Rajpath is a ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi, that runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill through Vijay Chowk and India Gate, National War Memorial to National Stadium, Delhi. The avenue is lined on both sides by huge lawns and rows of trees. Considered to be one of the most important roads in India, it is where the annual Republic Day parade takes place on 26 January. Janpath crosses the road. Rajpath runs in east-west direction. Roads from Connaught Place, the financial centre of Delhi, run into Rajpath from north. After climbing Raisina Hill, Rajpath is flanked by the North and South Blocks of the Secretariat Building, it ends at the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan. At Vijay Chowk it crosses Sansad Marg, the Parliament House of India can be seen to the right when coming from the India Gate, it is used for the funeral processions of key political leaders of India. The opening scene of the movie Gandhi starts at Rajpath. In 1911 the British Imperial Government and the Viceregal administration determined that the capital of the British Indian Empire should be moved from Calcutta to Delhi.
Accordingly, construction in that year began on the district of New Delhi, which would serve as the purpose-built administrative capital of the Indian Empire. The British Raj duly turned to Sir Edwin Lutyens to construct the new city. Lutyens conceived of a modern imperial city centred around a "ceremonial axis", such axis being the large boulevard now called the Rajpath. Lutyens wanted a panoramic view of the city of Delhi from the viceregal palace; the view from Raisina Hill runs unhindered across Rajpath and the India Gate, is obstructed only by the National Stadium. Most of the buildings surrounding the Rajpath were designed by Lutyens and the second architect of the project, Sir Herbert Baker; the importance of such buildings in the government of India ensures the road's importance. When built the road was named King's Way, or Kingsway, in honour of the Emperor of India George V, who had visited Delhi during the Durbar of 1911, where the Emperor formally proclaimed the decision to move the capital.
The name was similar to Kingsway in London, opened in 1905, and, a custom-built arterial road, and, named in honour of George V's father, Edward VII. Following the independence of India the road was bequeathed with its Hindi name,'Rajpath', in place of its English designation; this represents a mere translation more than a substantial renaming, since'Rajpath' in Hindi is broadly analogous in meaning to'King's Way'. The Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India, it was the Viceroy's residence. North Block and South Block called the Secretariat Building. North Block houses the offices of Home ministries. South Block hosts Defense ministries. Other important offices like some of the Prime Ministers Offices are in the Secretariat Buildings. Vijay Chowk is a spacious plaza and the site of Beating the Retreat ceremony, which takes place on 29 January each year, which marks the end of Republic Day celebrations, in which Military Bands and Drums Bands and Trumpeters from various Army Regiments besides bands of the Navy and Air Force take part, with the President of India as the Chief Guest.
India Gate is India's war memorial arch in honour of those who died in the First World War and the Second Anglo-Afghan War. It is India's memorial of the unknown soldier. National War Memorial -> Since Independence, more than 25,000 soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces have made the supreme sacrifice to defend the sovereignty and integrity of the country. It stands as testimony to the sacrifices made by the Indian Armed Forces during various conflicts, United Nations Operations, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Operations since Independence. Image of Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Secretariat buildings lit up for the Beating the Retreat at Vijay Chowk
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death on 6 February 1952. He was the first Head of the Commonwealth. Known publicly as Albert until his accession, "Bertie" among his family and close friends, George VI was born in the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria, was named after his great-grandfather Albert, Prince Consort; as the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. He attended naval college as a teenager, served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force during the First World War. In 1920, he was made Duke of York, he married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 and they had two daughters and Margaret. In the mid-1920s, he had speech therapy for a stammer, which he never overcame. George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936; however that year Edward revealed his desire to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.
