First World War Concert at Fairfield Halls and other events & news

  • For an Unknown Soldier: WW1 Commemoration Concert

London Mozart Players

Fairfield Halls Concert Hall
Friday 14 November 7.30pm
£12 – £30

Conductor – Nicholas Cleobury, Tenor – Nicholas Sharratt, Flute -Emma Halnan, Choirs – The Portsmouth Grammar School, Whitgift School, Croydon Minster, Atwood, Croydon Parish Church, Ecclesbourne and Monks Orchard Primary Schools.

The London Mozart Players and Portsmouth Grammar School have commissioned For An Unknown Soldier by Jonathan Dove. Inspired by WWI artefacts from the Museum of Croydon, a foyer exhibition will be curated by Riddlesdown Collegiate. This concert is the result of a project in Croydon.

See also:

Labour Councillor Andrew Pelling interviews a member of the London Mo\art Players about the concert in the  Croydon TV London Matters programme at

To book for the concert go to

  • Zeppelin Nights: Remembering WW1

Thursday 27 November, 7.30pm. Bishopsgate Institute,

Professor Jerry White looks at London during the First World War as seen through the eyes of the people who lived there.

Londoners experienced bombing raids by German airships and much drama and devastation but there were also many unexpected dimensions of the city during wartime. Nightclubs opened, there was a new sexual freedom and there were many citizens from patriots and pacifists, clergymen and thieves, bluestockings and prostitutes, all dependent on war’s shifting fortunes.

To book go to

  • Kate Adie: Remembering WW1 – Women’s Roles

Wednesday 3 December, 7.30pm. Bishopsgate Institute

Kate Adie looks at how women’s roles dramatically changed with the outbreak of the First World War. Women emerged from the shadows of their domestic lives taking up essential roles from transport to policing, munitions to sport, entertainment and even politics.

To book go to

  • East African Goans in the First World War

Former BASA Chair Cliff Pereira’s essay can be downloaded at

  • Remembrance – The FWW and Railwaymen

(from Paul Salveson’s  Weekly Salvo, 9 November)

Today is Remembrance Sunday and it is right to pay respects to all victims of war, be they combatants or civilians. The railways have always played a major part in wars and many railway workers died in both the First and Second World War. Recently, East Coast named a class 91 locomotive For the Fallen, after the poem by Laurence Binyon. The most famous verse (and the first part of the poem to be written) reads:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

It was written in September 1914, not many months after the war had begun but following heavy fighting in France. It’s undoubtedly a moving poem but not one that really challenges war. Would it have been any different had it been written a few years later, after the continuing horrors of the trenches? The title itself suggests valour and bravery but none of the evil of warfare. The naming event at Kings Cross station was highly militarised with Michael Portillo praising the railway workers who ‘enthusiastically’ joined the armed forces in 1914. But that enthusiasm was tempered by revulsion as the war progressed. Unlike the Second World War, this was a conflict between two imperial powers to establish who was ‘top dog’, rather than having anything to do with the rights of small nations. But whatever the rights and wrongs of that conflict (and one correspondent accused me of talking ‘bxxxxxs’) it’s undeniable that we haven’t learnt much from the last hundred years. We still supply arms to repressive regimes, a trade that is growing thanks to our Government relaxing controls (see today’s Observer). The last British soldier recently left Afghanistan – it’s hard to see what the suffering and deaths of hundreds of our young men have achieved there. So let’s not get misty-eyed about ‘the fallen’ and those who ‘made the ultimate sacrifice’. Remember them as ordinary, decent human beings. Honour them by doing all we can to end war now.


About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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