Question: Trumpet and bugle calls at Henry Allingham funeral

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nevilley 

Customer

 31 Jul 2009 16:41 UTCFri 31 Jul 2009 - 4:41 pm UTC 

Right, here's a nice easy cheap one!

I apologize by the way for the category, which is not meant to represent any sort of disrespect to Mr Allingham. It's just that I want a question answered about bugle calls ... well, where would *you* put it? We don't seem to have a category for "warlike communications, obsolete" :)

Anyway, please have a look/listen at the video here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8175751.stm

Fast forward to about 3:53 (or indeed listen though to the grandson's very nice speech) where it cuts from the coffin in the church to the pallbearers carrying it out. At that moment a trumpet player starts up and plays a nice short call.

My question is simply:

Who is the trumpet player, and what call is he playing?

Things to note: I do know a tiny little bit about this area. If your inclination is to say "oh that's the Last Post and it's just a bugle" then, with the greatest of respect, you are perhaps not the right person to answer this. I don't say that to be horrid, just to save aggro. Let me spell it out a little.

*After* the trumpet player to whom I'm referring, two Royal Marine buglers did indeed play the Last Post. But it's not the same guys, not the same tune. I'm not asking about them (unless you're after the tip, see below!)

The guy I'm asking about is wearing a uniform unfamiliar to me, perhaps French - he has a French-style cap on and those splendid shoulder board things with curtains. (Yes, I do know that a librarian is about to tell me what they are called: thank you in advance!) The RM guys are immediately to his L in the closing moments of the video. They are holding standard pattern British military bugles and he's got a more trumpetlike instrument. We can't be sure what it is just on a look so it could be technically either, just a different pattern, but I'm preferring to think of it as a trumpet. (But this is NOT a question about the instrument type, and it is NOT about valves, so I suggest not going there.)

So, he's a possibly-foreign chap - what is he? That's one thing. (I don't mean I want his name, rank and serial number by the way - I mean what service/country/whatever does he represent? In other words, what uniform is that?

The other thing is - what call does he play? It's not the Last Post. Or specifically, it is not the British Infantry Last Post as played at 99.999% of such events, and as it's about to be played by the Marines. I don't think it's the cavalry LP either though I do not have it to hand. I think it may be some non-UK tune of equivalent effect. The Last Post begins on a written low C and goes up to the G; this tune starts on that written middle G and goes up to the C above. What is it? That's the other half of my question,

I was going to ask a tiny bit more for a tip but I've realized it's better as a second Q, so watch out for that... coming up next, as they say.

To accept the answer I would need a statement of who the player is and what he's playing (the title of the piece), and I would need to be able to verify these for myself by seeing the uniform and the music, or a performance, online. Does that sound fair?

Thanks!

 

nevilley 

Customer

 31 Jul 2009 17:02 UTCFri 31 Jul 2009 - 5:02 pm UTC 

BOTHER! My 2nd question will have to wait a while as I just managed to lose it all and don't have time to rekey it. It's less fun and challenging than this one anyway, and I *might* still be able to answer it myself (whereas I _know_ that I can't so anything much with the first), so please don't hold your breath for the 2nd one - but do have fun with this! Cheers, N.

 

nevilley 

Customer

 31 Jul 2009 17:20 UTCFri 31 Jul 2009 - 5:20 pm UTC 

Right, so the mystery player is apparently French - see:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/HistoryAndHonour/WwiVeteranHenryAllinghamLaidToRestInBrighton.htm

However, that doesn't quite nail it, as it's inaccurate and imprecise. What service did the French player represent, and what did he play? The MoD article says: "Royal Marines buglers sounded the Last Post and a bugler from the French Armed Forces sounded a reveille"  but I suspect that isn't quite right. It went:

1. Mr French bloke plays a piece
2. 2 RM buglers play the Last Post
3. a silence
4. The 2 RM buglers play another piece, billed as Reveille but actually not that or the Rouse either as commonly understood.