British prime minister Stanley Baldwin advised Edward that for political and religious reasons he could not marry a divorced woman and remain king. Edward abdicated to marry Simpson, George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor. During George's reign, the break-up of the British Empire and its transition into the Commonwealth of Nations accelerated; the parliament of the Irish Free State removed direct mention of the monarch from the country's constitution on the day of his accession. The following year, a new Irish constitution changed the name of the state to Ireland and established the office of President. From 1939, the Empire and Commonwealth – except Ireland – was at war with Nazi Germany. War with Italy and Japan followed in 1941, respectively. Though Britain and its allies were victorious in 1945, the United States and the Soviet Union rose as pre-eminent world powers and the British Empire declined. After the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, George remained king of both countries, but relinquished the title of Emperor of India in June 1948.
Ireland formally declared itself a republic and left the Commonwealth in 1949, India became a republic within the Commonwealth the following year. George adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth, he was beset by smoking-related health problems in the years of his reign. He was succeeded by his elder daughter, Elizabeth II. George was born at York Cottage, on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, during the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria, his father was Prince George, Duke of York, the second and eldest-surviving son of the Prince and Princess of Wales. His mother was the Duchess of York, the eldest child and only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Teck, his birthday, 14 December 1895, was the 34th anniversary of the death of his great-grandfather, Prince Consort. Uncertain of how the Prince Consort's widow, Queen Victoria, would take the news of the birth, the Prince of Wales wrote to the Duke of York that the Queen had been "rather distressed". Two days he wrote again: "I think it would gratify her if you yourself proposed the name Albert to her".
Queen Victoria was mollified by the proposal to name the new baby Albert, wrote to the Duchess of York: "I am all impatience to see the new one, born on such a sad day but rather more dear to me as he will be called by that dear name, a byword for all, great and good". He was baptised "Albert Frederick Arthur George" at St. Mary Magdalene's Church near Sandringham three months later. Within the family, he was known informally as "Bertie", his maternal grandmother, the Duchess of Teck, did not like the first name the baby had been given, she wrote prophetically that she hoped the last name "may supplant the less favoured one". Albert was fourth in line to the throne at birth, after his grandfather and elder brother, Edward, he suffered from ill health and was described as "easily frightened and somewhat prone to tears". His parents were removed from their children's day-to-day upbringing, as was the norm in aristocratic families of that era, he had a stammer. Although left-handed, he was forced to write with his right hand, as was common practice at the time.
He suffered from chronic stomach problems as well as knock knees, for which he was forced to wear painful corrective splints. Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, the Prince of Wales succeeded her as King Edward VII. Prince Albert moved up to third in line after his father and elder brother. From 1909, Albert attended Osborne, as a naval cadet. In 1911 he came bottom of the class in the final examination, but despite this he progressed to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth; when his grandfather, Edward VII, died in 1910, Albert's father became King George V. Edward became Prince of Wales, with Albert second in line to the throne. Albert spent the first six months of 1913 on the training ship HMS Cumberland in the West Indies and on the east coast of Canada, he was rated as a midshipman aboard HMS Collingwood on 15 September 1913, spent three months in the Mediterranean. His fellow officers gave him the nickname "Mr. Johnson"; the First World War broke out a year after his commission. Three weeks after the outbreak of war he was medically evacuated from the ship to Aberdeen where his appendix was removed by Sir John Marnoch.
He was mentioned in despatches for his action as a turret officer aboard Collingwood i
Jana Gana Mana
Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem of India. It was composed as Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata in Bengali by poet Rabindranath Tagore; the first stanza of the song Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India as the National Anthem on 24 January 1950. A formal rendition of the national anthem takes fifty-two seconds. A shortened version consisting of the first and last lines is staged occasionally, it was first publicly sung on 27 December 1911 at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress. The poem was first publicly recited on the second day of the annual session of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta on 27 December 1911, again in January 1912 at the annual event of the Adi Brahmo Samaj. However, it was unknown except to the readers of the Adi Brahmo Samaj journal, Tattwabodhini Patrika; the poem was published in February 1905 under the title Bharat Bhagya Bidhata in the Tatwabodhini Patrika, the official publication of the Brahmo Samaj with Tagore the Editor.
