer force which at times numbered more than 8,000 men. Despite these overwhelming numbers, the British garrison managed to withstand the siege for 217 days, from October 1899 through to May 1900. The relief of Mafeking was a decisive victory for the British forces, boasting moral and public sentiment back in Great Britain and raised Baden-Powell to the status of national hero.

Physical Description

Postcard titled 'Colonel Baden-Powell, Defender of Mafeking' depicted Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941) in a circular escutcheon, laid over a stand of various British flags, surmounted by a lion passant holding a Union Jack flag. The motto on the unfurling banner below Baden-Powell's portrait reads: 'Either conquer or die'. The postcard dates to the Boer War and is in unissued condition, with no publisher details.


Commercially printed Boer War patriotic postcard published in recognition of Lord Baden-Powell's victory at Mafeking. Such postcards provide an interesting insight into issues of patriotism, nationalism and empire in the final years of the British Empire in the early twentieth century.

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