D-Day Reunion Weekend in Portsmouth

Landing on the beaches of Normandy in 1944. Source: Wikipedia.

On 7th and 8th September, Emma will return to Portsmouth to sing for the Spirit of Normandy Trust‘s D-Day Reunion weekend. British D-Day veterans will gather in Portsmouth. Emma will appear on the main stage with the orchestra of HMS Nelson, and during the commemoration service at St. Ann’s Church, the chapel within Her Majesty’s Naval Base.

For more information, please see this link.

2019-08-25T13:38:23+02:00August 31st, 2019|

Remembering the Royal Orange Escort of British Guards

The CWGC British war graves at Hook of Holland, the Netherlands.

On 13th May, 1940, a group of British Guardsmen were sent to assist the Dutch following the German occupation of the Netherlands. 651 troops, known as the Harpoon Force, were sent to Hook of Holland. That morning, as Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Haydon (Irish Guards) and his adjutant Captain Henry Phillpots walked along the quay at Hook of Holland, they suddenly they saw a cortege of cars, led by motor cycles, arriving. The cars stopped. From each one a man stepped out. Fearing they were German, Captain Phillpots reached for his hand gun. 

One of the men approached the two officers and announced: “Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands has arrived.” To their surprise, and one imagines their relief, it was indeed Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. HM was hoping travel by sea to Breskens, Zeeland, near the Belgium border, to continue governing the country. Arrangements were made with the commanders of HMS Hereward to carry HM there. It seems clear that neither officer had expected to co-ordinate such an important mission.

Later that day, Guardsmen helped members of the Dutch government and captains of industry (including the Philips family) escape. Unfortunately, the Germans had become aware of the activities in Hook of Holland and they carried out an air raid. Seven Guardsmen lost their lives in this raid, and twenty-three were wounded. One of the casualties was Captain Phillpots. He hid his wounds, aware that the medics had more severe casualties to which to attend. Captain Phillpots was awarded the Military Cross for his unselfish behaviour.

In the end, Queen Wilhelmina did not go to Breskens. Word reached the ship that the Germans were planning to bomb Zeeland, so HM was taken to England. She remained in exile until 2nd May, 1945, a period of almost five years.

This year, an organisation was established in the Netherlands to commemorate the guardsmen. Together with the Rotterdam City Council and the 4th May Committee of Hook of Holland, the Guards Remembrance Association of the Netherlands has organised a remembrance ceremony at CWGC Hook of Holland, where some of the guardsmen are buried. Representatives from the Welsh- and Irish Guards will be present, travelingas the Welsh Guards Pilgrims. Emma will sing with the band of the Dutch Grenadier Guards “Regimentsfanfare ‘Garde Grenadiers en Jagers’.”

If you are interested in the Guards Remembrance Association of the Netherlands, we invite you to follow them on Facebook.

Saturday, 31st August, 12:00 noon, CWGC Hook of Holland, the Netherlands

2019-08-25T13:36:13+02:00August 1st, 2019|

Spirit of Normandy Trust dinner on HMS Victory

Emma is delighted to have been invited to sing for the Spirit of Normandy Trust‘s black tie dinner on HMS Victory. The Spirit of Normandy Trust provides welfare for Normandy veterans and their dependents, holds remembrance ceremonies in Normandy and the United Kingdom, andorganizeseducational initiatives such as an annual essay-writing competition in schools.

On 20th July, there will be a fundraising dinner on the Lower Gun Deck of Lord Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory. Emma will sing with the HMS Nelson Volunteer Band under conductor Gregory Morgan.

For more information, please follow this link and scroll down.

2019-08-25T13:30:55+02:00July 13th, 2019|

Tandragee and Scarva: singing in Northern Ireland

After a moving time in the Somme commemorating the British and Irish sacrifices in the First World War, Emma will visit Northern Ireland to sing for the 12th events in Tandragee and for the centenary of the Scarva ceremony on 13th July. As well as leading the hymns, Emma will sing for remembrance ceremonies, and a small Prom-style concert. She is delighted to be returning to Northern Ireland after receiving such a wonderful, warm welcome last year!