It's quite unlikely that the French guy played Reveille, even his own form of it, *before* the LP. I mean you just wouldn't, unless they had to let him in order to avoid a diplomatic incident or something odd. But it would be weird protocol to play *anything* called Reveille before the LP. It's like having dessert first, before the meat course. The MoD doesn't give us a positive ID on what the French bloke played, and that is what I need. Thanks!

By the way, the item played at point (4) above is my next question, if I ever get round to it.

 

Phil Answerfinder 

Researcher

 1 Aug 2009 10:18 UTCSat 1 Aug 2009 - 10:18 am UTC 

I looked at this last night and again this morning hoping that the newspapers would be more precise in their reporting, but no luck.

The Evening Argus carries only a condensed version of the Order of Service.

Therefore, I have emailed the church to ask they can help with the information. I'll let you know if I receive a reply.

Phil
answerfinder

 

nevilley 

Customer

 2 Aug 2009 21:47 UTCSun 2 Aug 2009 - 9:47 pm UTC 

Thanks! I will be very interested to hear what comes out of this. Maybe I am asking for a level of detail which is simply not achievable, do you think?

cheers
Neville

PS Don't worry if responses are slow now - I am away for a bit on and off.

 

Phil Answerfinder 

Researcher

 5 Aug 2009 08:23 UTCWed 5 Aug 2009 - 8:23 am UTC 

Sorry, but it seems that the church do not wish to reply. Perhaps someone else may see this thread and will be able to help you.
Phil
answerfinder

 

myoarin 

User

 5 Aug 2009 21:47 UTCWed 5 Aug 2009 - 9:47 pm UTC 

Hi Nevilley,

Obviously the French bugler is not playing Reveille.  I have to disagree with you, though, about his not playing "Last Post," an abbreviated version and maybe a French adaptation. 

The opening notes, three times C G (or a rising fifth in the key of the bugle), are just too prominently the Last Post. 
(G C is a fourth.  Here is a recording that agrees with the notation in the second link and the interval played on the video):
http://www.lastpostbuglecall.org.uk/
http://www.anzacday.org.au/miscellaneous/sheetmusic.html

Here is a site about a basically French V-Day memorial celebration at which the Last Post was played (below the photo):
http://purelyfrance.com/2007/05/08/time-to-remember/#comments

On this site (above the photo "Their names liveth evermore") it says that the French version of Last Post was played:
http://www.royalsussex.org.uk/Richebourg_2006.htm

All no proof, I admit.

Myoarin

 

nevilley 

Customer

 17 Aug 2009 15:35 UTCMon 17 Aug 2009 - 3:35 pm UTC 

Thanks Phil and Myoarin both for your efforts and comments, I think I need to speak to a French bugler! That should, er, despeculate this quite neatly.

Myoarin - I don't want to pick a fight but your interesting claim fails on the notes. It is indeed the middle G up to C as I said and not C up to the middle G like the Last Post. This is really quite a major difference. So this knocks a hole in the similarity thing. Given that we're limited to, what, fivish usable notes on the bugle then there's always going to be *some* degree of similarity but I feel that what the French guy played was *way* outside it being in any sense the LP as we know it. I can buy it being a "functional equivalent", that is, what you play at the start of the bugle-y bit of a military funeral. But by no stretch of the imagination is it the same thing or even a version thereof. I'd love to be told that yes, it's actually called La Poste Derniere or whatever but it's still a functional equivalent and not the same tune, any more than the Deutschlandlied, Marseillaise and God Save the Queen are the same, despite their equivalence of purpose.

PS (begin levity mode) I am very disappointed that you quoted the appalling http://www.lastpostbuglecall.org.uk/ at me. The gibbering fool who runs that site is, ah, REALLY quite well known to me and I wouldn't trust him as much of a source. Indeed, he is the sort of person who would come here looking for answers about French bugle calls... (oops, infinite loop, explode.) (end levity mode with large grin)

And thanks very much for the other interesting references! All good stuff.

Thanks again everyone. I'm sorry this didn't work out, but I'll be back. Oh, and if I ever nail this one I will update this question, just for the sake of completeness. Cheers.

