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Festival of Empire

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View from the Canadian replica Parliament Building of the Festival at the Crystal Palace
Map of the event
New Zealand replica Parliament Building (based on old New Zealand Parliament Buildings)
Canadian Building (replica of the original Centre Block in Ottawa
South African Building (based on Houses of Parliament, Cape Town

The Festival of Empire or Festival of the Empire was held at The Crystal Palace in London in 1911, to celebrate the coronation of King George V. It opened on 12 May.

Contents

ExhibitionEdit

Exhibitions of products from the countries of the Empire were displayed in three-quarter size models of their Parliamentary buildings erected in the grounds:[1]

The buildings were constructed of timber and plaster as they were meant to be temporary.[2]

Pageant of LondonEdit

A pageant, organised by 'Master of the Pageants' Frank Lascelles, dramatising the history of London, England and the Empire was held.[3][4] The first performance of the pageant was on 8 June 1911; in four parts, performed on separate days, it celebrated the ‘magnificence, glory and honour of the Empire and the Mother Country’. Music was provided for The Pageant of London by 20 composers including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Frank Bridge,[5] Cecil Forsyth, Henry Balfour Gardiner, Edward German and Haydn Wood. This was performed by a military band of 50 players and a chorus of 500 voices,[6] directed by W.H. Bell.[7] The Pageant was so successful that performances were extended from July, when they were due to end, to 2 September.[8]

Inter-Empire ChampionshipsEdit

As part of the festival, an Inter-Empire sports championship was held in which teams from Australasia (a combined team from Australia and New Zealand), Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom competed in five athletics events (100 yards, 220 yards, 880 yards, 1 mile and 120 yards hurdles), two swimming events (100 yards and 1 mile), heavyweight boxing and middleweight wrestling.[9] This is regarded as a forerunner of the British Empire Games (now Commonwealth Games), held from 1930.

Famous competitors included Stanley Vivian Bacon (from Great Britain), Harold Hardwick (from Australia), Malcolm Champion (from New Zealand), George Hodgson and John Lindsay Tait (both from Canada).

The limited event schedule and three-nation format came in for criticism by the correspondent in the Auckland Star, who described it as not worthy of the title of Empire.[10]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Heavyweight boxing[11][10]   Harold Hardwick (AUS) Undefeated   William Hazell (GBR) (lost to Hardwick in 2 and a half minutes)[12]   Julius Thompson (CAN) (lost to Hardwick in first round after 2 minutes, 35 seconds)
100-yard swim[11][13]   Harold Hardwick (AUS) 60.6   John Derbyshire (GBR)   Johnson (CAN)
One-mile swim[11][13][14]   George Hodgson (CAN) 25:27.6   Sydney Battersby (GBR) (30 yards behind)   Malcolm Champion (NZL) (retired due to fatigue)
Middleweight Wrestling[11]   Stanley Vivian Bacon (GBR) Undefeated   George Walker (CAN) (defeated Smythe, lost to Bacon)   William Smythe (AUS) (retired after first round defeat to Bacon)

AthleticsEdit

Results source.[15][16]

The team championship in athletics was decided on a points basis, with the countries' finishing position in each race totalling up a combined score. Canada won with the lowest score with eight points, having topped the podium in three of the five events, and was awarded the Inter-Empire trophy by Lord Lonsdale. The United Kingdom ended with nine points and Australasia were third with 13 points. The Australasia team combined New Zealand and Victoria athletes. Three scratch competitions were held alongside the championships proper: a 3/4-mile race, a 300-yard race and a two-mile team race. [17]

Ron Opie ran in both sprints as his teammate, William A. Woodger, took ill before the event and could not compete.[18]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100-yard dash   Frank Halbhaus (CAN) 10.4 [19]   Duncan Macmillan (GBR) (one foot behind winner)   Ron Opie (NZL) (one yard behind runner-up)
220-yard dash   Frank Halbhaus (CAN) 23.0[19]   Ron Opie (NZL) (inches behind winner)   Ernest Haley (GBR)
880-yard dash   Jim Hill (GBR) 1:58.6 [19]   Dad Wheatley (VIC) (two yards behind winner)   Mel Brock (CAN) (two yards behind winner)
Mile run   John Tait (CAN) 4:46.2 [19]   Eddie Owen (GBR) (one yard behind winner)   Guy Haskins (NZL) (six yards behind winner)
120-yard hurdles   Kenneth Powell (GBR) 16.0 [19]   Frank Lukeman (CAN) (half a yard behind winner)   Frank Brown (VIC) (six yards behind runner-up)
1320 yards (scratch) Richard Yorke
London Athletic Club
3:21.2 minutes Arnold Knox
Canada
(eight yards behind winner) Albert Hare
Herne Hill Harriers
300 yards (scratch) Algernon Wells
Herne Hill Harriers
23.4 W. T. Wettenhall
Cambridge Athletic Club
(two yards behind winner) F. J. Hoskin
Herne Hill Harriers
(one yard behind runner-up)
Two-mile team race (scratch) Herne Hill Harriers 7 pts South London Harriers 19 pts Essex Beagles 20 pts

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Victorian Station". Victorianstation.com. Archived from the original on 14 April 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "1911 Crystal". Studygroup.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-22. 
  3. ^ "Crystal Palace Park". Cocgb.dircon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  4. ^ D.S. Ryan 'Staging the imperial city: the Pageant of London, 1911' in Imperial Cities: Landscape, Display and Identity, eds. F. Driver & D. Gilbert, Manchester University Press, 1999, pp. 117-135
  5. ^ Hindmarsh, Paul (1982). Frank Bridge: A Thematic Catalogue, 1900–1941. London: Faber Music. pp. 69–70. 
  6. ^ Mitchell, Jon C. (2001). A Comprehensive Biography of Composer Gustav Holst with Correspondence and Diary Excerpts, Including His American Years. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press. p. 93. ISBN 0-7734-7522-2. 3
  7. ^ Richards, Jeffrey (2001). Imperialism and music: Britain 1976-1953. Manchester University Press: p. 190
  8. ^ Richards, p. 193
  9. ^ Commonwealth Games Medallists. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-05-31.
  10. ^ a b EMPIRE SPORTS. Auckland Star, Volume XLII, Issue 198, 21 August 1911. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  11. ^ a b c d New Zealanders in — The Empire Games — Specially written for the “N.Z. Railways Magazine”. The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 12 (March 1, 1938.). Retrieved on 2014-05-31.
  12. ^ Commemorative Medals. Baldwin Auctions. Retrieved on 2018-03-24.
  13. ^ a b FESTIVAL OF EMPIRE. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954). Mon 3 July 1911. Page 5. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  14. ^ EMPIRE SPORTS. Feilding Star, Volume VI, Issue 1533, 3 July 1911. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  15. ^ Inter-Empire Championships at the Festival of Empire, Crystal Palace, London, On June 24. Otago Witness (16 August 1911), pg. 45. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  16. ^ THE EMPIRE SPORTS. Dominion, Volume 4, Issue 1199, 7 August 1911. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  17. ^ Inter-Empire Championships. The Nicola Valley News (1911-07-14), pg. 4. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  18. ^ ATHLETICS–TRACK AND FIELD OLYMPIADS AND EMPIRE GAMES. Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  19. ^ a b c d e Commonwealth Games Medallists - Athletics (men). GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-05-31.
  • Festival of Empire: the Pageant of London (1911, Bemrose & Sons, London) (souvenir book, 163 pages, edited by Sophie C. Lomas; master of the pageants Frank Lascelles),

External linksEdit