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Lord Kitchener: The King of Calypso

70 years ago today, on June 22nd 1948, The Empire Windrush docked in the Essex Port of Tilbury. 

The Empire Windrush

On board were several hundred immigrants from the West Indies- many of whom were former RAF servicemen who’d served in WWII- who were bound for London in the hope of securing decent employment. 

One of the men onboard The Windrush was 26 year old Trinidadian Aldwin Roberts, a calypso singer better known by his stage name, ‘Lord Kitchener’.

Lord Kitchener: The King of Calypso

During the long voyage from Jamaica to Britain, Lord Kitchener penned a song entitled ‘London is the Place for Me’ which he famously performed A cappella for a Pathe News film crew whilst preparing to disembark at Tilbury. 

The full newsreel (which opens with a story featuring Ingrid Bergman with Alfred Hitchcock) can be viewed below, with Lord Kitchener appearing at the 2 minute mark:

A fuller studio version of Lord Kitchener’s song, which became an anthem for the Windrush Generation can be heard below: 

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4 responses

  1. I have seen that clip so many times, and never cease to be staggered by the patronising tone of the announcer/narrator. I watched a report today saying the government have made this day ‘Windrush Day’, to be celebrated every year. Might be a better idea to give citizenship to those people who have lived and worked here for 70 years. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thanks Pete, couldn’t agree more.

  2. Do you remember…sorry, know of…his calypso ‘Cricket Champions’? I prefer it to Lord Beginner’s ‘Cricket Lovely Cricket’

    1. I do indeed Helen! Good call!

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