Back in Time: Patients celebrate British Empire

Verney Ward at Royal Bucks Hospital, early 1900s
Verney Ward at Royal Bucks Hospital, early 1900s

This is the Verney Ward of the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in the early 1900s.

The ward was for male patients only.

On the other side of the hospital is the Lee Ward where women stayed.

The Union flags hanging up with some bunting were probably put up for the Empire Day celebrations.

This occasion started in 1902 on May 24th which was Queen Victoria’s birthday. She had died the year before so this day was in memory of her long reign as queen and to celebrate how great the British Empire was.

Each Empire Day, millions of school children from all walks of life across the length and breadth of the British Empire would typically salute the union flag and sing patriotic songs like Jerusalem and God Save the Queen.

By the 1950s it fell out of favour, largely because the British Empire had severely fragmented by then.