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Popular Music of 1915 - British Troops

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I am interested to know what the popular music might have been amongst British troops during late 1914 and the 1st half of 1915 (or thereabouts).

  • Songs
  • War songs
  • Popular Tunes
  • Famous Singers
  • Music Styles
  • Popular Shows
  • etc.

I would imagine that the troops would have different tastes to that of the Officers.

All suggestions welcome and appreciated.

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Guest mruk

Hello "John",

I've posted this piece before. I think it was on Kate Wills' thread on 'Classics', but it's always worth repeating.


10th West Yorks Programme of C. Company's Concert held at Ruminghem on Sat. Jan. 15th 1916"] The lad doing the comic turn of "Hielan' Lassie" was my Gt. Uncle [Pte. Ernest Stowe]

Pianoforte Solo--Corp. Lovekin--Ragtimes

Song--Pte. Williams--Asleep in the Dark

Piccolo Song Sgt. Purcell Killarney-Waltz

Comic Song--Pte. Stevenson--Good Old Jeff

Song--Lt. Reynolds--Little Irish Colleen

Comic Song--Pte. Haddock--Stammering Sam

Song--Sgt. Weir--Boys of the Old Brigade

Comic Song--Pte. Spink--The Baby's Name

Song--Corp. Copeland--Selected

Comic Song--Lt. Vickery--Selected

Mouth Organ Selection--Pte. W. Scott

Song--Sgt. Wilson--Lindy Lou

Comic Song--Pte. Stowe--Cheer Up My Hielan' Lassie

Song--Pte. Upton--The Volunteer Organist

Comic Song--L/Cpl. G.H. Shaw--The Dutch Song

Song--L/Cpl. Seymour--Kitchener's Army

Pianoforte Solo--Corp. Lovekin--Barcarolle "Tales From Hoffman"

Kind Regards,


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Kate Wills


The big hit of late 1914 / early 1915 was Ivor Novello's 'Keep the Homefires Burning', which was written in the early weeks of the war and encored eight times at its premiere. It earned the 21 year old composer a small fortune. “I shall be grateful to it all my life” said Novello. It was whistled in every street, and played on cinema pianos and barrel organs. It caught the national mood perfectly, hence it sucess. The lyrics were composed by American-born Lena Guilbert Ford, who was killed alongside her small child Walter in a Zeppellin raid in 1917.

Here are a couple of recent discussions:




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There was an enormous range of sheet music at the - some with really atmospheric covers.

Sadly the British Archives haven't published these on line, but tha Aussie archives have and there is a tremendous resource there;

Try http://nla.gov.au/nla.mus-an5420374 for starters


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Again, the people of this forum rise to the occasion with some great responses.

Thank you one and all !!


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