At the 11th hour of 11th November, 1918, an armistice was signed ending the four years of warfare in World War 1. Since that time it has been a custom in Commonwealth countries to honour the fallen on that date every year – known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day.
The horrors of that war are illustrated by one of the battlefields where fighting was particularly fierce during the Battle of the Somme. Much of Delville Wood was taken by South Africans in a determined attack on 15th July 1916, and then held by them against constant counter-attack until the evening of 19th when they were finally relieved. It was a costly action – in those few days they suffered 766 casualties
My mother, Dorothy Wienand Noble (1900 – 1996) wrote a march to commemorate that battle – I am sure she had personally known some of the fallen. The march was transcribed for military band and played a number of times at Remembrance Day Parades in South Africa – particularly by the Durban Light Infantry Regiment. I don’t have the band version, and want to write one myself when I can, but in the meantime here it is on the piano. That falls a bit short on ‘The Last Post’ opening, as well as the thunder of the guns during the battle section, but one still gets the idea of the honour-bound horror and bravery and bittersweet triumph. In fact, survivors of the action were known to have wept openly during the playing at some parades.
I had intended to post it yesterday, but have discovered that after I have had a website with them for some years MyMusicStream have kindly closed it down unless I fork out ten dollars a month, so I am going to have to invite them politely to go and join the Devil, and reroute my Quests sidebar links.
Here we have a SoundCloud version of the march. I hope it works for all.