News story

Community events sound Last Post to remember First World War

The Last Post, a mass participation music project for 200 communities to mark the Centenary of the First World War, starts this week.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain playing at Birmingham Library.

In each year of the Centenary, from 2014 to 2018, for the fortnight either side of Remembrance Sunday, communities across the country will research their own local First World War heritage and hold musical recitals in schools, libraries, museums, places of worship, community centres, football clubs and pubs.

Volunteers at each event will play the Last Post on new arrangements of the traditional bugle and trumpet call. ‘Last Post songbooks’ will also offer traditional music from the era including the widely known trench songs such as ‘Pack up your troubles’, ‘Keep the home fires burning’ and ‘Take me back to dear old Blighty’.

Secretary of State Eric Pickles said:

The Last Post is used in camp to signal the end of the day or in conflict to signal the battles end – providing a beacon to the weary and wounded to find safety and rest.

But a whole generation of our young men, many thousands of fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, never heard that beacon; they never made it back to safety.

100 years on from their sacrifice, 200 communities across the country will come together in schools, libraries and places of worship to hear that fateful music and to acknowledge the service that was given fighting for liberty.

When we hear the Last Post now its poignancy only serves as a reminder of what these heroes gave to our country.

The Last Post will take place across the Centenary with a series of Last Post fortnights which will be linked to a specific theme. This year’s theme is ‘Outbreak of war’. At each event volunteers will play the Last Post on a range of instruments.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:

Seeing communities across the country come together and remember our fallen is truly special.

The First World War saw people from every walk of life from every community stand and fight for a common cause. 100 years on, it is right that we remember them.

Cramlington Choir
Cramlington Choir singing war and peace songs.

The full list of Last Post events are available to view on this interactive map.

Further information

The Last Post will take place across the Centenary with a series of Last Post fortnights which will be linked to a specific theme. For more information on the Last Post please see www.superact.org.uk

2014 will mark 100 years since the start of the First World War. To honour and remember the lives of those who served in and were affected by the war the government is leading a national centenary programme of ceremonial events, cultural activity and education.

For more information on how the government is building a fitting commemoration of this significant milestone in world history, please see First World War Centenary.

Published 4 November 2014