First World War centenary: Poetry and music from the conflict set to be celebrated at society event

14:59 29 May 2014

Committee of Redbridge Music Society: (left to right) Peter Arben, Ian Patience, Malcolm Billingsley and David Bird

Committee of Redbridge Music Society: (left to right) Peter Arben, Ian Patience, Malcolm Billingsley and David Bird


The impact of the First World War on the arts is set to be explored at a centenary commemoration event.

Redbridge Music Society is hosting a celebration of the poetry and music which resulted from the conflict, as well as a discussion on the war’s origins.

Historian Chris Brant, head of history at Forest School in Snaresbrook, will begin the evening by talking about Britain’s entry into the war and the roles played by generals, including Field Marshal Douglas Haig.

Mr Brant will also share soldiers’ experiences through the letters they wrote, bringing original copies of them to the meeting.

The poetry of the First World War will be discussed by speaker Rodney Williams, who will read 
examples of verse which portrayed the horrors and futility of the conflict.

He will also read a selection of soldiers’ letters.

Finally, society member Ian Patience will present original recordings of songs popular during the conflict, as well as other music written at the time.

Margaret Bird, a member of the society, said: “I have always been interested in the First World War period, mainly because of the personal stories told to us by our family about their experiences.”

The event will take place from 8pm on June 10 in the Lambourne Room at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.

Tickets, which are £6 for society members and £10 for others, will be available on the door and will 
include a factsheet on the evening’s topics.

All guests are invited to stay on for the society’s annual summer cheese and wine party.

For more information, visit


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