Chairman’s Report

Spring 2024

Welcome to the my Spring update report.

As we look forward to the drier and hopefully warmer weather to come, the state of our great country and its standing in the world seems more and more under threat, from politically motivated groups that seem hellbent on undermining the very foundations of what we hold so dear.

An especially egregious example hit the headlines recently. It was a report about rural England which put forward the ridiculous and entirely unfair proposition that our beautiful countryside is somehow ‘racist’, a ‘white colonial space’. The justifications for making this absurd claim are that our rural areas do not reflect the ethnic mix of the cities, and that somehow the countryside is not as easily accessible to all. The fact is that our countryside is what it is - a reflection of English history, traditions and customs, and of the people who live and work there now as well as the countless generations who have toiled there in past centuries.

Another example, and even more worrying for the future of the country, is the current focus of certain elements within the armed forces, police, and other institutions who seem to prefer ‘virtue signalling’ to the more mundane duty of delivering their core purpose. Any government’s first priority is to defend the country and its people from internal and external threats, but with the state of recruitment, retention and equipment across all three of our armed services it is clear that “Defence of the Realm” is nowhere near as high on the nation’s list of priorities as it should be. 

So many people over the last century and more sacrificed so much - and many still do today - to protect us and allow us a freedom of belief, thought and expression, but, again, this is in danger from so many quarters. I have lived in a number of countries where these basic freedoms are heavily restricted and where people’s lives controlled in a way that would not be tolerated here in England. So many people living here do not realise how lucky they are!

Whilst there is little we can do directly to challenge this, we are, as a Society, have prepared a 'Position Statement' that sets out what we (and many others) stand for, which we hope will be something we can all get behind as a rallying call for like-minded people to support us and hopefully join to give us a louder voice. We have also updated our Mission Statement. You can find a copy of both these in the Dowload section of the web site.

Looking ahead more positively, this year marks the 130th anniversary of the foundation of our Society. In 1894 Howard Ruff and Harry Christmas formed the Society of St George with the aim of promoting Englishness and the English way of life! As you can see from the above, the need for this Society is still very real - and probably more so than in their times!

On 12th July we will be holding a very special anniversary banquet at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London. Whilst we have limited numbers, it would be great to see as many of you as possible there. It should be a truly memorable event.

Before then we have our Annual Cadet Parade and Wreath-Laying ceremonies at the Cenotaph and at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. These take place on 20th April, the Saturday before St George’s Day. This year also marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, 6th June 1944, and I know many branches are holding events to mark this occasion. More information on all these events and more can be found elsewhere on this site…and of course, I am sure that many branches will be holding events to mark our National Day on 23rd April.

I am very pleased to advise you that our new Bye Laws, as approved at our last AGM have been formally accepted and confirmed by the Privy Council and that along with a new set of Regulations will allow proper governance of the Society and its activities into the future. You can find a copy of both these documents on the Dowload section of the web site.

As many of you are aware, there has been much discussion over the last few years about an anthem for the Society. After a recent poll of RSSG members, which we ran throughout the last quarter of 2023, the majority of those who took part in this poll chose Hubert Parry’s stirring arrangement of William Blake’s poem Jerusalem. So, Jerusalem  is now, officially, the Society’s Anthem!

Finally, I am sure we all share concerns over His Majesty’s and the Princess of Wales's health at the moment, and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish them all the very best from the Society, for a speedy recovery at this most challenging time.

And for when the time comes, I wish you all a very happy St George’s Day.

God save the King!


Nick Dutt