7th Mar, 2021

One man's Armistice Day tribute in song by The River Arrow

Ross Crawford 11th Nov, 2020

TODAY is Armistice Day, the day the guns fell silent on the Western Front, at 11am on November 11, 1918.

The Armistice brought to an end the ‘War to End All Wars’ but as we all know, that didn’t happen and armed conflict continues in the world today.

From Remembrance Sunday through to today, across the country towns, cities and communities have been remembering the fallen.

On Tuesday we were contacted by Studley resident and Parish Councillor Adrian Smith who last Sunday paid his own tribute by performing a highly moving version of Eric Bogle’s famous anti-war song ‘No Man’s Land’.

Here at the Redditch Standard felt it was the perfect way to mark Armistice Day.

Adrian takes up the tale: “‘No Man’s Land’ is a song written in 1976 by Scottish folk singer-songwriter Eric Bogle, reflecting on the grave of a young man who died in World War I.

“I was pleased to meet him a few years back when he visited Bromsgrove folk festival.

“A little while ago it was my privilege to travel to the Menin Gate to sing with our local choir at the service of remembrance that is held each evening at 8pm, a very moving occasion and ceremony.

“Eric’s chorus refers to two famous pieces of military music ‘The Last Post’ and ‘The Flowers of the Forest’.

“I would normally join in a parade of remembrance but because of the virus this is not possible this year, I hope in some way my tribute to the fallen marks my own and that of others’ thoughts at this time.”

“The footage in the video shows the headstone in the Churchyard of St Mary’s is of Albert Summers of Studley who died of his wounds in 1919.

“The photos show my Dad Jack Smith who was a dispatch rider in World War 2 and a Dunkirk Veteran.

“Also of my granddad Jesse Smith who was a corporal in the artillery regiment who returned to recover from his wounds to Norfolk where he met my grandma Alice known as ‘Girlie’.

“Jesse carried a metal plate in his head for the rest of his days and lived a normal life.”

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