As First World War centenary approaches, we would like to know more about Ely Band's musicians

PUBLISHED: 16:17 27 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:17 27 March 2014

Back row: J.E. Wilson, J. Lambert, J. Tingey, Jack Gibbons, J. Spinks, C. Fisher, A. Taylor, Mr. J. Lee, William Brown.
Seated: Harold Blake, W. Starling, H. Greaves, J.J. Smith (bandmaster), Harold Josh Keating, H. Barnard, Charlie Brown.
On the Ground: Ben Blake, Mr. Page.

Back row: J.E. Wilson, J. Lambert, J. Tingey, Jack Gibbons, J. Spinks, C. Fisher, A. Taylor, Mr. J. Lee, William Brown. Seated: Harold Blake, W. Starling, H. Greaves, J.J. Smith (bandmaster), Harold Josh Keating, H. Barnard, Charlie Brown. On the Ground: Ben Blake, Mr. Page.

Archant

In September 1914, soon after the start of the First World War, Ely Band was still giving its Sunday evening concerts on the Market Square.

It played the national anthems of Belgium, Serbia, France and Russia and a collection raised 38s for local war funds.

In April 1915 there was practically no band left. Only eight players remained, the others having ‘shouldered the rifle’ in defence of king and country.

Some had joined the Territorials, others had enlisted with the Suffolk Yeomanry, and bandmaster J.J. Smith was assisting the military authorities.

It was reported that at the end of the war five bandsmen had lost their lives although I have only been able to perhaps name four (J. Lambert, A.Taylor, J, Lee and Mr. Page).

If there are still any relatives in Ely it would be interesting to know about these bandsmen of the past.

The band is holding a Tea ‘n’ Tunes concert at Ely College on Sunday, April 13, from 2.30-5pm. Tickets are £5 and are available from Burrows Bookshop, Ely, or by calling 01353 663324.

LAURINE GREEN

Band historian

01353 721782

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