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This is the new blog of the Plugstreet Archaeological Project.

   A Great War themed project exploring sites around Comines-Warneton and Messines in Belgium.    The project is being led by members of No Man's Land - The European Group for Great War    Archaeology and the Comines-Warneton Historical Society.

On Larks Ascending

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

One of the major elements that the project wished to pursue at its inception was a multi-disciplinary approach. To this end, in addition to the archaeological survey and fieldwork, there have been components such as photography, art and music.

Some may remember the visit of the renowned Wagnerian opera singer, Sir John Tomlinson (the Wotan of his generation!), to site in 2007. This summer another opera singer, Amanda, visited. She had performed a stirring rendition of ‘Advance Australia Fair’ at Alan’s funeral and it was our privilege to show her round the excavations.

James and Martin provided a musical evening at the Peace village with small pipes and mandola (and such hits as ‘Follow me ‘ome’) whilst another astonishing element was occurring back in the UK

At the hour of Alan’s burial, the famous folk singer June Tabor was singing three songs in his memory; ‘the Reaper’, ‘Long, Long, Trail’ and (for he is now at peace), ‘Waiting for the Lark’. June had been moved by Alan’s story and it was very special that she wanted to sing in his memory – the last song chosen as Alan was now ‘at peace’. Those not familiar with June’s beautiful voice and her association with the Great War can listen to some of her work on the link below.



3 responses to “On Larks Ascending”

  1. Kim Blomfield says:

    The finding, identification, and reburial of great Uncle Alan was in itself overwhelming!! The Alan Mather story has become an extraordinary event. I’ve just listened to the songs by June Tabor as mentioned on this blog. Thank You, June. Amanda has also been mentioned for her singing of our national anthem at great Uncle Alan’s service. My family were extremely thankful for her superb singing. I found it very difficult to sing due to the extreme emotion I was feeling at the time. Amanda’s amazing voice led us all through! Thank You, Amanda. No Mans Land is a group with so many links. It is such a pleasure to feel like we are an extended part of that team. Kim

  2. Kirsty's Team says:

    If you’re wondering about “Follow me ‘Ome” it’s a Rudyard Kipling poem

    The late, great Peter Bellamy set it to a traditional English tune. The last stanza “Three rounds blank and follow me…” were running through my head as the Fed Guard fired the salute for Alan and I bit my lip. The looks on the pall bearers faces as they performed their duty did indeed show care “passing the love of women”.

  3. Kirsty's Team says:

    Many, many thanks to June. Her wonderful music has been a significant part of my cultural life, whether with the Oysterband, on Peace Cocert recordings or solo. Thanks also to Sara at Kew for telling June about our work.

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