See the historic footage of the Independence Day Ceremony on 4th February 1948 at Independence Hall in Colombo. The Prime Minister of Ceylon, D.S.Senanayake raises the Sri Lankan flag. Sri Lanka gained her independence from the United Kingdom in 1948. Don Stephen Senanayake was Ceylon’s first Prime Minister.
The Corea Family fought hard for the Independence of Ceylon including Vernon’s grand uncles – C.E.Corea and Victor Corea and uncle Sir Claude Corea who are all national heroes of Sri Lanka. They were freedom fighters of Ceylon. Vernon Corea was 21 years old when Sri Lanka gained independence from Britain.
Watch the British Pathe films – Ceylon Gains Independence 1948
The Duke of Gloucester (Prince Henry) and Duchess of Gloucester attend the official flag-raising ceremony in Colombo, marking independence of Ceylon. L/S pandal archway decorated with coconuts and bearing placards of welcome to the Duke and Duchess. C/U coconuts and pineapples. L/S Duke’s aeroplane arriving. Troops lined up on the airfield. L/S plane taxiing in, a truck alongside. C/U plane showing name “Endeavour”. M/S the Duke and Duchess walking away from the plane and receiving salute. They are greeted by the Governor General of Ceylon, Sir Henry Monkmore and Lady Monkmore. Various shots meeting Ceylonese ministers with plane in background. L/S Duke and Duchess inspecting the RAF Guard of Honour. L/S the RAF march past.
General views of coastline with palms and fishing boats. L/S inside the Assembly Hall, Duke of Gloucester on the platform. L/S crowd outside. Exterior shot of the Assembly Hall. M/S the Duke rises to speak. M/S audience fanning themselves with programmes. L/S procession through the streets on way to Kandy. C/U crowd. C/U Sri Lankans using newspapers as sun shields. L/S Sri Lankans lining the route under palm trees. C/U Sri Lankan women and children. C/U Sri Lankans in tropical bushes. L/S personalities arriving for the opening of the Assembly (not named). Various shots Prime Minister Mr. Senanayake making a speech at the flag base, pan to crowd. C/U Duchess of Gloucester, Lady Monkmore and Mrs. Senanayake (wife of the Prime Minister). L/S Assembly Hall. C/U flags and figureheads. M/S Prime Minister of Ceylon speaking at the flag base.
Here is an interesting feature on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day published in the Sunday Observer in Colombo: