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Kate Wills
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"I have a note against The Dons of 57th Division which says "see 2/6th King's history". Were these chaps from 2/6th?"

Oooh I don't know Kate. Haven't read the History of the 2/6th (Rifle) Battalion "The King's".

EDIT: I've had a look at the MIC's but wonder if Joe (Promenade) or Ken Lees might be able to help more with the service numbers on the MIC's (there is a G E A Browne with 'Liverpool Regiment' who seems to have six MIC's indexed, two of which seem to have been wrongly indexed and belonging to a 'Budworth'! Can't see him on CWGC) There is a Ralph Collis Liverpool Regiment Private 357751 (also not on CWGC) Haven't looked at the rest without first names

The names I posted were in the Liverpool Scottish history - unless the note you have was a mistake and it should have been 2/10th Liverpool Scottish?

Here is a snippet from the Daily Graphic April 24th 1915

"Musicians in the trenches"

"A Happy meeting: Violin solos during "cease fire""

"Writing to a Dover friend, Mr A. T. Dixon, L.R.A.M., who was a well-known violinist at Dover prior to being recalled to the colours as a reservist of the Royal Artillery band, and has been at the front with a battery for some months says:-

"I have had the good fortune to meet Lieutenant Holland, the violinist, in the trenches. He has already won the Military Medal, and is certainly making a great dash for victory. We are still pounding away, knocking all the wind out of the Germans, and I find life here absorbing, entertaining, inspiring and romantic.

Mr Buckman is sending me out a violin with which I can entertain the boys during "cease fire". We are billeted in barns, and our aquaintance with insect life has consequently improved"

"Lieutenant Holland, whom Mr Dixon mentions, was formerly in the Royal Artillery Band at Dover, but is now in the Dorsetshire Regiment"

Caryl

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  • 10 months later...

Kate,

Just stumbled over this old thread, partly looking for what had previously been written on the forum about Butterworth, but I noticed you include bell ringing among your musical pastimes.

I'm currently working my way through the war time Ringing World issues, mostly to collate the names of those reported in the weekly rolls of honour, and the like. However there are a few other striking features (no pun intended), peal ringing and other "recreational" ringing, as distinct from regular practices and ringing for church services ceased virtually overnight in the build up to war. Unlike in the Second World War when the ringing of bells was famously reserved as the warning of invasion, there was no official prohibition, ringers simply decided among themselves that "non-essential" ringing was not appropriate for the time being, and of course many ringers joined up too - this had less obvious side effects; women were just entering tower bell ringing in numbers at this time anyway, but just as with factory work the dearth of men to ring the bells led to their recruitment in even greater numbers. The first peal by an all-female band was rung early in the war, and the recently formed Ladies' Guild soon qualified by the size of its membership for representation on the Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. The Ringing World issue of 30 October 1914 includes a brief piece from teh Rector of Claverley relating how some of the ringers who had joined up from his parish were practising change ringing on handbells using "pop" bottles in place of handbells, and had asked for the handbells to be sent from home so they could ring properly (unfortunately none of the ringers are named, and the only indication of unit is that they were New Army, though are told they were based at Old Dean Camp, Camberley. The national days of intercession, the first of which was on 3 January 1915 saw much half-muffled ringing, and earlier ringers had done similar on All Saints and All Souls Day in 1914 to mark those killed so far. The tradition of ringing hospitaility also gave those based away from home good ways of meeting the locals, joining in practices at towers near where they were posted and the like.

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David (and Kate)

Talking about bell-ringing, I'm not sure if you are aware of this but I noticed a passage in the book Malta: The Nurse of the mediterranean, Albert Glenthorne Mackinnon published 1916, about the bells of Valletta being silenced

"THE silence of Valletta in war time is what impresses the visitor. Not that it is silent. The cries of street vendors, and all the ordinary noises of a congested town added to the voluble talk of its inhabitants make sound enough ; but even that babble is as silence compared with what Valletta used to be. The bells have stopped, and the world has not come to an end. From the vigour with which the hundreds of them used to be beaten from one quarter of an hour to the other, it seemed as if the place were making a frantic effort to avert some impending doom, and in the mind of the peasant this thought was not far away. The effort has ceased, and the heavens have not fallen.

