St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
St George's Park - The Consecration of the King’s Colours
The Consecration of the King’s Colours
On October 10, 1904, Lieutenant Purdue and an escort received the King’s Colour from HRH Princess Christian in Cape Town.
The Colour is of very handsome design, the silk flag being gorgeously embroidered with gold tasselling. The staff is about six feet in length, and the top of the rod is adorned with the Royal emblem.
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Prince Alfred's Guard Consecrate the King's Colours
In the centre of the staff is a silver shield, inscribed as follows:
“Presented by His Most Gracious Majesty the King - Emperor, to the Prince Alfred’s Volunteer Guard, In recognition of services rendered to the Empire in South Africa, 1904.”
On Sunday, December 18 , 1904, a special parade was held to consecrate the King’s Colours on the grounds of the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club, in the presence of some hundreds of spectators, by the Senior Chaplain of the Cape Colonial Forces, the Honourable Lieutenant-Colonel Canon A T Wirgman, DD, VD.
Headed by the band, the regiment then marched to the cricket ground pavilion, in front of which they formed on three sides of a square. The open side faced the stand. The band occupied the centre of the square, and immediately in front of them stood the colour party.
The Chaplain advanced to the drums, piled on the open side of the square, and conducted the service.
“Twenty-eight years ago, on 6th May, 1876, I was called upon, as your Chaplain, to perform the ceremony of consecrating your colours for the first time in the history of your regiment.
“Today I am called upon to bless your new colours that have replaced those which I consecrated 28 years ago. Many, if not most, of those in your ranks that day have passed to their rest after brave and gallant service. The regiment in those days had never seen service.
“On that day your regimental colour was not emblazoned with its present scroll of honour and record of gallant service. Today it is even lacking its full record, for the honours of your three years’ service in our great war are still uninscribed upon it.
“But our thoughts today are first with the King’s colour, presented by His Majesty for your services during the Boer War.
“But I cannot forbear to remind you of the true symbolism of the colours of the regiment. They stand for loyalty, patriotism, and duty, as a mute protest against the selfish individualism which is the curse of our times.
At the conclusion of Canon Wirgman’s address, Captains Wares and Olorenshaw, taking the colours, approached and deposited them crosswise on the drums while the Chaplain pronounced a prayer.
The colours were then handed back to the custody of the regiment and the band played the National Anthem.
The battalion then marched past and gave the general salute, afterwards returning to the Drill Hall to dismiss.