Narborough folk concert to mark Great War link

Narborough Community Centre 25th Anniversary day of events 
Celebrating 25 years, for this group outside the centre. ANL-151209-195047009
Narborough Community Centre 25th Anniversary day of events Celebrating 25 years, for this group outside the centre. ANL-151209-195047009

Folk trio Harp and a Monkey are to play a concert in Narborough as part of a series across Britain to mark the centenary of the Great War.

Organised in association with the Arts Council and the Western Front Association, the free concerts are held at unusual sites across Britain with World War I links, including in the Florence Green Community Centre in Narborough, on Saturday, August 27, at 5.30pm.

The village housed the Royal Flying Corp aerodrome – many pilots dying in training.

It was also the place where the last surviving veteran of the conflict served. Florence Green, who lived in Lynn, died at the age of 110 in 2012.

She served at the aerodrome in 1918.

The free concert follows the successful first phase of the project, which saw the band perform to the inmates of a prison that housed conscientious objectors, to disabled veterans on a community built for the maimed, and at the scene of a Zeppelin attack in the middle of the West Pennine Moors.

The performances will include field recordings and interviews with veterans, new songs and re-workings of traditional and contemporaneous songs and will be filmed for a documentary.

Harp and a Monkey front-man Martin Purdy, who is a First World War historian, author and broadcaster, said: “It is very exciting for us to perform in Narborough.

“The role of aviation in the First World War, and the impact it had on the whole growth of what was still a fledgling technology, is hugely under-discussed and under-valued.

“Most people may be aware of the ‘Red Baron’ and ‘dog fights’, but knowledge is generally limited beyond that.

“The fact that large numbers of women were involved in this field of the Armed Forces is also largely unrecognised, so what better place to perform than in the community where the last surviving veteran of the First World War, Florence Green, served with the RAF.

“That is why we have chosen to play in the community centre that has a room named after her.

“We will be making a short documentary around the performance and intend to make sure people like Florence are not forgotten.”