THE SILENCED BELLS

Napoleon tried to silence the bells of Malta but he failed. A British medical officer has thus accomplished what the great Emperor could not do. Colonel Ballance, with the sympathy of a true surgeon for the thousands under his charge, had the matter of the bells brought before His Grace the Archbishop of Malta.

His Grace, with his usual readiness to assist all work for the wounded, ordered the bells to cease, and so there was silence. A great debt of gratitude is due to the head of the Roman Catholic Church for his courageous and generously minded act, and also for the splendid lead he has given his people at this time in all patriotic service...."

Caryl

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INteresting Caryl, they ceratinly seems to have been a feeling that the sound of bells was not good for those in ill-health. I've come across other accounts of ringing not happening because someone in the parish was seriously ill, or because soldiers were being treated close to the church.

I also found this just now:

SERVICE MEN CELEBRATE EMPIRE DAY.

Although a large number of ringers have joined the services, there

are, we believe, few places where they can make up a complete band, so

scattered are they among the various units. Half-a-dozen ringer-soldiers

stationed at Larkhill Camp, Salisbury Plain, however, contrived to celebrate

Empire Day, and met at St. Michael's Church, Annesbury, for the

purpose on Whitsun Monday. Their intention was to ring 720 Bob

Minor, but being one short for this, they rang 720 Grandsire Doubles

in 29 mins.; Sapper W. A. Hudson, R.E., 1; Pte D. J . Boucher, 6th

K.S.L.I., 2; Pte T. Belton, 6th K.S.L.I., 3; Sergt. Bailey, 6th Oxford

and Bucks L.I. ,4; Pte E. A. Drew, 6th K.S.L.I. (conductor), 5; Pte. A.

W. Owen, 6th K.S.L.I., 6. They hope to meet again for a peal before

separating, and wish to thank the local men for their offer of the bells

at any time, and for throwing open the tower to them for service ringing

on Sundays. [RW 4 June 1915, p 283]

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Peace and quiet was considered important for the seriously ill; at home the doorknocker was wrapped in fabric and straw was spread in the street outside the house to muffle the sound of horses' hooves.

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My mother used to tell me about it happening in the twenties, when she was a child, and there's a poem by Amy Levy (1861 - 1889) called Straw in the Street, which I've just managed to find a link for:

See here

With little in the way of pain relief, or help with the suffocating affects of terminal TB or other severe discomforts of serious illness or injury, then providing freedom from intrusive noise would have been one of the few services a helpless carer could offer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The national days of intercession, the first of which was on 3 January 1915 saw much half-muffled ringing, and earlier ringers had done similar on All Saints and All Souls Day in 1914 to mark those killed so far.

Thanks for that David. Northampton's civic church All Saints rang a muffled peal on All Souls Day 1914 (Monday 2nd Nov).

Regarding your researches into bellringing, I took this note from the history of Gulval church in Cornwall when researching the vicar's son, John Maddrell, a bass in King's College Chapel Choir who was wounded on 22 November (St Cecilia's Day, patron saint of music)and died hospital 13 December 1916:

Canon Maddrell was inducted to the parish of Gulval on 26 February 1913, when the newly expanded peal of 8 bells rang, one of the ringers being Joseph Hurworth, whose name would also be carved on the war memorial. The Maddrells moved into an 18-room vicarage, built around 1810 (which was sold-off in 1953. Gulval did not have a public sewer until 1951, and sanitary conditions were described by a villager as primitive). Also newly-installed was a four face electric clock, the first public electric clock in Cornwall, and indeed the first such west of Torquay. The bell-team was a keen one, popular with visiting campanologists. One London ringer had a very ebullient personality, whose enthusiasm would have horrified Canon Maddrell, but for the fact the latter never arrived in church until two minutes before the service. This was during the early war years, when lady ringers began to be recruited into the bell-team. (Hurworth left the team in early 14)

Gunner JOSEPH CUTHBERT HURWORTH

91562, 249th Siege Bty., Royal Garrison Artillery

who died age 34 on 25 May 1918

Son of James and Elizabeth Hurworth, of 39, Stonegate, York; husband of Maude M. Hurworth, of Heather House, Ashtown, Long Rock, Cornwall.

Remembered with honour

ESQUELBECQ MILITARY CEMETERY

Caryl,

I wonder if this is the chap you mentioned in post #126:

HOLLAND Algernon LRAM (on active Service) Inc Soc Musicians register 1916. Address 'Cremona' St Michael's Road, Bournemouth. Solo and orchestral violinist.