 

nevilley 

Customer

 17 Aug 2009 16:03 UTCMon 17 Aug 2009 - 4:03 pm UTC 

PPS I've also tried asking the French military attaché in London. I'll update this if I get a reply but it would be quite understandable if they were too busy with important stuff to have time for this!

 

myoarin 

User

 17 Aug 2009 17:42 UTCMon 17 Aug 2009 - 5:42 pm UTC 

Hi Nevilly,

Thanks for taking the trouble to reply.
I took a second stab, clicked from the English to French Wikipedia article for bugle, found a mention of "sonnerie au mort", and voila! (whatever that means), a search with the term found many examples:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5ckrk_sonnerie-aux-morts-ouistreham_news

Apparently, "sonnerie aux morts" is the usual expression.

Sometimes it's so simple ...

Cheers, Myo

 

myoarin 

User

 17 Aug 2009 17:46 UTCMon 17 Aug 2009 - 5:46 pm UTC 

Can a clarification still be posted generate an email?

 

nevilley 

Customer

 21 Aug 2009 17:22 UTCFri 21 Aug 2009 - 5:22 pm UTC 

Hi Myoarin

Thanks for the comment and I'm very sorry about the slow reply - I've been away. The tune in the video at dailymotion.com is certainly the right one, thank you! The question of the title is interesting - "aux morts" alone has also been mentioned, and it raises a bit of a question in my mind as to what it what actually says at the top of the sheet music. The word "sonnerie" I imagine is something like "sounding" so it's still unclear to me whether what's being said is the actual _name_ of the piece or whether the "sonnerie" gets rolled in in the sense that they're saying "the sounding of the 'aux morts'" or words to that effect. (In much the same way as you often see "sounding" or "sounded" close to the words "Last Post"!) This is a bit hairsplitting, but interesting - for me, at least!

I'm only really going to be able to resolve this to my complete and rather OCD-ish satisfaction by actually getting my hands on the music, Oh, and/or perhaps by talking to a French soldier or marine, preferably one with a bugle! I have not yet heard back from the military attache but I might one day be able to get the music. The next time I am in France, we'll see!

Cheers

Nevilley

 

nevilley 

Customer

 21 Aug 2009 17:23 UTCFri 21 Aug 2009 - 5:23 pm UTC 

Hi Myo

I am not quite sure what this means:

"Can a clarification still be posted generate an email?"

- but I am posting this as a clarification, in case it helps, well, clarify something for you I guess!

Cheers

Nevilley

 

myoarin 

User

 22 Aug 2009 11:33 UTCSat 22 Aug 2009 - 11:33 am UTC 

Hi Nevilley,

Glad you came back without waiting until you learned more.

I think you are right that "sonnerie" means "call" or "signal" and is NOT part of the name of the military order being signaled:
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonnerie_%28militaire%29

And especially this one: 
http://www.tillystips.com/dis/france.htm

looking at the titles under the middle CD in the fifth row:
"Sonneries de Cavalerie"  where the names of the trumpet signals are listed:
"...  - Cessez le feu - Marche de retraite - Aux morts - Marche funèbre No. 1 - Marche funèbre No. 2"

"Aux morts" then?

Cheers, Myo

 

fp 

User

 23 Aug 2009 07:28 UTCSun 23 Aug 2009 - 7:28 am UTC 

It seems to me that "sonnerie" is part of the title, i.e "La sonnerie aux morts".

Composed by Pierre Dupont (1888-1969):
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Dupont (chef de la Garde républicaine)

More on Pierre Dupont:
http://www.morinie.com/Actualites1.htm#Sonnerie

and
http://www.morinie.com/Actualites2.htm#ConferenceSO

 

fp 

User

 23 Aug 2009 07:47 UTCSun 23 Aug 2009 - 7:47 am UTC 

About the first performance:

"Le 14 juillet 1931"
http://www.garderepublicaine.gendarmerie.defense.gouv.fr/sonnerie_morts.htm
and
http://blog.francetv.fr/histoirepourtous/index.php/2008/01/19/65049-comment-est-nee-la-sonnerie-aux-morts

"jouée pour la 1re fois à l’Arc de Triomphe le 11 novembre 1932"
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musique_militaire


