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  1. NeilRobson says

    This film records the scene in Battersea Park, south London on 24 November 1934. The initiative for planting ‘Darling Trees’ came from the energetic biographer, Constance Smedley, who wished to establish Grace Darling as Britain’s ‘first national heroine’. (Darling was the courageous Northumberland woman who rowed out in a storm and rescued nine people from a wreck in 1838.) Smedley suggested in a letter to ‘The Times’ on 29 March 1934 that an oak tree should be planted in every British port in Grace Darling’s memory, and the event shown here was the first of the series. It was intended that the other trees should be planted over the next four years in the run-up to the centenary of Darling’s heroic deed in 1938. It was agreed that there should be a strong women’s representation at the event, and the members of various women’s rowing clubs carrying oars seen at 0:10 were part of that plan. The Dagenham girl pipers and groups of Sea Rangers also participated.

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