Bristol UK Postcards
Empire Day Parade
This unused postcard has just the printed text "Garratt"
The person I bought this card from said that the original publisher was Crown Studios which would date the postcard to between 1923 and 1929.
"Empire Day" became an offical holiday for children on 24th May 1916, 24th May being Queen Victoria's birthday - even though she had died the previous year on 22 January 1901. The idea of "Empire Day" had been around as long as 1897 and was to "remind children that they formed part of the British Empire, and that they might think with others in lands across the sea, what it meant to be sons and daughters of such a glorious Empire.", and that "The strength of the Empire depended upon them, and they must never forget it." Some schools had been celebratingtheir own unoffical "Empire Day" since 1902.
Children would salute the Union flag, sing patriotic songs and hear tales of heroes of the Empire from far flung places such as India, Canada and China. The British Empire which had expanded from around 1650 to the 1920's to embrace a quarter (around 458 million people) of the world's population and a quarter (around 13,000,000 square miles) of the globe, which gave rise to the saying "The sun never set on the British Empire".
By the 1950's, attitudes to the British and Empire had changed, not least in Britian itself, and in 1958 "Empire Day" was changed to "Commonwealth Day" and the date changed to 10th June, which was Queen Elizabeth II's official birthday. In 1977 the day was changed again to the second Monday in March and wasn't celebrated with anything like the pride, if at all, as "Empire Day".
This page created 21st September 2009, last modified 21st September 2009