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Kirkbymoorside Town lead the world in Remembrance commemoration

The centenary of the First World War Armistice held an evocative musical resonance in Kirkbymoorside for the local community and for the rest of the world.

kIRKBY
  Band members young and old took part in the commemoration

This weekend bands throughout the world helped lead their communities in commemorating the sacrifice of those who died in conflict.

One of them was Kirkbymoorside Town, who led the First World War Armistice Centenary Commemorations not just in their town, but also across the world.

Last Post

The band led the procession from their local British Legion to the All Saints Church where principal cornet Jeanette Kendall performed 'The Last Post' — an honour played by a member of the band since 1918 — including 44 years by current soprano player John Sails.

The band also led the procession back to the British Legion where they performed a community concert and which included an emotive rendition of Gavin Somerset's 'In Flanders Field'.

Poignant

It was a particularly poignant performance as it was revealed that Tom Medd and John Bowes, who died of wounds he suffered there, were two of five band players, who fought in the First World War.

There was a worldwide focus on Kirbymoorside later in the day when the band gathered to lead the official 'Battle's Over' commemorative 'Last Post'.

'Battle's Over', was an international commemoration marking 100 years since the guns fell silent. Organised by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, it saw events throughout the UK, Europe and across the globe, from the Isle of Man to New Zealand.

He said: "It's wonderful to see the event being embraced by so many organisations and communities in this country and around the world. It's been a privilege to work on this project with the support of so many amazing organisations."

Biggest group

Kirkbymoorside was one of 1000 locations sounding 'The Last Post', and with 34 cornet players aged 7 to over 80, was the single biggest group in the world to play together.

Band member Emma Smailes told 4BR: "We were so proud to be playing a part in this historic international event, and to recognise the contribution and sacrifice made by the men and women of Kirkbymoorside.

We particularly remembered those members of Kirkbymoorside Band who went to fight. We hope they would be proud that the band they played in led the commemorations"

Kirkbymoorside was one of 1000 locations sounding 'The Last Post', and with 34 cornet players aged 7 to over 80, was the single biggest group in the world to play together4BR

Bandroom move

The centenary was also particularly poignant as the band move forward with their new plans for their rehearsal headquarters, which was moved to its current site in 1918 by players fearing for the future of the band during the conflict.

Emma added: "We hope that that these players such as tuba player and wheelwright Dan Maw, who secured the home of the band in Manor Vale, would be delighted to see our new hall being built there 100 years on."

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Mike Sheppard

B.A. (Hons) Music
Composer, conductor, teacher, author