A gate traversing the upper section of Charles V Wall was constructed in 1790 and was named after one of George II's sons who happened to be serving in Gibraltar at the time.1. 2. Unlike other gates in Gibraltar, it has never been known as anything else but Prince Edward's Gate which in a sense is rather unfortunate as the Prince - now also known as the Duke of Kent - returned in 1802 as Governor of the Rock and proved to be one of the most unpopular military appointments ever to have been inflicted on Gibraltar. ( see LINK ).
French map showing position of Prince Edward's Gate in relation to South Port Garte ( 1830s - Piaget and Lailavoir )
Prince Edward's Gate from the Alameda ( 1830's - G. Vivian T Boys )
Prince Edward's Gate from the Alameda ( 1846 - J. M . Carter )
Somewhere outside the gates - it is said - there was an engraving with the following poem:
God and the soldier, all men adore
In time of danger and not before
When the danger is passed and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the old soldier slighted 3. 4
The truth is that the inscription was inappropriate. In so far as the British were concerned from 1704 right up to the 20th century, no amount of peace would ever allow the authorities to turn a blind eye to the slightest suspicion of weakness to the Rock's defences. Perhaps it might have been true of civilian sentiments. In which case perhaps the engraving should have read ; Pasado el peligro, adiós al santo. 5
At the time of writing, the gate is still there.
Prince Edward's Gate ( Early 20th century )
3. Francis Quarles - Complete Works in Prose - 16th Century
This is probably a corruption of a similar one by the English 16th century poet Francis Quarles:
Our God and Souldiers we alike adore,
Ev’n at the Brink of danger; not before:
After deliverance, both alike required;
Our God’s forgotten, and our Souldiers slighted.
4. J. F. Kennedy - Public Papers - 1962
Curiously in 1962, during a meeting with military men during the Cuban Crisis, the American president J.F. Kennedy included in his speech the words; "And you will recall, I am sure, the lines found in an old sentry box in Gibraltar:" He then went on to quote the Gibraltar version.
5. George Hills - Rock of Contention - 1977
Prince Edward's Gate with added pedestrian passage ( Mid 20th century )