1. “Armistice – …Dawn is Very Far” – Solo Cornet 1



11am, 11th November, 1918 saw the signing of the Armistice, ending the fighting between the Allies and Germany.  Bells rang out for the first time since war began in 1914, creating a cacophony that marked the release from years of hardship and loss. Victory was recognised with National Peace Celebrations on 19th July, 1919. Troops slowly returned to civilian life, finding many of their communities devastated and changed. Women had necessarily taken over many ‘male’ roles during the war, giving them a brief glimpse of independence. Partial suffrage and the formation of the Women’s Institute, hinted at a different future. It was not uncommon for a whole generation of men to be lost from the same community, making the survival of some local brass bands impossible. Just as the War ended, Spanish Flu took hold globally (1918 – 20) with devastating effect – taking at least three times as many lives (50 – 100 million) as those lost in the War.

Triumph is there
With sombre sunbeams mixed of Autumn rare
Over and over the loud brass makes its cry,
Summons to exultancy
Of past in Victory

The Bugle (Excerpt) – Ivor Gurney, 1919

We knew that Force the world has deified,
How weak it is. We spoke not, so men died.
Upon a world down-trampled, blood-defiled,
Fearing that men should praise us less, we smiled.

Nostra Culpa (Excerpt) – Margaret Sackville, 1916