From M. Cave, Rookley:
On St George’s Day 1348, Edward III founded the Order of the Garter as the highest order of chivalry and it is dedicated to the image and arms of St George, as England’s patron saint.
Edward III is referred to as the father of the English nation: he ordered his court and parliament to abandon Norman-French and speak English, the language of the common people.
His complete victory over the French fleet at the Battle of Sluys, where he flew 40ft pennants of St George over his ships, helped establish England as a formidable power in Europe.
Interestingly, he fathered so many legitimate and illigitimate children, who themselves had many children et al, it is said more than 60 per cent of the English carry his genes.
This year, St George’s Day falls in holy week, the week before Easter Sunday and as the church does not celebrate saints’ days in holy week, there are two St George’s Days: the secular on April 23 and the spiritual on April 28.
To mark our national day on Wednesday, I shall be carrying a St George’s Flag from Carisbrooke to St Thomas’s Square, Newport.
If anyone fancies a leisurely one-mile stroll, bring your flag or wear a red rose or both and meet at the Waverley Car Park, at 11.30am.
Refreshments will be available in Newport Minster during the day and any money raised will be split equally between the Minster Restoration Fund and The Royal British Legion.