Two historical documents:
http://pagesperso-orange.fr/champagne1418/recit/recit4.htm (the second, i.e. last article on this webpage)

 

myoarin 

User

 23 Aug 2009 12:43 UTCSun 23 Aug 2009 - 12:43 pm UTC 

It probably doesn't matter so much, since the French texts are not consistant, showing the following variations: 
"Sonnerie Aux Morts", 
sonnerie "Aux Morts", (as title on the page of music)
hymne "Aux Morts",
l'appel "Aux Morts"

Some appropriate noun has to precede "aux morts"; let it be sonnerie  - either as part of the title or not - (or bugle call, in English).

 

nevilley 

Customer

 26 Aug 2009 07:49 UTCWed 26 Aug 2009 - 7:49 am UTC 

Goodness me! Thank you both for all this extra stuff - it is absolutely fascinating.

Let me just add - I haven't heard from the French military attaché and I think it's possible I won't. I'm sure that he or she has rather more, ah, strategic matters than bugle calls to worry about. I'm really pretty happy with how far I've got with this.

I am *seriously* tempted to rush off and buy one or more of those CDs. However, there's an interesting potential pitfall in that they represent specific services and this may lead to different music being played. I'm just guessing, of course, but looking at the UK situation the Infantry versions of Last Post and Reveille (or more often Rouse, really) are *totally* different from the Cavalry ones. But I might just give in to my weakness and obsession and get a CD (or two) anyway.

The other thing is I want the music, so the next time I am in France I'll try a music shop, or a trumpet-playing friend, and see how far I get.

I still don't have something else I was hoping for, which was enough hard evidence to correct the Wikipedia article on HA. At the moment it reflects the MoD statement, which is inaccurate, but in the best spirit of wp editing I can't really change it unless I have something citeable to back me up, and I haven't.

And don;t even get me STARTED on the subject of what the RM buglers played after the silence ... I am still working on that one! :)

This has been really, really interesting. Thank you so much for your help. If I ever find out more I'll update this.

 

nevilley 

Customer

 26 Aug 2009 08:14 UTCWed 26 Aug 2009 - 8:14 am UTC 

Just for the sake of completeness I should add that I've answered my own question about the RM buglers, who played immediately after the French marine. They played Last Post, which is pretty much exactly as you'd expect it. The interesting/different bit, to some ears anyway, is that after the silence they played the Reveille, but it was the _Naval_ one. (So, to be clear, this is neither the Infantry Reveille, which isn't very well-known and hardly ever gets played, nor is it the Rouse, which is quite well-known and is usually played at such events, where it is usually mislabelled Reveille! The Navy Reveille is a nice call, obviously appropriate to Allingham's RNAS service, and it's nice to hear it for a change. The music is here:

http://www.royalmarinesbands.co.uk/reference/Bugle_Calls/index3.html

- and I probably ought to stop obsessing about all this sometime soon! :)

 

myoarin 

User

 26 Aug 2009 09:50 UTCWed 26 Aug 2009 - 9:50 am UTC 

Hi Nevilley,

Two thoughts:

It should be easy to find out if the French bugler was playing Dupont's piece by playing the video of the service and then opening the site with the Dupont's composition
http://pagesperso-orange.fr/champagne1418/recit/recit4.htm

and listening to the tone from the video.  There is another website with a larger image of the same page of music.  It shouldn't be difficult to find, since the music was the first or only image that comes on screen.

It seems unlikely to me that there are different versions of the sonnerie "Aux Morts", since it was composed on request from a very high level, so:
1) the French didn't have a call equivalent to Last Post; this is it, the official new call;
2) a composed  - rather than traditional -  call would be unlikely to have any versions, other than a bugler's mistake.

You can also listen to several other videos of French memorial events with the call.

Cheers, Myo

 

nevilley 

Customer

 26 Aug 2009 14:35 UTCWed 26 Aug 2009 - 2:35 pm UTC 

Woo, lovely, you;'re right. Yes, it's very much the right tune, and great to see it on screen with the sounds played at the funeral. He changes one note value, which I guess could be a mistake or an accepted amendment, and I may never know which (or I might!!) He plays it beautifully, in fact!

