News release from Bristol City Council:
When Clive Burlton started researching into his family’s past at
Bristol’s Record Office, little did he know that a chance discovery
would lead to the first-ever recording of Bravo Bristol! - a
long-forgotten song to rally the troops of the Great War 1914-1918.
With words written by local lyricist, Fred Weatherly and music by the
great British composer and entertainer, Ivor Novello the release of
Bravo Bristol! next week (November 8, 2011) is set to raise valuable
funds for today’s military heroes, with proceeds from the sales going to
support Help for Heroes and Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum.
“Bravo Bristol!’ was originally published by Boosey & Co in 1914 as a
rallying cry to enlist new Bristol recruits to the armed forces to fight
in World War 1,” says Clive Burlton. “A label stuck to the cover reads:
‘the entire proceeds of the sale of this song will be given by the
author and composer to the Regimental Fund of the Bristol Battalion....’
So it is right and fitting that today’s recording goes to help those
who have fought in the armed services as well as helping to maintain the
research service at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum who do a
great job in helping relatives to uncover their ancestors’ military
Clive’s research has also shown the original words to Bravo Bristol!
were amended by Weatherly at the end of the war and sung in February
1919 at Bristol’ s Colston Hall at a service to honour Bristol soldiers
who had been decorated.
Today’s CD recording is in part thanks to BBC Radio Bristol’s Archive
Friday programme, which featured Clive Burlton and his volunteer
colleague, John Penny talking about the song and how nice it would be to
hear what it sounded like. Listening to the programme was John Flook who
put Clive in touch with local conductor, Jim Williams of the St George
Singers who offered to sing Bravo Bristol!
The 65-strong choir performed and recorded the song at Holy Trinity
Church in Kingswood in August and the event was filmed by the BBC for
its Inside Out West programme.
Councillor Simon Cook, Bristol’s deputy leader and cabinet member for
capital programme, sport and culture, said: “This is an amazing story
and I’m sure everyone who hears Bravo Bristol! will share the pride of
thousands of local families whose forbears fought for King and country
nearly a hundred years ago. And today – in Armistice week – Bravo
Bristol! is particularly important as we remember and think of all those
who have fought in wars and military campaigns, right up to the present
Richard Burley, Bristol’s archives manager, added: “We are delighted
with Clive’s research at Bristol Record Office and his enthusiasm to see
Bravo Bristol! recorded and released to a wide audience. The Bristol
Record Office is open to all researchers, though it’s not every day you
come across a historical gem, such as Bravo Bristol!”
· The Bravo Bristol! CD is now available at Bristol’s Museum and Art
Gallery, at M Shed at Bristol Record Office, and at the Soldiers of
Gloucestershire Museum for a suggested minimum donation of £3. It
features the 1914 and the 1919 versions of the song as well as a short
history and a narrative about the song’s amazing 21st Century discovery
Bravo Bristol is also available through mail order from:
PO BOX 1840
Cheques for a minimum of £4 – to also cover post and packaging – should
be sent to this address.
A special HSBC ‘Bravo Bristol’ bank account has also been set up for
anyone wishing to make a donation to the fundraising appeal – Branch
Sort Code 40-34-39, Account Number 91494325.