H. M. The King Reviews
might almost be regarded as the beginning of the Imperial Jamboree was the
Inspection held at Buckingham Palace by H.M. the King on Monday, July
28th. It had been proposed that the Scouts should marshal at Marble Arch
and then march through the streets to the Palace. Quadrangle.
This plan, however, had to
be abandoned owing to the heavy downpour, and the Scouts were brought from
the various places where they were staying by motor charabancs to the
The Review was timed for eleven o’clock, and just before that hour H.R.H.
the Duke of Connaught, President of the Association, appeared, wearing
morning dress and attended by Colonel Douglas Gordon, and on the stroke of
eleven His Majesty, attended by Lord Hampden (Lord-in-Waiting), the Hon.
(Holland Willoughby (Groom-in-Waiting) and Captain Sir Bryan
Godfrey-Faussett (Equerry-in-Waiting), arrived by the garden entrance,
being received by the Chief Scout (Sir Robert Baden-Powell), the Earl of
Meath, Sir Alfred Pickford (Commissioner for Oversea Scouts), Colonel
Erskine (His Majesty’s Crown Equerry), and others.
One of the contingents, the Rhodesian Contingent, had been specially
rushed up from Southampton, in order to be present, but that is a story in
itself and will be found elsewhere in this book.
Australia had the largest contingent of the 640 present, with the South
African and Indian contingents next in order, other contingents present on
this memorable occasion being those from the Bahamas, Barbados, British
Guiana, Ceylon, Jamaica., Kenya, Malta, Palestine, Southern Rhodesia,
Trinidad, Uganda, and New Zealand. Among those present was a veteran
Scoutmaster from New Zealand –74 years of age—and at the other end of
the scale five small Wolf Cubs from Rhodesia.
As His Majesty entered the Riding School, the Scouts were called to the
"Alert" and the Standard Bearers dipped their flags, a courtesy which His
Majesty, who was wearing a Scout Badge, acknowledged by raising his hat.
His Majesty then passed down between each line of Scouts, shaking hands
with the Scouters and talking with several of the Scouts, and in
particular speaking to the little group of Rhodesian Wolf Cubs who had
come so near to missing the great event. His Majesty’s conversation
revealed his interest both in the lives of the Scouts themselves and in
that of their countries, and for years to come in far-away and lonely
corners of the Empire these Scouts and Cubs will yarn around their camp
fires of the King’s kindly interest in them and their homes, and above
all, in the great Movement to which they belong.
Majesty then addressed the Scouts as follows : "I am very glad to have
taken this opportunity of seeing you here to-day. I have been having a
very busy time, but I could not bring myself to leave London without
seeing you. I wish to congratulate you all on your smart appearance and’
your excellent discipline. I feel sure that your visit to England will be
of very great interest to you and a happy recollection in after years.
"You will have a very busy time at Wembley, and I have no doubt that you
will learn more from one week spent there than you could learn in school
at home in the course of a whole year. I started to go round the world
when I was only about the age of some of you. I was only fourteen, and I
can assure you that my experiences have been of the utmost value to me.
a Boy Scout, always a Boy Scout.’ These words were used by Lord Kitchener
on one occasion when he was inspecting Boy Scouts. I think you know what
he meant and what I mean, namely, that the promises you made when you
joined the Boy Scouts you ought to keep for the rest of your lives. That
will make you better citizens and a credit to the great Empire to which we
are all so proud to belong.
"I hope the great Jamboree will be the huge success that I feel sure it
will be. I am sorry I shall not be able to be there to see y you myself,
but I understand that my son y intends to spend a day or two with you. I
now wish you the best of luck, a safe return to your homes and happy
recollections of your visit to this country."
The close of the King’s address was the signal for hats on staves and
three ringing cheers on the part of all the Scouts present. The Chief
Scout followed with a few words in acknowledgment, asking the King to
accept the gratitude and humble duty of the Scouts of the whole Movement.
As the King was leaving the Riding School, he caught sight of a party of
Japanese Scouts, who had been invited as visitors to witness the ceremony,
and be went across and spoke to them. His Majesty, having left, the Chief
Scout addressed the Oversea Scouts, and said that he wanted to take the
opportunity of welcoming them from all parts of the Empire. They had had a
sight of the King and that constituted a good start for the jamboree. He
was sorry better weather had not been turned on for them, but perhaps that
was all the better, for bad weather tested their spirit, , which certainly
appeared to him to be very good. He urged the Scouts to study this country
as far as they possibly could. The time of their stay here would soon slip
by, and he wanted them to endeavour to show the people of the Old Country
what they were made of, as well as to learn something about the Old
Country and its people. They had given a good impression already, and he
wanted them to prove that they were real men in the making. It would all
help the Empire and help them too.
He advised them to get as closely in touch with the English Scouts as
possible, and to cultivate in every way the spirit of comradeship and
brotherhood. They did not learn half enough about the Empire in their
schools, but they would learn much about it from their visit to the heart
of the Empire and from their association with English Scouts and with each
other. He hoped they would take back home with them an account of what
they found good in the Old Country. They probably would find that all was
not good, but they could keep the bad parts to themselves and strive in
every way to promote the good feeling which would go so far to bind
together the different parts of the widely-scattered Empire.
He could tell them that the King and the Duke of Connaught were mightily
pleased with what they had seen of the Empire Scouts that morning, and had
not hesitated to say so very emphatically.
were once again raised and hearty cheers were given for the Chief Scout.
The Chief Scout, as he left the entrance to the Royal Mews to return to
Headquarters, received a great ovation from the crowd of people gathered
together in the rain.