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Issue 6103

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A fitting tribute

Wednesday 16 June, 2021

As time goes on and those connected with conflicts of the past are no longer around, there is a risk that the stories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice become lost.

Now musician Micah Parsons has shone a light on the story of his great-grandfather, as part of an innovative project with brass music at its heart. British Bandsman editor Mark Good finds out more.

 

As a child, Micah Parsons became aware of the sheer scale of conflicts like the First World War, including the myriad stories of suffering and loss. As he grew up, he found that his own family had personal experience of such grief; his great-grandfather, Henry Nichols, was killed in action on Sunday, March 11, 1917.

Henry was a cornet player in The Coventry City Salvation Army Band who served with the 1/6th Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, from July 1916 until his death.

Micah, 27, has a picture in his bedroom of his great-grandfather in his Salvation Army uniform holding a cornet, which remains a prized possession. Having spent several years travelling to the various locations where Henry served prior to his death, Micah – who lives in Coventry – decided to mark the service of his great-grandfather and all those who never made it home.

He told British Bandsman: “I have researched and visited all the places where my great-grandfather served during the First World War and I’ve always had a desire to explore the reality of the situation that Henry and their comrades found themselves in.

“I find that people often look at the First World War from an almost black and white perspective and forget that those who lived in this period experienced these events in colour.”

 

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