Folk trio Harp And A Monkey perform Remembrance gig in Preston Cemetery

Posted on - 13th November, 2016 - 7:10pm | Author - | Posted in - Music, Preston News, Ribbleton, What's On in Preston
Harp And A Monkey performing in the Cemetery

Harp And A Monkey performing in the Cemetery

A unique and touching tribute has been held at Preston Cemetery, home to 324 First World War graves.


In a bid to ensure those who lost their lives are not forgotten, a guided tour was given of the war graves – and a folk trio performed songs inspired by the era. The event concluded with a rendition of the Last Post played by Ben Jarvis from Leyland Band.

Acclaimed folk trio Harp And A Monkey performed songs from their album War Stories, which came out of a project with the Arts Council and the Western Front Association. It features field recordings and interviews with veterans, new songs and reworkings of traditional and contemporary songs from the time.

And it draws on forgotten aspects of the war, from the horror of being a postman delivering news of loved ones to the role of musicians on the battlefield.

Watching the gig in the Cemetery

Watching the gig in the Cemetery

Harp And A Monkey singer and raconteur Martin Purdy, a former UCLan student and internationally respected military historian, said: “It was very important to us that our show challenged some of the typical stereotypes and narratives of the war and came at it from a very different angle.”

“This is the first time that we have played in a cemetery – although it makes perfect sense. We always think of those rows of white Commonwealth War Graves’ headstones on foreign shores, but don’t give too much thought to the ones housed in our own communities.”

Read more: Preston pauses to remember the fallen on Remembrance Sunday

The Preston Cemetery tour started at the family grave of conscientious objector Joseph Garstang and ended at that of William Young, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroism in pulling a comrade to safety in France in 1915. He was buried in Preston Cemetery in 1916 following a civic funeral with full military honours, attended by thousands.

* Harp And A Monkey are due to play The Willows Folk Club, Kirkham, on December 14. More details at

Preston in pictures The Station, Preston. 1539Adelphi quarter , preston , 23.06.2022St Walburge's Church, preston 23.06.2022Former Tithebarn pub and Preston Bus StationHarris Museum and Art GalleryRed telephone boxesRed telephone box on Market StreetPreston 2022 View more Advertisement Subscribe to the newsletter

Sign up below to receive Blog Preston's weekly newsletter. It wings its way into inboxes every Sunday rounding up our best content from the last week and a look ahead to what's happening.

Advertisement News by location

Find news by location, select an area of your choice to be kept up to date with the latest goings on.

Advertisement Categories

Find news by category, select an category of your choice to be kept up to date with the latest goings on.