THIS year marks the centenary of the end of World War One. Fierce heroism from the troops was matched by the country’s women who raised children alone, nursed and worked tirelessly despite the loss of husbands, sons, fathers, brothers and friends.
The Military Wives Choirs (MWC) have created their own musical tribute, telling the story of the women of 1918 as well as today. As Lorraine from Bicester MWC put it: “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other wives and daughters in supporting our loved ones. We keep the home fires burning as poignant today as 100 years ago.”
Inspired by this thought, 69 Military Wives Choirs came together in January and February to record a commemoration album like no other.
More than 1,105 voices feature on two of the tracks written for the MWCs which include the singers’ own lyrics on what Remembrance means to them.
Sarah, from Lyneham MWC, summed up the feeling of putting on the headphones for the first time, explaining: “It was an exciting atmosphere which provided a real sense of togetherness.”
Conductor Hilary Davan Wetton led the women through the recording process and the sessions finished with choir members getting to hear their voices played back, unedited, which turned into a particularly emotional experience.
“[It] was magical,” said Charlie, from Digby MWC. “I’m not an emotional person and I don’t know whether it was just the raging hormones in me – because I went into labour that night – but even I was crying.
“I couldn’t believe how good we sounded, and I felt so proud to be a part of something so worthwhile.”
The Military Wives Choirs’ new album, Remember, is out now. Find out more at militarywiveschoirs.org