The violin he never finished is played beside his war grave

June 8, 2017 by norman lebrecht


From the Telegraph:

When Private Richard Howard began making his violin, he envisaged the day he would return from the battlefield to play it. 

It was a dream cruelly shattered when the soldier met his death on the first day of the Battle of Messines in  1917.

Now, 100 years later, the violin – carefully completed after being found – has been played at his graveside. 

Read on here.

Comments (5)

  1. Max Demant says:

    Respekt Herr Howard, ruhe in frieden.

  2. Stereo says:

    Wonderful story

  3. Marg says:

    A really nice end to the story.

  4. Sue says:

    When I visited the Austrian military museum in Vienna in 2011 I saw a crude violin, which an anonymous Austrian soldier had fashioned during WW1, sitting in a glass display case amid the other exhibits. It looked very well made but I’m unsure as to whether it was actually playable. However, the mere sight and idea of it moved me ineffably!! Here was an Austrian embedded in the horror of the ‘great War’ who was reverting to type as a music-lover.

    1. James Vandeleur says:

      Madam, my grandfather, a Captain in the Irish Guards, during the Battle of Kosturino, kept an upright piano in his Command Post to play Percy French songs, this one being his favourite.

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