2019-06-23T13:17:45+02:00July 1st, 2019|

Remembering the Battle of the Somme

Emma will sing for the 103rd anniversary of the Battle of the Somme at various locations in northern France. The Battle of the Somme was the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front. Over a third of the three million men who fought were wounded or killed.

The Royal British Legion and the Somme Association work hard to keep alive the memories of those who died and suffered in the war. Emma is honoured to have been asked to sing during their remembrance ceremonies for a third year running.

11:00 –Royal British Legion commemoration service at the CWGC Thiepval Monument to the Missing

14:30 – Somme Association commemoration at the Ulster Tower Memorial for the 36th (Ulster) Division

16:30 – Commemorationat Guillemont for the 16th (Irish) Division

2019-06-23T13:27:39+02:00June 23rd, 2019|

Somme Commemoration Concert in Amiens Cathedral

On Saturday, 29th June, Emma will join Ystalyfera School Choir with their director of music Aled Maddock for a concert in Amiens Cathedral, France, for the 103rd anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. They will present a varied programme of music in Welsh, English, and French. This concert also marks the opening of the 2019 Sound and Light show at Amiens Cathedral.

The concert is organized by Francourt Events.

Saturday, 29th June, 20:00, Cathedral of Our Lady, Amiens, France

Free entry

2019-06-23T13:08:56+02:00June 19th, 2019|

Back to School…

With students from NGHS at CWGC Fauborg d’Amiens last November.

On 16th June, Emma will join the choir of her primary school and the organist of her former church for a concert at the Albert Hall in Nottingham, England. The Albert Hall is home to a Grade 1 listed organ, a Binns organ from 1909 which is essentially in its original condition. Emma and the choir of Nottingham High School for Girls junior department will be accompanied by City Organist John Keys. The choir is conducted by Isla Keys, who was Emma’s singing teacher when she was still at school.

For more information, please follow this link.

Sunday 16th June, 2019, 14:45, Albert Hall, Nottingham, UK
Tickets, costing £6, are available at the door

2019-06-02T13:59:07+02:00June 7th, 2019|

Normandy: 75 years after D-Day

Troops disembarking from a landing craft. Source: Wikipedia

Emma will travel to Normandy, France, to sing for some of the many ceremonies commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the D-Day landings. She will join veterans traveling with D-Day Revisited, the Royal British Legion, and the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans for ceremonies in Ranville and Grangues and concerts in Bayeux, Arromanches, and at the beautiful castle in Bénouville. She will sing with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment, the Central Band of the Royal British Legion, the Band of Liberation and Pipes, and the International Massed Pipe Band, and of course a capella.

Emma’s schedule:

5th June

10:00 – 52nd Group Oxford and Bucks Regiment ceremony at The Veterans Charity Glider Stones, Memorial Pegasus Museum, with Rifles cadets and The Band and Bugles of The Rifles

11:00 – Spirit of Normandy Trust ceremony at Colleville-Mongomery, with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment and the International Massed Pipe Band

c.14:45 – CWGC Ranville Cemetery with veterans traveling with D-Day Revisited

23:30 – Midnight Ceremony at the statue of Major Howard with The Band and Bugles of The Rifles

6th June

15:00 – Royal British Legion veterans lunch with the Central Band of the Royal British Legion (private event)

16:30 – Arromanches closing ceremony

20:45 – Concert at Chateau de Bénouville with the Band of Liberation and Pipes

7th June

10:30 – Grangues ceremony with veterans travelling with the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans

2019-06-03T12:35:48+02:00June 1st, 2019|

US Mission to the EU

The original “Star-Spangled Banner,” after which the poem was written.
Source: Wikipedia

Emma is honoured to have been invited to sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ during the US Mission to the EU‘s 4th July celebration in Brussels, Belgium.

This event is by invitation only.

2019-06-02T14:05:37+02:00June 1st, 2019|

Royal Student Rowing Society “Njord”

Emma was delighted to have sung for the opening of the 145th anniversary exhibition of Njord Rowing Club in Leiden, the Netherlands. She sang the Njord song, “De hand aan de riemen gij zonen van Njord.” The exhibition, which details the history of the club, is at the Old University Library at Rapenburg 70. For more information (in Dutch), please follow this link.

2019-06-02T13:37:23+02:00May 29th, 2019|