In 1912 Song was performed by Sarala Devi Chowdhurani, Tagore’s niece, along with a group of school students, in front of prominent Congress Members like Bishan Narayan Dhar, Indian National Congress President and Ambika Charan Majumdar. Outside of Calcutta, the song was first sung by the bard himself at a session in Besant Theosophical College in Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh on 28 February 1919 when Tagore visited the college and sung the song; the song enthralled the college students while Margaret Cousins vice-principal of the college, both requested Tagore to create an English translation of the song and set down the musical notation to the national anthem, followed only when the song is sung in the original slow rendition style. Tagore translated the work into English while at the college on 28 February 1919, titled The Morning Song of India – via Wikisource.. The college adopted Tagore's translation of the song as their prayer song, sung till today. Before it was the national anthem of India, "Jana Gana Mana" was heard in the film Hamrahi.
On the occasion of India attaining freedom, the Indian Constituent Assembly assembled for the first time as a sovereign body on 14 August 1947, midnight and the session closed with a unanimous performance of Jana Gana Mana. The members of the Indian Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations held at New York in 1947 gave a recording of Jana Gana Mana as the country’s national anthem; the song was played by the house orchestra in front of a gathering consisting of representatives from all over the world. The National Anthem of India is sung on various occasions. Instructions have been issued from time to time about the correct versions of the Anthem, the occasions on which these are to be played or sung, about the need for paying respect to the anthem by observance of proper decorum on such occasions; the substance of these instructions has been embodied in the information sheet issued by the government of India for general information and guidance. The approximate duration of the Full Version of National Anthem of India is 52 seconds and 20 seconds for shorter version.
The poem was composed in a literary register of the Bengali language called sadhu bhasa. The song has been written entirely using nouns that can function as verbs and has commonality with all major languages in India due to Sanskrit being their common source of formal vocabulary. Therefore, the original song is quite understandable, in fact, remains unchanged in several different Indian languages. A short version consisting of the first and last lines of the National Anthem is played on certain occasions, it reads as follows Translation by Tagore, dated 28 February 1919 at the Besant Theosophical College. Refer to The Morning Song of India – via Wikisource. for the translation of the full poem. Primary sources available in the "Gallery" section. In Kerala, students belonging to the Jehovah's Witnesses religious denomination were expelled by school authorities for their refusal to sing the national anthem on religious grounds, although they stood up respectfully when the anthem was sung; the Kerala High Court concluded that there was nothing in it which could offend anyone's religious susceptibilities, upheld their expulsion.
On 11 August 1986, the Supreme Court reversed the High Court and ruled that the High Court had misdirected itself because the question is not whether a particular religious belief or practice appeals to our reason or sentiment but whether the belief is genuinely and conscientiously held as part of the profession or practice of a religion. "Our personal views and reactions are irrelevant." The Supreme Court affirmed the principle that it is not for a secular judge to sit in judgment on the correctness of a religious belief. The Supreme Court observed in its ruling that "There is no provision of law which obliges anyone to sing the National Anthem nor is it disrespectful to the National Anthem if a person who stands up respectfully when the National Anthem is sung does not join the singing. Proper respect is shown to the National Anthem by standing up, it will not be right to say. Standing up respectfully when the National Anthem is sung but not singing oneself does not either prevent the singing of the National Anthem or cause disturbance to an assembly engaged in such singing so as to constitute the offence mentioned in s. 3 of the Prevention of
A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy, it is a form of government. In the context of American constitutional law, the definition of republic refers to a form of government in which elected individuals represent the citizen body and exercise power according to the rule of law under a constitution, including separation of powers with an elected head of state, referred to as a constitutional republic or representative democracy; as of 2017, 159 of the world’s 206 sovereign states use the word “republic” as part of their official names – not all of these are republics in the sense of having elected governments, nor is the word “republic” used in the names of all nations with elected governments. While heads of state tend to claim that they rule only by the “consent of the governed”, elections in some countries have been found to be held more for the purpose of “show” than for the actual purpose of in reality providing citizens with any genuine ability to choose their own leaders.
