Eric Pickles MP, UK Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, toured First World War battlefields in Belgium and France, image courtesy of the CWGC

UK announces 'Last Post' mass participation music project for Centenary

Posted on centenarynews.com on 26 January 2014
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The UK's Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, has announced that a mass participation music project for 300 communities will take place in every year of the Centenary.

Mr. Pickles announced the 'Last Post' project on the 25th January 2014, as he paid his respects to British and Commonwealth troops on a visit to the battlefields of Belgium and France.

For a fortnight either side of Remembrance Sunday during the Centenary, 300 communities across the United Kingdom will research their local First World War heritage and hold musical recitals in schools, libraries, places of worship and community centres, where they will share stories, local memories and testimony.

Volunteers at each event will play the Last Post on new arrangements of the traditional bugle and trumpet call. ‘Last Post songbooks’ will also offer traditional music from the era including the widely known trench songs such as ‘Pack Up Your Troubles’, ‘Keep the home fires burning’ and ‘Take me back to dear old Blighty'.

Speaking earlier this week when attending the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, which commemorates British and Commonwealth soldiers who died at the Battle of Ypres, Mr. Pickles said:

"Each evening crowds gather under the Menin Gate to hear the final salute to the fallen, played by the buglers of the Last Post Association".

"The poignancy of the Last Post is something that everyone in Britain recognises as a way of remembering those who lost their lives in war in service to this country fighting for liberty".

"This is a fitting time to bring that music back home, closer to the heart of communities and use it to remember the remarkable role so many local people played in the First World War".

Source: UK Government press release

Date of press release publication: 25/01/2014

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News