Thanks again, this is brilliant!

Cheers

nevilley

 

fp 

User

 26 Aug 2009 14:59 UTCWed 26 Aug 2009 - 2:59 pm UTC 

 

myoarin 

User

 26 Aug 2009 15:03 UTCWed 26 Aug 2009 - 3:03 pm UTC 

I'm just as pleased!

I keep wondering what kind of chagrin the French suffered at Armistice Day memorials during the 1920s, hearing the US and UK buglers and having no appropriate call of their own.  I hope they sulked and recognized that the others really won the war for them.

Regards, Myo

 

nevilley 

Customer

 28 Aug 2009 08:29 UTCFri 28 Aug 2009 - 8:29 am UTC 

Thanks again all and thanks fp for another nice page.

Cheers, nevilley

 

Phil Answerfinder 

Researcher

 31 Aug 2009 12:14 UTCMon 31 Aug 2009 - 12:14 pm UTC 

I have been away on holiday but I can see that plenty has been going on in the meantime.

The church kindly replied while I was away. The bugler was "Corporal Pascal Quemere, of the French Army Band (Versailles)".

This appears to be the Musique principale de l'armée de Terre.
http://www.defense.gouv.fr/terre/decouverte/presentation_de_l_armee_de_terre/armes_et_composantes/musiques_militaires/musique_principale_de_larmee_de_terre

Unfortunately, the writer did not confirm the name of the piece of music. Also in the meantime, the church have posted online a copy of the order of service. This is now on
http://www.stnicholasbrighton.org.uk/images/documents/AllinghamOrderOfService.pdf

Sadly, it on provides the following:
"In the churchyard, on the path, the procession will stop.
- The bugler sounds the Last Post.
- There will be one minute’s silence followed by Reveille.
- The bell will toll (113) times."

This answers one part of your question, and if I read the above correctly, our ever helpful commentators Myoarin and FP have answered the second. Is it OK to close this question off and post it as answered?

Phil
answerfinder

 

Phil Answerfinder 

Researcher

 31 Aug 2009 12:30 UTCMon 31 Aug 2009 - 12:30 pm UTC 

Ah. Forget the last paragraph. I see the questions already expired. I'm still in holiday mode - half asleep.

 

nevilley 

Customer

 1 Sep 2009 07:33 UTCTue 1 Sep 2009 - 7:33 am UTC 

Thanks! Amazing stuff - I am going to try my French trumpet contacts and see if anyone knows M. Quemere - it would be excellent to speak directly with him.

In the meantime, this question of dosh, and expiration. Hmmmm - what would be fair - shall I repost it "for your eyes only"? What do people usually do in such a case? Cheers. N

 

fp 

User

 1 Sep 2009 08:05 UTCTue 1 Sep 2009 - 8:05 am UTC 

This, possibly, could be the website of "the French Army Band (Versailles)". But I'm not quite sure.

Musique Principale de l'Armée de Terre:
http://www.mpadt.fr/

 

Phil Answerfinder 

Researcher

 1 Sep 2009 08:06 UTCTue 1 Sep 2009 - 8:06 am UTC 

Good day Nevilley,

As the question has expired and you’ve had your money back, I’m happy to leave it as it is, but thanks for the offer. I am sure you will be back with other questions and I hope that I will be able to answer one of them in the future - a little more promptly, I hope. 

Phil
answerfinder

 

nevilley 

Customer

 1 Sep 2009 08:14 UTCTue 1 Sep 2009 - 8:14 am UTC 

Phil, that's very decent of you, thanks. I'm not feeling so flush that I will ignore your kind offer and insist on paying, but yes I will most certainly be back!

fp, thanks. The weird thing is I thought I'd positively ID'd Cpl Quemere's uniform (in the BBC video) as the Marines, but this latest info seem to run counter - unless they follow different practices from what I'd expect, or I'm just straightforwardly confused (wouldn't be the first time). I've written to one of my Parisian trumpet buddies on the off chance, so who knows where this will end up ... :)

 

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