Professor Eric Frank

Eric Frank

Hans Eric Frank was born in Austria in 1921. When the Nazis invaded Austria his mother sent him age 17 to Hungary to make his own way to England. There he was first interned as ‘an undesirable alien’ and then became a teacher and Scout Leader, in St. John’s School, Leatherhead, and later at Caldicott Preparatory School in Buckinghamshire. He eventually decided to go into management, first with Lyons Tea Houses and later in the steel industry. He completed an external degree at the London School of Economics, and become Director of Studies at the Steel Industry Management College.

He moved to Bristol and British Telecom, met and married Mary, and joined the Management Department of the University of Bath. He became editor of the Academic Journal of the Institute of Training and Development, and of Industrial Training International.

His gratitude for the help he had received from Scouting as a boy motivated him to develop very strong links with the movement both in the UK and worldwide. His belief in Baden-Powell’s ‘Scout Method’ of peer education, ‘learning by doing’ and leadership development, led him to become Assistant Headquarters International Commissioner for UK Scouting, and a Member of the Adult Leader Training Board. He applied his management training expertise to International Scouting, writing training handbooks and providing training courses around the world as well as generously funding many international projects for young people. He became a Baden-Powell Fellow, an elite Scouting Group led by the King of Sweden, and received the highest award of World Scouting, the Bronze Wolf. Even at the age of 90 in 2011 he visited Bangladesh to promote leadership development in the technical university where he was professor and Rover Scouting, and especially to support the rural community project he founded there, ‘Opportunities for Posterity’.

In Bath he continued to support young people, especially foreign students through his university work and in the international community, and more generally through the local United Nations Association.

In 2010 he founded and funded the Eric Frank Trust to promote adolescent personal social and leadership skills in developing countries, through Scouting and similarly motivated organizations

Eric died in December 2013 at the age of 92. Scouting was his lifetime interest, and through his extensive contribution both nationally and internationally his influence will be felt for many years to come. He will be long remembered with affection and gratitude by many he helped.

DRP 30 Sept 2014