Book signed by Baden Powell from Brownsea Island in 1907. Information wanted!


Hello Everyone.


I am looking for information and a valuation on a book I have had for some time. I have been collecting Scout memorabilia for some considerable time. Many years ago I bought a job lot of scout books and include with those items was the book I am about to describe. I believe it is an extremely rare item.


B.P. held the first ‘experimental’ Boy Scout camp on Brownsea Island between the 25th July and 9th of August 1907. 22 boys and 3 leaders were present. On the final day of the camp some, if not all, of the boys were presented with a book to commemorate their involvement in the camp. Each book was dedicated to the boy concerned and signed and dated by Baden Powell. Each book was also annotated with the word ‘Brownsea’.


I have an original book signed by BP and given to one of the original boy scouts on Brownsea Island on 8th August 1907. The historical importance of this book to the Boy Scout movement cannot be overstated. I have extensively researched the book and I now wish to add to my knowledge and perhaps obtain a valuation.


The book is called ‘The Story Of A Scout’ by John Finnemore. (Do not let the title fool you. The book is about a scout in Mexico and was undoubtedly chosen by B.P. to illustrate some of the practices he taught at Brownsea.) The book was originally published in 1903. This is a second edition and was published at sometime between 1903 and August 1907.


The condition of the book is good. The boards and spine show signs of age but are in overall excellent condition. There are signs of water damage to the bottom right hand corner of the cover but apart from this the exterior of the book is in superb condition for a book that is 103 years old and was intended to be read by a child.


The book has 1 major floor. The front (cover) board has split away from the remainder of the book. Please see the scans to see what I mean.


It has to be said that the importance of this book does not lie in the written story that it contains; rather, it lies in the historical story that the book tells.


The front flyleaf is signed in fountain pen by Baden Powell. The Full inscription reads.


W. Giles


RSS Baden Powell

Scout Camp : 8. Aug. 07



The R.S.S. at the beginning of B.P’s signature stands for his Christian names of, Robert Stephenson Smyth.


The signature and inscription are in fabulous condition. There is the tiniest amount of smudging at the end of B.P’s signature but nothing that detracts from the look of the inscription. Some of the wet ink has transferred to the inside cover of the book. This undoubtedly happened when the book was originally signed and then closed. The cover acting as a blotter to the still wet ink. Please see the scans to see what I mean.


The signed flyleaf has become detached from the rest of the book but is undoubtedly part of the book. The flyleaf could be repaired and placed back into the book but this would need to be done by a professional book restorer.


Historical notes.


The book was original presented to Walter Giles who was 14 at the time. (Giles became a baker in adult life and past away in 1969.)


It is accepted that 22 boys attended the Brownsea Island camp. The names of all of them are known. 20 of the boys were split into 4 patrols. Walter Giles was placed into the Wolves Patrol. This book was given to him by Baden Powell at the end of the camp.


It is not known if every boy was given a book or if they were only given to those who merited them. In any eventuality a maximum of 22 would have been given out and of those who knows how many survived. I am aware of only 1 other copy in existence. Please see the link below and scroll down to the middle of the page to read about the book given to Cedric Curteis.


I am looking for any information that any person can give me on this book.


Warm regards.



Attached files










Wow! That’s totally awesome! While most BP autographs fetch around $100-$200, I’ll be this would go over $1000. That’s my pure speculation however. I would suggest checking in with David C. Scott or Sam Fairchild for further guidance. I’ll PM you their contact info.

By ISCA87L on August 9th, 2010 at 2:43 am

This book sold on eBay August 22, 2010 for £3200 or US$4952. I wonder who won it?

By ISCA87L on August 31st, 2010 at 4:18 am


The book which has recently sold on ebay belonged to me.

Many thanks to all who have shown interest in and helped with the research in to my book.

The book did sell for the amount shown above and I was very pleased with the result. For confidentiality reasons I cannot disclose the new owner save to say that he is a well know Baden Powell / scout collector and he is based in the UK.

Thanks again.


By jennings on August 31st, 2010 at 10:21 am

I think I had that one in the Hot Finds!

By jason on September 2nd, 2010 at 2:29 am

Have unsed rare autograph by fountain pen by Baden Powell on his rppc “Baden Powell of Gilwell Chief Scout”

By Columbus Jude on January 27th, 2016 at 12:15 am

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