The Empire

  • John W. Wheeler-Bennett


When my mother was a little girl in Canada about a hundred years ago, the school-children would sing:

The twenty-fourth of May

Is the Queen’s birthday.

If you won’t give us a holiday

We’ll all run away.

The twenty-fourth of May1 became Empire Day throughout British possessions. This was in that splendidly unregenerate period before ‘empire’ became a ‘dirty’ word. A period to which Britons still look back — and very rightly — not with apology or guilt or contrition but with a vivid pride in a glorious past, without which we should have no viable present and no future at all.


British Colonial British Government Overseas Development East India Company British Empire 
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© John W. Wheeler-Bennett 1967

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  • John W. Wheeler-Bennett

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