Kim's Gun

3rd National Pakistan Boy Scout Jamboree, 1960

Kim's Gun

A special two anna (three cents U.S.) stamp commemorated this Scout Jamboree held in Lahore from December 24-31, 1960.  Printed in Boy Scout colors, it depicts one of the most famous Asian historical relics, Kim's Gun, and a rendering of the Boy Scout Tenderfoot Badge.

Kim's Gun is a tremendously huge cannon used by the British during the period when Imperial Russia threatened India by attempting to come down through the famous Kyber Pass.  It was as Kipling's fans know, colorfully described by the noted writer and plays an important role in several of his works.  Today the monstrous cannon, with its gargantuan wheels stands in the Mall of Lahore

The relationship of Kim's Gun to Scouting is somewhat round-about.  It possibly stems from Kipling's story of Kim, an Irish orphan boy in Lahore.  The story introduces Kim in the first chapter sitting on the huge gun in front of the museum.

Kim, through a number of circumstances entered training for a career of espionage.  During his early training his teacher used a play method of teaching observation by spreading a number of articles on a tray, allowing Kim to observe them for ten seconds.  He then covered the tray and ordered him to name as many of the articles as possible from memory.

Lord Baden Powell later on used this memory method extensively in his Scouting for Boy's, calling it "Kim's Game."  Scouting handbooks throughout the world also used the game, including earlier editions of the Handbook for Boy Scouts of America.


SOSSI JOURNAL, Volume 9, Number 12, December 1960.
Updates and modifications by Keith Larson, 1998.