The King's Pilgrimage

The King's Pilgrimage : An Account of King George V's Visit to the War Graves in Belgium and France

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In May 1922, King George V took a very small party to the graves of First World War soldiers buried in France and Belgium in the cemeteries and memorials being constructed at the time by the Imperial War Graves Commission. The trip was documented by Australian journalist and soldier Sir Frank Fox and commemorated by Rudyard Kipling in a poem written specifically for the occasion. Despite its lack of fanfare, or perhaps due to its solemn and understated nature, the British monarch's visit to the war cemeteries was an important moment in the history of First World War commemoration. Since George V onwards, members of the Royal Family have visited sites throughout the world to pay homage to the fallen.

This journey began a wider pilgrimage movement that saw tens of thousands of bereaved relatives from the United Kingdom and the Empire visit the battlefields of the Great War in the years that followed the Armistice.

Kipling's poem prefaces the book with lines and stanzas from the poem and the speech given by George V being used as epigraphs for the chapters describing the King s journey, as detailed by Sir Frank Fox. Illustrated with 61 black-and-white unposed and evocative photographs of the visits, as well as a signed letter from the King, telegrams and a letter of thanks from George V on his return home, it is a poignant record of an important moment to these moving memorials after four years of death and destruction.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 112 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 18mm | 346g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0992890160
  • 9780992890162
  • 476,412

About Sir Frank Fox

Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes, the great-grandson of Sir Frank Fox and a veteran of the First Gulf War himself, contributes a new introduction reflecting on the importance of this act of understated remembrance and its legacy.
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