Of more than one million British and Commonwealth servicemen and women killed in the First World War, some 165,000 would never receive a proper burial. In 1920, one unidentified fallen serviceman was chosen at random and returned from the fields of France to represent all those who had died in the war. On 11th November 1920, this unknown warrior was given a full state burial, being laid to rest amongst the kings and queens in Westminster Abbey.
To commemorate this centenary, the Military Wives Choirs has re-recorded Abide with Me, a hymn sung at the funeral. The song will be released through digital music channels on 6th November accompanied by a music video and documentary telling the story of the Unknown Warrior and capturing their final journey through Whitehall to Westminster Abbey. Funds raised from sales of the recording will go to the City of Westminster Charitable Trust and the Military Wives Choir.
The project, which was produced during a period of present-world uncertainty, was conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton, one of Britain’s most distinguished and dynamic conductors, and produced by Sean Hargreaves. 70 members of the Choirs travelled from across the UK to record each vocal part individually due to COVID-19 restrictions.
For more information, and to watch the videos, please visit westminster.gov.uk/unknownwarrior100