Chichester Cathedral Choir release album to commemorate Armistice centenary

To commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War, Chichester Cathedral Choir released an album on Signum Classics at a special showcase on Tuesday evening (November 6).

Wednesday, 7th November 2018, 5:11 pm
Updated Friday, 9th November 2018, 7:04 am
Some of the members of the Chichester Cathedral Choir. Picture contributed

The album, called ‘Lest We Forget’, will benefit the charity Combat Stress, which was set up at the end of WW1 to support the mental health of those who were affected by conflict.

The charity also holds a special meaning for conductor Charles Harrison.

He said: “Questions of mental health are important to me because my grandfather fought in WW1. He was in the Royal Tank Regiment and was one of the first people to serve in tanks, which are truly horrific machines. The mental scars that he sustained as a result of his service affected him for the rest of his life.

Some of the members of the Chichester Cathedral Choir. Picture contributed

“By supporting this charity, which takes care of former service personnel, I am honouring his memory.”

The album is a poignant memorial to all those who served, including the cathedral’s own six singers, who are commemorated on a stone memorial in the cathedral (pictured).

“It’s a tribute to all those who fell, but particularly members of the Chichester Cathedral community, Charles explained. “It made sense to make a musical memorial to those who fell in the war.”

According to a Chichester Cathedral spokesman, ‘Lest We Forget’ highlights the tragedy of war and the slaughter of many millions of servicemen, who throughout the conflict 'bravely fought tyranny' and 'up held our values of freedom and democracy'.

Chichester Chorister Memorial 1914-19. Courtesy of West Sussex CC Library Service

The spokesman added: "In the centenary year of the Armistice of 1918, it is fitting to recognise the human cost of war and the selfless acts of bravery that the armed forces committed on the battlefield.

"Chichester Cathedral Choir is proud to have teamed up with Combat Stress, a pioneering charity founded shortly after the end of WW1 and an early pioneer in responding to the profound mental scars sustained by service personnel.

"'Lest We Forget’ brings together eloquent pieces of music and text that reach remarkable depths of musical and artistic expression that still resonate in the modern day."

The album can be bought digitally via Itunes or Amazon and copies can be bought in local shops, the cathedral, or via the Signum Classics website from Friday (November 9).

Chichester Cathedral. Picture contributed

Watch our interview with Charles Harrison above.