Wellington Choral Society is to honour the memory of those whose lives have been lost and those wounded, both physically and mentally, in wars and conflicts over the past 100 years.
‘Remembrance 100 Years’ on Saturday 24 November will include poetry, organ music and choral singing to commemorate the human cost of conflicts from the Great War and World War II to Korea, the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan. It promises to be poignant, thought-provoking and uplifting.
Casualties of both World Wars are listed on War Memorials throughout this country and abroad. In Wellington alone the names of 178 men can be seen on the War Memorial in Wellington Park as having been killed in the First World War, together with 50 men and one woman in World War II.
This year marks 100 years since the end of the First World War which was not to be ‘the war to end all wars’ despite hopes to the contrary. The many conflicts since then should not be forgotten and the poetry featured in ‘Remembrance 100 Years’ recognises this.
The programme will also include the evocative choral works of Geraint Lewis (“The Souls of the Righteous”) and John Ireland whose “Greater Love Hath No Man” was written shortly before the First World War. The words would have resonated with the audience as casualties from the Front increased inexorably. The celebrated composer Ralph Vaughan Williams served in the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Royal Artillery during the Great War and the Concert will feature his composition, “Lord Thou Hast Been Our Refuge”, written in 1921 in its aftermath.
The Remembrance Concert will end with Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem which is based on the old tradition of plainsong and is generally regarded as a masterpiece. Duruflé
was regarded as the greatest organist of his day in addition to being a well respected composer. He was a perfectionist and the Requiem took him some 6 years to complete. Having been originally commissioned by the Vichy regime, it was completed in 1948 and seen as a memorial to French victims of WW2.
‘Remembrance 100 Years’ will take place at St John’s Church, Wellington on Saturday 24 November 2018 at 7.30pm. Tickets at £12 (under 18s free) will be available from Odette’s Tearoom, 27 High Street, Wellington (01823 667919), online at www.wellingtonchoralsociety.org.uk and on the door.
There will be a retiring collection for SSAFA Somerset, the Armed Forces Charity.