Birmingham to remember World War One lives through music

Who would you play the Last Post for?

Community organisations across Birmingham are being urged to sign up for the First World War centenary project The Last Post and join hundreds of groups around the UK hosting remembrance events that will commemorate local history, play music from the World War One era and see the Last Post played on a variety of different instruments.

Designed and run by arts organisation Superact with support from the Department for Communities and Local Government, The Last Post project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to roll out the project in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in 2014.

A diverse range of groups have already signed up for the project and more are being supported to join to unlock local World War One heritage.

Commenting, Nicola Toms, Superact’s Regional Trainer for Birmingham said: “During the Last Post fortnight in November there will be hundreds of events taking place across the country. Thousands of people will be able to attend an event near to them to hear music from the era. All events will play The Last Post in dedication to a special person whose life was affected by the First World War, whether as a soldier or back on the home front. We are looking for dedicated community groups in Birmingham to rise to the challenge and host their own local event. People who sign up before 30th September can apply for funding for events.”

Be it sports clubs, local history groups, libraries, schools or scout groups, all types of community groups in Birmingham are encouraged to get involved with the project and remember the First World War generation with music.

The Last Post Songbook, produced by Bellowhead’s Paul Sartin, is part of a range of free resources provided by Superact to support organisations wishing to host an event this November. Including 15 songs from the World War One era, the songbook also includes music arrangements for the Last Post to be played on piano, mandolin, guitar, bagpipes and more.

TV personalities Hugh Dennis and Ben Elton and a range of other participants and celebrities have published short videos online backing the project and sharing who they would play their Last Post for. For Ben Elton, the inspiration was his grandfather Victor, who fought for four years in the German trenches, earning him a German military honour, the Iron Cross. Twenty years later he fled Germany as a Jewish refugee to seek sanctuary in Britain, the country he’d fought during the First World War. Last Post tributes are available to view on Superact’s YouTube channel at

Those wishing to find out more about the project can access information, plus make use of free event resources, on the Last Post website: