Target Group: Community groups
Project Duration: 2013 – 2015
Project Funder: Department of Communities & Local Government, Heritage Lottery Fund & Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure, Northern Ireland
Project Manager: Katharine Lane firstname.lastname@example.org
The Last Post is a First World War centenary project bringing communities across the UK together to play the Last Post on a variety of different instruments at commemorative musical events.
At every event The Last Post is played to remember a group or individual connected to the area – not just on bugles but on any instrument from pianos to bagpipes, guitars to drums. As well as playing the Last Post for individuals and groups, communities are being encouraged to make it a musical commemoration by perhaps playing songs from the era.
Superact has produced a Last Post songbook with WW1 songs from the era and music tabs to play the Last Post on a range of instruments.
The Last Post project ran from 4th to 18th November in in 2014 and from the 20th – 26th April 2015 across the UK.
Mark Knopfler played the Last Post on his guitar for the project and 17,000 Northumberland Fusiliers who lost their lives and The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain played the Last Post to help launch the project in 2014.
The Last Post took place from the 4th – 18th November 2014, and saw over 40,000 people engage with local heritage events in their community. Events took place in a diverse range of settings including schools, residential homes, churches, prisons, community centres, sports clubs and libraries.
In 2015 90 community groups came together across the UK to mark the Centenary of the Battle of Gallipoli and a special version of Cannakale Turkusu was recorded.
93% of attendees said that the First World War commemorations had brought their community closer together and 75% of attendees said that since they attended a Last Post event they have become more interested in First World War history.
2014 Headline Figures
• 40,250 participants – average of 175 attendees per event
• 2,530 volunteers – average of 11 volunteers per event
• 8,400 volunteer hours given to organise each Last Post event; average of 30 hours per volunteer
• 5,520 performers – average of 24 performers per event
• 80% of attendees said that they learnt something new about the First World War at a Last Post event
• 93% of attendees said that the First World War commemorations had brought their community closer together
• 55% of attendees said they attend heritage events less than annually
• 75% of attendees said that since attending a Last Post event they have become more interested in First World War history.
• 48% of volunteers involved had never organised a heritage event before
• 94% of respondents said they are more likely to organise heritage events again in the future having taken part in The Last Post
• 88% of organisers said that they had the audience numbers they had hoped for
• 74% of events were organised in partnership with other organisations and partners
“It was a great event and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening and found it very moving. It was a great opportunity to personally mark the First World War in a safe and encouraging environment.” North West Lodestar CIC
“We had to deal with perceptions that black people did not fight in the Great War; we believe a small group can make a difference and the audience pledged to carry out more awareness events about the First and Second World War.” Innovative Vision Organisation
“Really enjoyed working with others to put on this village event; people who attended the event, really enjoyed it. We received many compliments about how moving it was to hear the Last Post and how moved people were to see it played by a young person, who was not only willing to stand up and play it to a completely silent church and in front of so many people, but who captured the sense of the occasion. A young person playing it who would have been not a great deal younger than many of the young men who set off for war in World War One seemed to mean a great deal to the people attending.” Shimpling Village Hall
“Everyone really enjoyed our event. Our residents find this type of event really important and it means a lot to them. They enjoyed getting involved beforehand with choosing poems and creating decorations for the room. It was great to be part of something wider and to have resources to call on.” Milford House Care Home
Prior to 5 October 2015,The Last Post Project, was delivered by Superact CIC. By an assignment dated October 2015, the rights to that project have been assigned to the Big Ideas Company Ltd