Requiem marks 100 years since death of violinist in World War I

Montague Johnson, a 21-year-old soldier killed during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War, was a violin player from Coventry in the UK.

A staged scene of soldiers preparing to go over the top prior to the Battle of the Somme. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

A century later, His death inspired the writing and performing of a requiem in his honour. Montague’s Song was performed to coincide with the exact hour of his death a hundred years ago last Saturday.

Two Coventry-based theatre groups have been researching Johnson’s work over recent years and collaborated to produce the 30-minute piece.

The battle was one of the bloodiest during the war, with the British army suffering 60,000 casualties alone on its first day, 1 July, 1916. The battle concluded on 18 November with no decisive victor and over a million casualties.

You can see a clip of the requiem’s performance here.

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