Who or what persuaded Kipling to make this visit is not known. The next day he wrote to his Canadian correspondent J. W. Barry that “I’ve had the good luck to see a few Canadian boys and girls yesterday. They were on tour through England and were—very good-looking and intelligent youngsters”
(14 August 1920: ALS, Queen’s University).
At St Winifred’s School, Eastbourne, Mr. Rudyard Kipling yesterday met 84 boys and girls of Canadian secondary schools who are spending six weeks in this country under a scheme of the Overseas Education League. They have visited Scotland, Stratford-on-Avon, Birmingham, and London, and are to stay at St. Winifreds for a summer school which will last for about a week. In the school grounds they formed into groups, boys in one and girls in another, and Mr. Kipling spent half an hour chatting with both, telling them stories, and asking them questions about the places they had visited.
“England,” he told them, “is as much a possession of Canada as Canada is a possession of England. For this land is your own by full right as much as it is ours. You must not look upon it as in any way apart from yours except for the matter of distance, which is becoming less and less. Be welcome, and, as the school goes on, may your children be welcome too.”
—The Times, 14 August 1935, p. 10.