The word republic comes from the Latin term res publica, which means “public thing,” “public matter,” or “public affair” and was used to refer to the state as a whole. The term developed its modern meaning in reference to the constitution of the ancient Roman Republic, lasting from the overthrow of the kings in 509 B. C. to the establishment of the Empire in 27 B. C; this constitution was characterized by a Senate composed of wealthy aristocrats and wielding significant influence. Most a republic is a single sovereign state, but there are sub-sovereign state entities that are referred to as republics, or that have governments that are described as “republican” in nature. For instance, Article IV of the United States Constitution "guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government". In contrast, the former Soviet Union, which described itself as being a group of “Republics” and as a “federal multinational state composed of 15 republics”, was viewed as being a totalitarian form of government and not a genuine republic, since its electoral system was structured so as to automatically guarantee the election of government-sponsored candidates.
The term originates from the Latin translation of Greek word politeia. Cicero, among other Latin writers, translated politeia as res publica and it was in turn translated by Renaissance scholars as "republic"; the term politeia can be translated as form of government, polity, or regime and is therefore not always a word for a specific type of regime as the modern word republic is. One of Plato's major works on political science was titled Politeia and in English it is thus known as The Republic. However, apart from the title, in modern translations of The Republic, alternative translations of politeia are used. However, in Book III of his Politics, Aristotle was the first classical writer to state that the term politeia can be used to refer more to one type of politeia: "When the citizens at large govern for the public good, it is called by the name common to all governments, government". Amongst classical Latin, the term "republic" can be used in a general way to refer to any regime, or in a specific way to refer to governments which work for the public good.
In medieval Northern Italy, a number of city states had signoria based governments. In the late Middle Ages, writers such as Giovanni Villani began writing about the nature of these states and the differences from other types of regime, they used terms such as a free people, to describe the states. The terminology changed in the 15th century as the renewed interest in the writings of Ancient Rome caused writers to prefer using classical terminology. To describe non-monarchical states writers, most Leonardo Bruni, adopted the Latin phrase res publica. While Bruni and Machiavelli used the term to describe the states of Northern Italy, which were not monarchies, the term res publica has a set of interrelated meanings in the original Latin; the term can quite be translated as "public matter". It was most used by Roman writers to refer to the state and government during the period of the Roman Empire. In subsequent centuries, the English word "commonwealth" came to be used as a translation of res publica, its use in English was comparable to how the Romans used the term res publica.
Notably, during The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell the word commonwealth was the most common term to call the new monarchless state, but the word republic was in common use. In Polish the term was translated as rzeczpospolita, although the translation is now only used with respect to Poland. Presently, the term "republic" means a system of government which derives its power from the people rather than from another basis, such as heredity or divine right. While the philosophical terminology developed in classical Greece and Rome, as noted by Aristotle there was a long history of city states with a wide variety of constitutions, not only in Greece but in the Middle East. After the classical period, during the Middle Ages, many free cities developed again, such as Venice; the modern type of "republic" itself is different from any type of state found in the c
Governor-General of India
The Governor-General of India was the head of British India and after Indian independence in 1947, the representative of the Indian head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William; the officer had direct control only over Fort William, but supervised other East India Company officials in India. Complete authority over all of British India was granted in 1833, the official came to be known as the "Governor-General of India". In 1858, as a consequence of the Indian Mutiny the previous year, the territories and assets of the East India Company came under the direct control of the British Crown; the Governor-General headed the central government of India, which administered the provinces of British India, including the Punjab, Bombay, the United Provinces, others. However, much of India was not ruled directly by the British Government. From 1858, to reflect the Governor-General's new additional role as the Monarch's representative in re the fealty relationships vis the princely states, the additional title of Viceroy was granted, such that the new office was entitled Viceroy and Governor-General of India.
