Carshalton Choral Society to premiere Great War Oratorio

Roger Mills SUTTON REMEMBERS WW1: Leave a Comment

The series of commemorative events in the borough of Sutton marking the centenary of the 1914-18 First World War continue in November when the Carshalton Choral Society premieres a new work – A Great War Oratorio – featuring music by Sutton composer Christopher Wood.


The choir, under the baton of director Philip Collin, will be joined by local soprano soloist Margaret Cooper, a regular singer with Guest House Opera and an orchestra comprised of young players from Sutton Music Service and other local orchestras, for the concert at All Saints Church, by Carshalton Ponds, on Saturday 21 November at 7.00pm.

The musical content of this evocative, entertaining and informative account of the ‘War to End All Wars’ comprises six pieces for choir and orchestra and these will be interspersed with text by Dick Bower and readings of much-loved poetry and prose of the period selected by Will Harris.

‘This concert will have an extra poignancy for me, since I recently discovered that a young man set off from the very house where I live in Sutton, to answer the call to fight for King and Country,’ Chris explains. ‘Like so many other brave young men he waved goodbye to his mother and father, never to see them again. His name was Private Allen George Young of the East Surrey Regiment. He died on 3 September 1916, from “wounds,” aged 20 and is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe. I am dedicating the oratorio to him.’

The story also recalls the work being done by Borough Archivist, Val Shawcross, to digitize around 10,000 glass plate images taken by local photographer David Knights-Whittome at the start of the war. Many local men had their picture taken for their loved ones, in their smart new uniforms, before setting off for the front. Sadly, many were never to return.

A Great War Oratorio, All Saints Church, High Street, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 3EE, 7pm. Tickets are priced at £5 and can bought on the door (cash only). Refreshments will be available.

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