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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

The Last Post - Music, Remembrance and the Great War


The Scorer

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This book has been written by Alwyn W Turner

In common with everyone here, I have heard it played many many times in many different circumstances. The book begins with the "Great Silence" in Whitehall on 11th November 1919, and explains that no-one really knew what was going to happen after 11.00am. We are today familiar with the sounding of the Last Post in Whitehall and everywhere else at 11.00am, but this didn't happen on that day ... something that surprised me, as I always thought that it had been played.

Via chapters titled after other famous bugle ands trumpet tunes ("Rouse", "General Salute", "Charge", "Cease Firing", Alarm", Fall In", "Stand Fast", "As You Were", "Dismiss" and "Reveille") the book then traces the origins of the tune. It looks at it's use in Remembrance services, together with a discussion on whether it should be played on the bugle or the trumpet - the former is right, of course!

It's not just about the tune, though. All the elements of remembrance that we are aware of now - the two minutes silence, the Unknown Warrior, the Cenotaph etc. are there and the story of these are woven into the wider story of remembrance.

It's a very good book, and I would recommend it.

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