This was shortened to Viceroy of India. The title of Viceroy was abandoned when British India split into the two independent dominions of India and Pakistan, but the office of Governor-General continued to exist in each country separately—until they adopted republican constitutions in 1950 and 1956, respectively; until 1858, the Governor-General was selected by the Court of Directors of the East India Company, to whom he was responsible. Thereafter, he was appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the British Government. After 1947, the Sovereign continued to appoint the Governor-General, but thereafter did so on the advice of the newly-sovereign Indian Government. Governors-General served at the pleasure of the Sovereign, though the practice was to have them serve five-year terms. Governors-General could have their commission rescinded; the first Governor-General of British India was Lord William Bentinck, the first Governor-General of independent India was Louis, Lord Mountbatten. Many parts of the Indian subcontinent were governed by the East India Company, which nominally acted as the agent of the Mughal Emperor.
In 1773, motivated by corruption in the Company, the British government assumed partial control over the governance of India with the passage of the Regulating Act of 1773. A Governor-General and Supreme Council of Bengal were appointed to rule over the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal; the first Governor-General and Council were named in the Act. The Charter Act 1833 replaced the Governor-General and Council of Fort William with the Governor-General and Council of India; the power to elect the Governor-General was retained by the Court of Directors, but the choice became subject to the Sovereign's approval. After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the East India Company's territories in India were put under the direct control of the Sovereign; the Government of India Act 1858 vested the power to appoint the Governor-General in the Sovereign. The Governor-General, in turn, had the power to appoint all lieutenant governors in India, subject to the Sovereign's approval. India and Pakistan acquired independence in 1947, but Governors-General continued to be appointed over each nation until republican constitutions were written.
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma remained Governor-General of India for some time after independence, but the two nations were otherwise headed by native Governors-General. India became a secular republic in 1950; the Governor-General had power only over the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal. The Regulating Act, granted them additional powers relating to foreign affairs and defence; the other Presidencies of the East India Company were not allowed to declare war on or make peace with an Indian prince without receiving the prior approval of the Governor-General and Council of Fort William. The powers of the Governor-General, in respect of foreign affairs, were increased by the India Act 1784; the Act provided that the other Governors under the East India Company could not declare war, make peace or conclude a treaty with an Indian prince unless expressly directed to do so by the Governor-General or by the Company's Court of Directors. While the Governor-General thus became the controller of foreign policy in India, he was not the explicit head of British India.
That status came only with the Charter Act 1833, which granted him "superintendence and control of the whole civil and military Government" of all of British India. The Act granted legislative powers to the Governor-General and Council. After 1858, the Governor-General functioned as the chief administrator of India and as the Sovereign's representative. India was divided into numerous provinces, each under the head of a governor, Lieutenant Governor or Chief Commissioner or Administ
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks fourth amongst the air forces of the world, its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict. It was established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire which honoured India's aviation service during World War II with the prefix Royal. After India gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, the name Royal Indian Air Force was kept and served in the name of Dominion of India. With the government's transition to a Republic in 1950, the prefix Royal was removed after only three years. Since 1950 the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighboring Pakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai; the IAF's mission expands beyond engagement with hostile forces, with the IAF participating in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The President of India holds the rank of Supreme Commander of the IAF. As of 1 July 2017, 139,576 personnel are in service with the Indian Air Force; the Chief of Air Staff, an air chief marshal, is a four-star officer and is responsible for the bulk of operational command of the Air Force. There is never more than one serving ACM at any given time in the IAF; the rank of Marshal of the Air Force has been conferred by the President of India on one occasion in history, to Arjan Singh. On 26 January 2002 Singh became the first and so far, only five-star rank officer of the IAF; the IAF's mission is defined by the Armed Forces Act of 1947, the Constitution of India, the Air Force Act of 1950. It decrees that in the aerial battlespace: Defence of India and every part there of including preparation for defence and all such acts as may be conducive in times of war to its prosecution and after its termination to effective demobilisation. In practice, this is taken as a directive meaning the IAF bears the responsibility of safeguarding Indian airspace and thus furthering national interests in conjunction with the other branches of the armed forces.
