Royal Celebrations

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On 22 June 1911, Nottingham celebrated the Coronation of George V by a remarkable public demonstration of loyalty. The events began in the City centre as 3,200 men and boys gathered in the Market Place. They represented the

  • Nottinghamshire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery
  • 7th (Robin Hood) Battalion Sherwood Foresters
  • Notts and Derbys Brigade Company ASC
  • Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance RAMC
  • Senior & Junior divisions of the Officers Training Corps (University College and High School)
  • Legion of Frontiersmen
  • Boys’ Brigade
  • Church Lads’ Brigade
  • Boys’ Life Brigade
  • Baden-Powell Scouts
  • Nottingham Church Scouts

They were accompanied by bands of the Robin Hood Rifles, South Notts Hussars and various Boys Brigades and similar organisations.

From the Market Place they marched along Mansfield Road to The Forest where a Salute was fired, before they returned to the City centre along Derby Road.

King George V Coronation celebrations, 1911 Courtesy of Nottingham City Council and www.picturethepast.org.uk

King George V Coronation celebrations, 1911
Courtesy of Nottingham City Council and www.picturethepast.org.uk

Meanwhile approximate 22,000 children from Nottingham’s Public Elementary Schools, aged 9 upwards, marched from their schools to the Forest where they massed on the football grounds to sing patriotic songs and the National Anthem. Afterwards they were presented with a medal and the Council gave Schools a grant of 4d per child to provide them with a tea or some other entertainment; it was calculated that in total 45,000 children received a medal and tea

In the evening, amongst other entertainments, there were fireworks set off from the West end of the Forest and concerts in all the public parks.

While this sounds a complicated process, it seems to follow an established pattern for royal events. In 1887, Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee was marked by a gathering of 53,433 children and 4,921 teachers on the Forest, including 10,477 children aged under 6. They sang songs and were presented with a medal and given tea, and bands played in the park. This was repeated ten years later for the Diamond Jubilee and a similar pageant was planned for June 1902 to mark the Coronation of Edward VII. The king’s illness delayed the ceremony and most of Nottingham’s festivities, but it was decided that the fireworks on the Forest should go ahead as planned, though the ‘water fête’ on the Trent was postponed.

The 1911 celebrations may have followed a tried and tested formula, but were undoubtedly an impressive spectacle.

Gun Salute to celebrate the Coronation of George VI in 1937, on The Forest Courtesy of Nottingham Evening Post and www.picturethepast.org.uk

Gun Salute to celebrate the Coronation of George VI in 1937, on The Forest
Courtesy of Nottingham Evening Post and www.picturethepast.org.uk

Queen and D. of Edinburgh inspect the South Notts Hussars on The Forest, 1955 Courtesy of Nottingham Evening Post and www.picturethepast.org.uk

Queen and D. of Edinburgh inspect the South Notts Hussars on The Forest, 1955
Courtesy of Nottingham Evening Post and www.picturethepast.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coronation of George VI in 1937 was marked by a Gun Salute on the Forest.

George’s daughter and our current Queen, Elizabeth II, and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, visited Nottingham in 1955 when they inspected the South Notts Hussars.

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