From: Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Published: Wed Feb 23 2005

To coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission today launched Anthem for Remembrance – a Commonwealth-wide music composition competition for students aged 23 and under.

Anthem for Remembrance was inspired by the grave of Hugh Gordon Langton, a brilliant violinist who was killed in the First World War. His family used a small musical phrase, instead of words, as an inscription on his headstone to express their feelings of sorrow. Using the musical inscription on Hugh’s headstone as inspiration, the Commission is challenging students across the Commonwealth to compose a short piece of music expressing their view on remembrance.

Peter Francis, spokesperson for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said, "When remembering the men and women who have lost their lives in the two world wars, it can sometimes be difficult to find the best thing to say. Music can be a powerful alternative and with this in mind we have launched Anthem for Remembrance – an imaginative means of encouraging young people to think about how they want to remember those who died."

Entries must be received by 30 June and will be accepted in three categories, according to age. The judging panel will include world famous composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and renowned musician Piers Adams. A fantastic package of prizes, including the chance for the winners to have their entry professionally recorded, has been put together by the Commission, with the help and support of The Royal British Legion.

Peter added, "We are not sure what we are going to get – it is very exciting! The winning entry might be a classically inspired piece or a rap song. It’s all about the students using their imagination and having fun, while tackling a serious topic and perhaps challenging some of our views on how to remember the war dead."

"We are very grateful to The Royal British Legion, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Piers Adams and all those who have supported this initiative. We are looking forward to a huge response."

More details can be found at or by contacting
Peter Francis on 01628 507163.


Notes for Editors
1. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is responsible for marking and maintaining the graves of those members of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars, for building and maintaining memorials to the dead whose graves are unknown and for providing records and registers of these 1.7 million burials and commemorations found in most countries throughout the world. Visit for more information.

2. The Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion is the UK's leading charity providing financial, social and emotional support to millions who have served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces, and their dependants. Currently, nearly 11 million people are eligible for our support and we receive around 300,000 calls for help every year. Visit for more information.

3. Mark-Anthony Turnage
Turnage is one of Britain's most successful living composers, whose communicative music reflects a range of interests and concerns, including jazz, the arts, politics, war and everyday life. He has worked closely with various orchestras, music groups and jazz musicians, with whom he has made significant recordings of his works. His contemporary opera, The Silver Tassie, based on Sean O'Casey's anti-war play, was premiered in 2000 by the ENO to huge critical acclaim.

4. Piers Adams
Adams is regarded by many to be the greatest recorder player of our time. Stylistically unique and unbounded by historical preconceptions this modern-day Pied Piper coaxes truly extraordinary sounds from his simple recorders. He has thrilled, charmed and transported many thousands of listeners, attracting the highest acclaim from the music press.
Company: Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Contact Name: Peter Francis
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 01628 507163

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