The IAF provides close air support to the Indian Army troops on the battlefield as well as strategic and tactical airlift capabilities. The Integrated Space Cell is operated by the Indian Armed Forces, the civilian Department of Space, the Indian Space Research Organisation. By uniting the civilian run space exploration organizations and the military faculty under a single Integrated Space Cell the military is able to efficiently benefit from innovation in the civilian sector of space exploration, the civilian departments benefit as well; the Indian Air Force, with trained crews and access to modern military assets provides India with the capacity to provide rapid response evacuation, search-and-rescue operations, delivery of relief supplies to affected areas via cargo aircraft. The IAF provided extensive assistance to relief operations during natural calamities such as the Gujarat cyclone in 1998, the tsunami in 2004, North India floods in 2013; the IAF has undertaken relief missions such as Operation Rainbow in Sri Lanka.
The Indian Air Force was established on 8 October 1932 in British India as an auxiliary air force of the Royal Air Force. The enactment of the Indian Air Force Act 1932 stipulated out their auxiliary status and enforced the adoption of the Royal Air Force uniforms, badges and insignia. On 1 April 1933, the IAF commissioned its first squadron, No.1 Squadron, with four Westland Wapiti biplanes and five Indian pilots. The Indian pilots were led by British RAF Commanding officer Flight Lieutenant Cecil Bouchier. During World War II, the IAF played an instrumental role in halting the advance of the Japanese army in Burma, where the first IAF air strike was executed; the target for this first mission was the Japanese military base in Arakan, after which IAF strike missions continued against the Japanese airbases at Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. The IAF was involved in strike, close air support, aerial reconnaissance, bomber escort and pathfinding missions for RAF and USAAF heavy bombers.
RAF and IAF pilots would train by flying with their non-native air wings to gain combat experience and communication proficiency. IAF pilots participated in air operations in Europe as part of the RAF. During the war, the IAF experienced a phase of steady expansion. New aircraft added to the fleet included the US-built Vultee Vengeance, Douglas Dakota, the British Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire, Westland Lysander. In recognition of the valiant service by the IAF, King George VI conferred the prefix "Royal" in 1945. Thereafter the IAF was referred to as the Royal Indian Air Force. In 1950, when India became a republic, the prefix was dropped and it reverted to being the Indian Air Force. After it became independent from the British Empire in 1947, British India was partitioned into the new states of the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan. Along the lines of the geographical partition, the assets of the air force were divided between the new countries. India's air force retained the name of the Royal Indian Air Force, but three of the ten operational squadrons and facilities, located within the borders of Pakistan, were transferred to the Royal Pakistan Air Force.
The RIAF Roundel was changed to an interim'Chakra' roundel derived from the Ashoka Chakra. Around the same time, conflict broke out between them over the control of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir. With Pakistani forces moving into the state, its Maharaja decided to accede to India in order to receive military help; the day after, the Instrument of Accession was signed, the RIAF
Abide with Me
"Abide with Me" is a Christian hymn by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte most sung to English composer William Henry Monk's tune entitled "Eventide". Written in Crossabeg, Ireland in Artramon House. Lyte set it to music while he lay dying from tuberculosis; the author of the hymn, Henry Francis Lyte, was an Anglican priest and vicar of All Saints' Church in Brixham, England. He was a curate in Wexford for three years – from 1815 to 1818. For most of his life Lyte suffered from poor health, he would travel abroad for relief, as was the tradition in that day. Due to a plaque erected in his memory in Taghmon church, he preached in Killurin church, about nine miles from there. During that time the rector of Killurin parish, the Reverend Abraham Swanne, was a lasting influence on Lyte’s life and ministry. There is some controversy to the exact dating of the text to “Abide with Me.” An article in The Spectator, Oct. 3, 1925, says that Lyte composed the hymn in 1820 while visiting a dying friend. It was related that Francis was staying with the Hore family in County Wexford and had visited an old friend, William Augustus Le Hunte, dying.