He later became conductor of the Folkestone Municipal Orchestra.

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Kate, thanks, I see Hurworth doesn't seem to be included on the Central Council for Church Bell Ringers' Roll of Honour (http://www.cccbr.org.uk/rolls/casualties/?warID=1#H), though it's possible that his name just hasn't made it online yet. I'll let Alan Regin know to make sure.

My grandfather and his brothers were Kingsmen, though not until the 20s and my grandfather didn't quite make it into the choir (though I believe the brothers did). He became good friends with Milner-White (ultimately becoming his literary executor).

I assume you know the dedication of Naylor's Evening Service in A?

Wit regard to Holland, Cremon was of course the home town of Stradivarius and others of the great violin makers.

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  • 3 weeks later...

David,

No, I don't know the dedicatee of Naylor's Evening Service in A.

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Actually, looking at my copy again it's really just the dedication of the Nunc that's relevant. However, the top of the score reads "Composed for King's College Chapel, Cambridge at the request of Dr A H Mann" while the back states: "These canticles were composed in March, 1903, and have been in use at King's College, since that date, in MS, until the publication in 1918. The Decani harmony of the first Gloria is J S Bach's, as given at the end of the Cantata for the Feast of the Visitation of the BVM."

Over the head of the Nunc Dimittis is the further dedication "To the Memory of those who have sung it in King's Chapel, and who died in the War."

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Thankyou very much for that David. I can see the sense of marking the Nunc as a commemoration.

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Caryl,

I wonder if this is the chap you mentioned in post #126:

HOLLAND Algernon LRAM (on active Service) Inc Soc Musicians register 1916. Address 'Cremona' St Michael's Road, Bournemouth. Solo and orchestral violinist.

He later became conductor of the Folkestone Municipal Orchestra.

Could well be him Kate. Thanks

Good to see that he survived the war

Caryl

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Kate, yes a Nunc certainly makes sense as a memorial (for those less familiar, the words can be seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunc_dimittis )

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another snippet from the Ringing World (10 September 1915, p 116)

INTERESTING MILITARY RECORD.

At St. Mary's Church, Wendover, Bucks, on Sunday week, an interesting performance was put up by a band of ringers all belonging to H.M. Forces, stationed at Halton Camp. They rang a quarter-peal, consisting of ten and a half six-scores (1260 changes) of Grandsire Doubles for evening service : Pte T. Gregory, Berks Regiment, 1; Pte. J Snow, 4th Devons, 2; Pte R. Holder, 4th Royal Sussex (conductorl , 5; Pte P. Worgan, 5th Somersets, 4; Pte W. H. Sleeman, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 5; Corpl. Canson, 5th Gloucesters, 6. It will be observed that the ringers belonged to six different regiments. They came from six different coun t ies, and are all on active service. This surely must be a record.

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  • 6 months later...

Kate

from the museum archives i have found a programme for the 25th Feb 1916 for Lena Ashwells concert party,any idea where this was staged

(Images to follow shortly)

Regards

Bob

post-21863-0-59641400-1320438965.jpeg

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Thankyou for posting this Bob. Which museum does it come from?

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Purton (Wiltshire)

Its a very basic pencil styled affair as you can see, not like some of the others that i have seen. I wonder the significance of the ASC chap top right?

Bob

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The interesting inclusion here is the orchestra. Lena Ashwell organised solo performers, so the orchestra would most likely have been assembled locally, and indeed 'orchestra' may have been more of an ensemble with a handful of players - perhaps from a nearby military camp. Was there an ASC base nearby? As you say, the programme illustrator seems keen to promote their participation.

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  • 1 year later...

Kate,

is there anything you can tell me about the Optimists. I've come across a reference to a show they gave on 29 March 1918 at or near Rouvrel.

thanks

Dave

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Hi Dave,

Were 30th Division near Rouvrel on that date? If so, these Optimists are 89th Brigade's concert party.

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Yes, they were. The refernce is in Carl Champion's diary.

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Is this from Charles Fair's wonderful book Marjorie's War?

Can you help me with the page. I have my copy to hand, but it is not in the index.

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No, it's from Carl Champion's pocket diary. I've an extract for 21-30 March 1918 that Charles let me have.

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The Optimists had been going for nearly two years by then. Popularly known as 'Billy Bray and his Gang'. I think Billy may have been their comedian.

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