Living History Storyline – Empire Day

Saturday 24th May: Empire Day:

Weather: Warm, light wind.


‘Remember, remember, the 24th of May, today it is Empire Day.’

From 1902 to 1958 this day was designated a national holiday to celebrate the successes of the British Empire. Millions of schoolchildren throughout the country spent it participating in pageants and fetes, saluting the flag, singing patriotic songs, and telling tales of ‘daring do’ from across the Empire. These stories included those of General Gordon, Clive of India (a Georgian soldier who paved the way for success in the East), and Wolfe of Quebec.

But May 1935 was particularly memorable for other reasons too. On the 6th of May King George V celebrated his silver jubilee. He was a much loved King. The jubilee thanksgiving speech he made at St. Paul’s Cathedral was broadcasted throughout the country and warmly received. A recording of this speech can be accessed by following the link below.


Recording of King George V’s Silver Jubilee Speech:

Film of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations at Lowestoft:

Items for conversation:

21st May: Lord Bristol declines the offer of chairmanship of the West Suffolk County Council after holding the office for 21 years.

Wolfe of Quebec: there is a painting called The Death of General Wolfe in the library at Ickworth House.



Clive of India: in January 1935 an American film was made about the life of Clive of India (a statue of him stands outside St. James’ Park in London).




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