‘Blighty Thank God’ features two beautiful versions of The Last Post on different instruments than the bugle, on which it’s traditionally played. One is on violin, played by Rachel Bostock (@rachelbostockmusic ); the other on guitar by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.
The Last Post is sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to their final rest. It’s also heard on Remembrance Day in the UK and Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand. In the USA, ‘Taps’ similarly honours fallen veterans.
Both pieces of music are sad and evoke the solemnity suitable for such moving ceremonies.
Including The Last Post in the episode ’When Jim Got His’ about the death of Flt Sgt Jim Eden, and in the episode ‘Story of the Diary’ was very much driven by my personal memories of hearing the music as a student at the school I, my brothers and my father attended – St. Albans School.
The school week included Saturday mornings. So, on the morning of the Saturday closest to Remembrance Sunday we would gather outside for a service by the school’s memorial to pupils who had given their lives in the two world wars.
The student bugler who played The Last Post would be out of sight. I remember the music seemed distant and echoed around the school’s old buildings giving it a haunting sound, with the last note drifting away slowly as if it was being carried away by the wind.
It was moving, even for a young schoolboy. I’m grateful to Rachel herself and to Mark’s management company for their permissions.