Cranwell Military Wives Choir visits war graves to sing

A choir for military wives has had the honour of performing at a Last Post ceremony at a key memorial of the First World War .

Cranwell Military Wives Choir at the Menin Gate evening ceremony.
Cranwell Military Wives Choir at the Menin Gate evening ceremony.

The ceremony is held at the Menin Gate, Ypres, a major memorial to the Great War.

The gate bears the names of 55,000 soldiers without graves lost on that battlefield, each evening a bugler sounds at sunset with prayers said and wreaths laid, along with musical performances.

Cranwell Military Wives Choir, made up of local women with links to the armed forces, had planned to visit in 2020 before the pandemic to perform a piece written by former musical director Rowland Lee, We Will Remember Them, based on a poem called For The Fallen by Laurence Binyon, an excerpt of which is said as part of the Act of Remembrance. Only now were they able to visit and sing it at the ceremony with Sleaford area brass quintet, Florentina Brass.

Cranwell Military Wives Choir.

The choir performed at other venues including Talbot House in Poperinge, Belgium, used by soldiers’ on breaks from the front, where they sang around a piano used there during the war. They also sang at De Panne on the Belgian coast, at Tyne Cot Cemetery and visited St George’s Memorial Chapel in Ypres.

The party found some Lincolnshire men’s graves and laid wreaths.

Catherine said: “Everywhere there was still this sense of loss. As you stood and looked out over thousands of headstones it was very sobering. Some women struggled to keep singing.”

Cranwell Military Wives Choir laid wreaths at the war memorials they visited.