Son of the Youngest WW1 Soldier to be Special Guest at Lest We Forget Concert

Youngest SoldierSidney Lewis was only a twelve year old boy when he enlisted with the East Surrey Regiment to fight in the first World War. While still only 13 years old he fought at Battle of the Somme in which it is estimated that, on the first day alone, British casualties numbered 57,470 and the number killed were estimated at 38,000. A total of 3 million men took part in the battle and over one million were wounded or killed.

When his mother discovered that Sidney had enlisted while under the official age of enlistment she contacted the War Office and Sidney was discharged and sent home. His story appeared in the Daily Mirror on the 18th of September 1916. The Battle of the Somme had started on the 1stJuly. Sydney enlisted again when he reached the official age of 18.

Sidney’s story was largely unknown until 2013 when a distant relative sent a collection of documents, including Sidney’s birth certificate, to his son Colin who lives in Dorset. Colin shared his father’s story with a local school, Parkstone Grammar School. Inspired by the story, and in conjunction with Music in Action, the school turned the story into an original musical composition. Pupils from the school will be performing the Composition at the National WW1 Children’s Remembrance Concert at the NEC on 3rd November. In recognition of Sidney’s extraordinary part in the War the concert’s director, Dr Ron Dawson, has invited Colin, who is now 85, and his two sons to attend the concert as his special guests.

Join us at the concert and get your tickets here.

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Lord Bourne Endorses National Children’s Remembrance Concert

LordBourne

Lord Bourne of Aberstywth and Minister for Faith and Integration has endorsed his support for the National Children’s WW1 Centenary Concert to be held in Birmingham.

In a forward to the Concert programme Lord Bourne writes : I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than bringing together thousands of children from across the country to remember those who died in the First World War through music and song’. 

A mass choir of over 2000 children supported by two youth orchestras will provide the focal point of the concert. The concert will see the debut performance of the National Youth Pipe Band of England. Other features include the Sandwell Youth Brass Band, a Welsh Primary School Choir, the Leicester Show Choir, and other performers from Norfolk, Dorset, Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield. A parade of 57 flags will represent and pay to tribute to the many nations and peoples involved in the War.

Lord Bourne goes on to say : I firmly believe that young children should play an active role in WW1 Centenary Commemorations. This is crucial both in enhancing their awareness of the tragedy of war and in carrying forward the collective memory and gratitude to future generations.

The Concert is being held on Saturday 3rd November 2018 at the Genting Arena in Birmingham and it is hoped that an audience of up to ten thousand will attend to support this unique remembrance event.

Join the audience and get your ticket here.

The Countdown Begins

This is our new Lest We Forget 2018 website. As all the schools come back from the summer, excitement is building for our big concert on 3rd November 2018 at the Genting Arena in Birmingham.

Follow our blog for information and updates as the rehearsals continue in earnest and the final preparations come together for the first ever National Children’s Remembrance Concert.

It is important to remember all of those who were affected by World War I, whether they were combatants from anywhere in the world, their families, their children or their friends and neighbours’.I hope this concert will change the way we commemorate remembrance forever and inspire an interest and understanding of remembrance in the next generation. — Ron Dawson, Concert Director and Founder