Live updates

New composition pays tribute to young poet killed in WW1

The experiences of a young soldier killed in the First World War underpins new work by the world-renowned composer and University of Southampton professor, Michael Finnissy.

Remembrance Day draws on the poetry and prose of Henry Lamont Simpson, who was an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers, and was injured in Belgium in 1917.

He was brought back to Southampton and then treated at a military hospital in Hursley Park near Winchester. Returning to The Front in 1918, he was killed by a sniper while reconnoitring No Man’s Land. He was just 21 years old.

Henry Lamont was an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers, and was injured in Belgium in 1917. Credit: UniversityofSouthampton

Professor Michael Finnissy comments:

It is fitting that young people are integral to the performance. The student musicians are much the same age as Henry when he was sent to fight in the war and this premiere gives them the chance to reflect on the horrors faced by young soldiers a century ago.

My composition simply presents evidence, much as Simpson’s poetic war-diary does. Significantly, he laments the loss of his friends, but does not accuse or apportion blame. It is not the work of a general, or a war-hero, or a politician and moves from scenes of mass volunteer-enlistment, to the horrors of the battlefield – from regret, to simple off-duty pleasures in the countryside.

– Michael Finnissy

Michael Finnissy’s piece receives its world premiere at the University’s concert venue Turner Sims on 16 November. Finnissy himself will play the solo piano part, and Henry Lamont Simpson’s great nephew will be in the audience as a special guest.

Advertisement

Royal Navy practice marching skills for Remembrance Day

More than 130 members of the Naval Services have been practising their marching skills ahead of the Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph in London on Sunday November 9.

Dressed smartly in great coats, 96 members of the Royal Navy, 48 Royal Marines, 10 of the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service and 10 Royal Fleet Auxiliary sailors have been preparing for the Sunday services.

For the first time since the Cenotaph Service began, a female naval officer from HMS Collingwood will be undertaking the role of Officer of the Guard 1. Credit: RoyalNavy

On Sunday the men and women will be on guard at the parade ground at HMS Excellent in Portsmouth under the watchful eye of the Royal Navy’s State Ceremonial Training Officer Warrant Officer Dickie Henderson and his team of Gunnery Instructors.

Advertisement

Load more updates