Leading Musician (LMUS) Colin Clark performs with the NZDF corps of musicians at the Battle of the Somme Centenary commemorations in Longueval, France.
19 September 2016
Leading Musician (LMUS) Colin Clark paid his respects to his great great uncle while at the Battle of the Somme Centenary commemorations in Longueval, France, as part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) contingent.
LMUS Clark, from Auckland, was part of the NZDF corps of musicians who participated in the commemorations.
“It was sad to see his name on the Wall of Remembrance, but was also amazing to realise I could have such a strong feeling of connection with someone I have never met,” LMUS Clark said.
Private Arthur James Hamlyn served with the 4th Australian Infantry Battalion of the Australian Army. After receiving the Military Medal for his courage against the enemy in Demicourt, he was killed in action on 5 May 1917 in Bullecourt while supporting the lines of the battalion. His remains were not recovered and he is remembered on the wall of the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Brettonneux.
The sunset ceremony included a musical story, titled A Day in Battle, composed for the Battle of the Somme commemorations.
“The piece of music was a poignant tribute to the feelings and emotions the soldiers would have gone through as they were preparing for battle,” LMUS Clark said.
The use of marches, hymns, bugle calls and beating drums from six NZDF buglers and drummers brought to life the sounds of a day in battle for a New Zealand soldier.
The Battle of the Somme was New Zealand’s first big engagement on the Western Front. It took a huge toll on the 15,000 members of the New Zealand Division who were involved. The Division sustained 8,000 casualties and 2,111 soldiers were killed in action in the battle from 1 July - 18 November 1916. The New Zealand Memorial to the Missing in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery lists 1,204 names.
WW100 is a programme established by the New Zealand Government to mark the World War I centenary through a range of activities from 2014 to 2019, in New Zealand and overseas.
For more information about WW100, visit WW100.govt.nz.