The 'Playing for Camborne: Music and Rugby in World War One and Now' project took Camborne Youth Band out to the battlefields of World War One, where Cornish miners and musicians had served alongside others a century earlier. In the Band was the great, great grandson of one of these men, who played his one hundred year old bugle back on the Western Front. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, this project was the culmination of four years of work unearthing local stories, discovering new connections and forging new links between the descendants of soldiers and local people in Cornwall and France. Many miners from Dolcoath signed up in the 25th Field Ambulance when war broke out, serving in France and Belgium throughout the war. The Youth Band played at the Last Post at Estaires, where this unit was stationed for more than a year, and also at the Menin Gate to a crowd of thousands. Our overall objective was to make history come alive, in discovering untold stories and remembering the bravery of young Cornishmen who had signed up. A book about the overall project was published, and upon the Band's return, an exhibition about the trip was staged at Heartlands, Pool (Cornwall), with part of this display also shown in Northern France.
South West England
Camborne, Cornwall, Estaires (France), Ypres (Belgium)
Focus and Research
Was this project based outside the organisation's local area?
Resources used for research
We worked with a team of volunteers in Cornwall, Dorset and London using all available local and national archives, family histories and memorabilia. We also travelled to northern France and met the descendants of families who had hosted Cornish soldiers there one hundred years ago.