Lord Kitchener: The King of Calypso
70 years ago today, on June 22nd 1948, The Empire Windrush docked in the Essex Port of Tilbury.
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’.
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: