Caroline Rawlins, Vice-chair of Trustees for the Military Wives Choirs Foundation, shares her experience of moving house – and choirs…

NO SOONER had I settled in to life at Shrivenham that it was time to play postings roulette again. Despite a valiant attempt by my soldier to nail a job that did not require us to relocate, the powers that be had other ideas and a move to Andover was on the cards for the family.

It had taken me a while to feel at home in Shrivenham, despite being posted there before, as the location has a very high turnover.

We arrived last Easter and the majority of people left during the summer months – in July and August you had to thread your way around the endless removal trucks littering the patch.

To combat this I got involved with DAFFYS – a very proactive mob who run many of the local social activities – and started to make friends, but a whole new horizon opened up when another Army wife set up a ladies choir.

A choir on my doorstep

I loved singing at school but hadn’t joined another choir and here was one on my doorstep!

I went along to the group’s second rehearsal and barely missed another one. I met a completely different gang of ladies who all wanted the same thing – to come together to sing.

The choir grew and grew and the gigs ranged from entertaining the local book club to the Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace.

MWC2My role also developed from that of a rusty soprano to chairman of the choir and a trustee of the Military Wives Choirs Foundation.

When the time came to up sticks for Andover I was sad to say goodbye to a great group of friends who had taken me under their collective wing.

Having unpacked the boxes and got the children settled in their new school, I took the plunge and went along to a rehearsal at Middle Wallop MWC.

The sense of trepidation I felt and worries about how different the experience would be with a new choir were misplaced – I found a welcoming bunch of ladies, making a terrific sound and with a wicked sense of humour.

Between them they have helped me settle in, find my way around and I feel like I belong already.

For my money, the MWC Foundation does what it says on the tin – brings military women together through singing. Long may it continue!

If you are a lady with a military connection – Servicewoman, wife, co-habiting partner, mother, sister, daughter or support worker within the military community – and have just moved to a new area, contact and we’ll connect you with your nearest choir, or for further information, visit

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