As Francis sat with the dying man, William kept repeating the phrase ‘Abide With Me…’ ‘Abide with Me…’ After leaving William’s bedside Francis Lyte wrote the hymn and gave a copy of it to William’s family. The belief is that when Lyte felt his own end approaching twenty-seven years as he developed tuberculosis and, at the age of 54, he thought of the lines he had written so many years before. The Biblical link for the hymn is Luke 24:29 where the disciples asked Jesus to abide with them for it is toward evening and the day is spent… using his friend’s more personal phrasing ‘Abide with Me’, Lyte composed the hymns, his daughter, Anna Maria Maxwell Hogg, recounts the story of how “Abide with Me” came out of that context. The summer was passing away, the month of September arrived, each day seemed to have a special value as being one day nearer his departure, his family were surprised and alarmed at his announcing his intention of preaching once more to his people. His weakness and the possible danger attending the effort, were in vain.
“It was better”, as he used to say playfully, when in comparative health, “to wear out than to rust out”. He felt that he should be enabled to fulfil his wish, feared not for the result, his expectation was well founded. He did preach, amid the breathless attention of his hearers, gave them a sermon on the Holy Communion.... In the evening of the same day he placed in the hands of a near and dear relative the little hymn, "Abide with Me", with an air of his own composing, adapted to the words. Just weeks in Nice in the Kingdom of Sardinia, Henry Lyte died, it was November 20th, 1847. The hymn was sung for the first time at Lyte’s funeral. Special thanksgiving services to mark Francis Henry Lyte’s bi-centenary were held in Taghmon and Killurin churches. Both churches are in Kilscoran Union of Parishes. While he wrote a tune for the hymn, the tune we sing. Lyte wrote many hymns during his lifetime, much of, spent in Brixham, England including "Praise my soul, the King of Heaven" and "Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken".
He had always loved the musical side of worship. The hymn is a prayer for God to remain present with the speaker throughout life, through trials, through death; the opening line alludes to Luke 24:29, "Abide with us: for it is toward evening, the day is far spent", the penultimate verse draws on text from 1 Corinthians 15:55, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?": The hymn tune most used with this hymn is "Eventide" composed by William Henry Monk in 1861. Alternative tunes include: "Abide with Me," Henry Lyte, 1847 "Morecambe", Frederick C. Atkinson, 1870 "Penitentia", Edward Dearle, 1874 unnamed, Samuel Liddle published by Boosey & Co. in 1896. "Woodlands", Walter Greatorex 1916 The hymn is popular across many Christian denominations and was said to be a favourite of King George V and Mahatma Gandhi. It is often sung or played at Christian funerals; some prominent documented occasions of its use are listed below: The hymn was played by the Mysore Palace Band when Gandhi visited the Kingdom of Mysore.
In the aftermath of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, survivors reported that the Titanic's band played the hymn as the ship was sinking, although detailed studies have identified other songs played by the band. The hymn was played at the State funeral of the titular Maharaja of Mysore, Srikanta Wadiyar; the nurse Edith Cavell is said to have sung the hymn with a chaplain in her cell the evening before she was shot by the Germans in 1915. The hymn was played at the funeral of US President Richard M. Nixon; the hymn is sung at the annual Anzac Day services in Australia and New Zealand, in some Remembrance Day services in Canada and the United Kingdom. It is played by the combined bands of the Indian Armed Forces during the annual Beating Retreat ceremony held on 29 January at Vijay Chowk, New Delhi, which marks the end of Republic Day celebrations. A choral version of this hymn has been arranged by Moses Hogan. Phrases of the finale of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 9 are noted for their similarity to Monk's Eventide.
Ralph Vaughan Williams composed an orchestral prelude on the tune for the Hereford Festival of 1936. The hymn was set to music around 1890 by the American composer Charles Ives, was published in his collection Thirteen Son