Singing Soldiers

I doubt any of us would survive anything were it not for music and laughter.

texthistory

The BBC recently had a 2 part special narrated by Kris Kristofferson on music and the Civil War, but it seems every war has music playing a role. This is from The Rambling Soldier edited by Roy Porter:

This  was written by a Scots soldier at Badajoz in 1811:

“One evening, as I lay in the woods thinking about home… I heard, at a small distance, music… I soon knew the air. I crept nearer and could distinguish the words. I became riveted to the spot. That moment compensated me of all I had suffered in Spain. I felt that pleasure which softens the heard, and overflows the eyes. The words that first struck my ear, were, ‘Why did I leave you My Jeannie, my daddy’s cot and a’/ to wander from my sweet Caledonia’. Soon as the vice ceased, I looked through the underwood and saw four or more…

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The Humbley siblings: named for victory

All Things Georgian

William Humbley, an army officer, gave his new-born son a name almost impossible to live up to: William Wellington Waterloo Humbley. Even more than that Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, stood as the child’s godfather. Little William Wellington Waterloo was born on the actual day of the battle, the 18th June 1815, at Sandgate in Kent according to information given in the Cambridge University Alumni 1261-1900, but was not baptized until nearly a year later.

Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington by Richard Cosway, 1808. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington by Richard Cosway, 1808.
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

William Wellington Waterloo, of Eynesbury (now part of St Neot’s but then a neighbouring village), was baptized on the 10th June 1816 at the parish church in Boxworth, Cambridgeshire. His father, William Humbley of the 95th Foot, had served in both the Peninsular War campaigns and at the Battle of Waterloo (the 95th was…

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