Olympic Flame at Dover

Now that the Olympics are on in South Korea, I will relate the story of our family’s brief connection with the Olympics in 1948.

Birmingham Gazette

Birmingham Daily Gazette 29 Jul 1948:

The Olympic Flame reached Dover last night on the last lap of it 2,000 journey across Europe from Greece to Wembley Stadium.

It was borne from Calais to Dover on the destroyer Bicester, which tied up at the Prince of Wales pier with perfect timing, according to schedule.

The flame was borne ashore from the destroyer by Chief Petty Officer H. R. “Barney” Barnes, of Portsmouth.

Olympic Torch at Dover

Chief Petty Officer Herbert Barnes lighting the torch aboard the destroyer

When the flame was lit at Olympia two other lanterns were also lit from the original flame and these have been carried along the entire route across Europe in officials’ cars. WHen Petty Officer Barnes’s flame splutter and died it was re-kindled from one of these lanterns by an Olympic official.

The Flame was handed first to the Mayor of Dover.

Lord Harris, representing the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Lord Cornwallis, then took charge of the flame and wished it and the runners bearing it “God speed” on their way to Wembley.

The flame reached Canterbury on schedule at 10:30 p.m., when a crowd of over 25,000 watched it borne through the town.

R.S.M. Moore, of the The Buffs, ran with it from the city boundary to St. George’s Gate, where the torch was received by the Mayor (Mrs. G. R. Hews), who lit the new torch and handed it to the next runner. Lieut. D. Craddock, who ran on through the other boundary, where he handed over to Q.M.S. I. Clash.

The flame was originally lit by a young girl, from the sun’s rays on 17 July in ancient stadium of Olympia in Greece, amid the grey ruins of the temples of Zeus and Hera.

Altogether 72 runners will carry the flame along its 140 miles route from Dover to Wembley.

Mr Atlee, the Prime Minister, in a broadcast welcome last night in the name of the British people to the 6,000 men and women contestants in the Olympic Games declared: – “May the weather be fine, the events well contested, and may records be broken.”

RSM Moore

From “The Dragon” – Buffs Regiment Newsletter

Regimental Sergeant Major Sidney John Stanislas Moore was born 13 Nov 1910 in Colaba, Bombay, India, which was a supply depot for the British Army. In 1936 he was married in Elham, Kent to Edith Baxter Castle, our 3rd cousin 2x removed.

In 1939 they lived at High Street in Elham, where Edith’s father Albert William Castle was a Master Tailor.

High Street, Elham R.D., Kent, England


Kent & Sussex Courier 10 December 1915

Kent & Sussex Courier 10 December 1915

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