“Who Won The War, And Why!”

Over a year ago, Kelvin Dakin very kindly sent me a scan of a souvenir copy of a humorous monologue written on 1st October 1918 which explains, “Who Won the War, and Why!!”. This seems an appropriate time to publish this vital document so, move over Wakefield, Moody and Palmer, the real reason for the allied victory can now be revealed! Continue reading ““Who Won The War, And Why!””

Gustav Holst, The Planets and Salonika

Today is the exact centenary of the premiere of Gustav Holst’s suite, The Planets. This is being marked by a concert at the Barbican in London, by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, which is being broadcast on BBC Radio Three. The original performance, prepared in a hurry for an invited audience at the Queen’s Hall, was something of a leaving present, as he was soon off to Salonika – where he stayed until June 1919 – to work as musical organiser and educator with the YMCA.

This is a good opportunity to remind you of the exhibition on Holst and his time in Salonika at the Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham, which is on until 15 December 2018: http://holstmuseum.org.uk/

There is little enough acknowledgement of the Salonika campaign, so do support this exhibition if you can.

Gustav Holst in Salonika : exhibition now on!

It is nearly 100 years since composer Gustav Holst went to Salonika to work as a musical organiser and educator with the YMCA. It is very appropriate, then, that his sojourn with the British Salonika Force should  be commemorated by the Holst Birthplace Museum with a special exhibition. Continue reading “Gustav Holst in Salonika : exhibition now on!”

First Night of the Proms : A Salonika Special!

Whilst the First World War Centenary theme of Friday night’s opening concert of the BBC Proms season isn’t in doubt, you may look in vain for any explicit acknowledgement of the Salonika connection. So you read it here first! Continue reading “First Night of the Proms : A Salonika Special!”

Christmas 1917 : It’s panto time again!

In Christmas 1917 the indefatigable 85th Field Ambulance took to the stage again with their third and final pantomime of the campaign – Bluebeard. This is what 2nd Lt Frank Kenchington, RFA, had to say about it in his introduction to Music from Macedonia by Charles H B Jacques, published after the war.

Continue reading “Christmas 1917 : It’s panto time again!”

Salonika … and all that jazz!

Yesterday (26th February) was the centenary of the what is reckoned to be the first ever commercial jazz recording: Livery Stable Blues by the Original Dixieland Jass Band (they had to change ‘Jass’ to ‘Jazz’ because naughty children kept scratching the ‘J’ out on their posters!). Continue reading “Salonika … and all that jazz!”