Born in 1938 Stewart Hawkins spent the war years in North London. He was educated at Charterhouse and Balliol College, Oxford. He did National Service in Nigeria and while an undergraduate served for a year as a Political Officer in the colonial service in the Eastern Aden Protectorate. After Oxford it was back to Nigeria with a major international oil company, followed by four years exporting Welsh steel to Europe and the Middle East. Then after twenty-four years with a major computer company which was punctuated with spells in the United Arab Emirates and Paris, he retired. He started climbing at school with Wilfrid Noyce and has been a member of the Climbers' Club for over fifty years. A very keen Scout from an early age he has been International Commissioner for the UK Scouts, Chairman of European Scouting and Chairman of the European Scout Foundation. He has three sons and enough grandchildren and was widowed in 1998. He now lives with his second wife in the Southern French Alps.