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TWO ALTRINCHAM THRENODIES - Martin Ellerby
This pair of threnodies take their inspiration from two sites in Altrincham, Cheshire, which have modern day memorials attached to them. One is First World War and the other Second World War. I have placed them in reverse chronological order simply because the second requires additional bells and a solo trumpet. However these threnodies can be played individually if so desired.
1. Oakfield Road (23 December, 1940) – during the Blitz, on the night of December 23, 1940, a bomb fell on houses at the corner of Oakfield Road and Moss Lane. Twelve people (including four children) were killed. The clearing where the residences stood is now a small memorial garden in which the event is commemorated by a stone monument topped with a commemorative plaque. This discreet site is easily overlooked by the countless drivers and pedestrians that pass it year by year – however a single wreath can be observed for some time following the town's annual Remembrance Day services.
© 2017 Martin Ellerby
“Still falls the rain – dark as the world of man, black as our loss – blind as the nineteen hundred and forty nails upon the cross.” - Edith Sitwell
2. Chapel Street (1916) – during the First World War, at the height of volunteering, over 150 men from Chapel Street joined up to fight in the Great War of which many were killed. Today the street is no more but is commemorated with plaques and wreathes which are laid each Remembrance Sunday and remain all year round. It was dubbed “the bravest little street in England”. In 1919 a roll of honour to the men was unveiled and in 2001, following a campaign by the Royal British Legion, Trafford Council erected a blue plaque at the site of the former, illustrious, street.
© 2017 Martin Ellerby
“And when the summons in our ears was shrill, unshaken in our trust we rose, and then flung but a backward glance, and care-free still went strongly forth to do the work of men.” - W. N. Hodgson (killed in action, first day of the Battle of the Somme, July 1, 1916)
N.B. No.2 Chapel Street requires:
Solo B flat Trumpet
3 Percussion (2 Glockenspiels & Tubular Bells)
C. 8 minutes