This film is part of Free

Sir George White Leaving the London Hippodrome

Londoners turn out in their thousands to greet the returning Boer War hero after his famous defence of Ladysmith

Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins


These extraordinary scenes outside London's Hippodrome show the heights of patriotic fervour reached during the Boer War. Just two months earlier, General Sir George White had successfully defended Ladysmith against overwhelming Boer forces. This was his first public engagement since his return, and huge crowds turned out to show their appreciation. White (seen raising his hat in acknowledgement of their support) is just about protected from the throng by a line of police.

The Warwick Trading Company's cameraman may have headed for the scene after hearing news of the scenes that met Sir George's arrival with his wife and daughter earlier that day - which if anything were still more chaotic, at least according to contemporary reports. These scenes were filmed on 23 April, days after he was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George - to add to his Victoria Cross for heroism in the Anglo-Afghan War of 1878-80. A week later he was appointed to a rather less tempestuous role as Governor of Gibraltar.