George wants everyone to be talking about St George

George Thomas prepares for St George's Day.
George Thomas prepares for St George's Day.

With the English flag in one hand and a sword in the other, George Thomas will celebrate the Patron Saint of England in rather an unusual way.

The 65-year-old grandfather will be dressing up as a knight to mark St George’s Day on Saturday, April 23.

He will be poised outside Wakefield Cathedral, armed with knowledge about the country’s Saint, with whom he shares his name.

Mr Thomas, of Outwood, said: “I want people to come together to celebrate St George’s Day as we don’t really seem to do it.

“If you look at St Patrick’s Day in Ireland, everybody celebrates it.

“Why not St George’s day? I just want to get more people talking about St George, who he was and what he did.”

Little is known about the life of St George.

But it is believed that he was a dedicated Christian and an officer in the Roman Army.

He protested against the Roman Emperor’s persecution of Christians, a stance which later led to his beheading.

He has since been recognised by some as a martyr for showing bravery in defence of the poor and the Christian faith.

And he was made Patron Saint of England in the 14th century.

Mr Thomas said: “In that day, it would have been a great feat for anyone to have stuck up for his beliefs like that. We should be proud of that and celebrate what he did.”

Mr Thomas hopes his appearance on St George’s Day will encourage children to find out more about the Patron Saint.

He said: “I am from a period where I have seen a lot of English traditions die out and it is a real shame.

“Occasions like this are a great way to celebrate our history and our identity.

“That’s one of the reasons I am doing this. I hope children in particular come up and say hello, learn more about him, have their photos taken and just enjoy it.”

Mr Thomas will be outside the Cathedral from around 11am.

He said he will also be asking questions to visitors to teach them more about the life of the Patron Saint and he will be handing out prizes to anyone who has the correct answers.