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Veterans charity commissioned to chronicle the 160-year history of the Royal Military School of music at Kneller in South West London

Veterans Urged to Come Forward and Tell Their Stories

Following the MOD’s announcement that the Royal Military School of Music is to vacate its historic home at Kneller Hall in South West London, veterans’ charity The Legasee Educational Trust has been commissioned to chronicle over 160 years of military music tradition at the celebrated Grade II listed institution.

Supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and teaming up with local schoolchildren from Chase Bridge School in Twickenham, the Legasee Educational Trust will explore the illustrious history of The RMSM at Kneller Hall and examine the importance of music to the military effort.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will feature the filmed oral accounts of 40 veterans and military personnel who trained or worked at the school as well as the recording of the numerous bugle calls that have been used for vital military communication over hundreds of years.  School children from Chase Bridge School will contribute to the creation of educational lesson plans, which will sit alongside the filmed resources on the Legasee Educational Trust website for future generations to discover and learn from.

The activity will culminate in a spectacular public concert to be held at Kneller Hall in Summer 2019.

Legasee Trustee Martin Bisiker said: “From communication to celebration, music has been an integral part of warfare from the very outset.  Focusing on the work of the Royal Military School of Music, our project will not only explore the history of the military bands who create such a stunning spectacle at state occasions but also focus on the often forgotten history and role of military musicians in wartime and the part they have played in post war conflict resolution.“

Esther Mann, Curator, Museum of Army Music said: “At a time when the Royal Military School of Music faces an uncertain future, we are delighted to be teaming up with the Legasee Educational Trust to record the institution’s extraordinary history for the students and historians of the future to enjoy.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “We’re delighted to support Legasee Educational Trust to explore and celebrate the 300 year old military music collection held by the Corps of Army Music at Kneller Hall. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the interpretation of this collection will be enhanced and a number of memories will be recorded, enabling the community to learn about an important part of the military history.”

Veterans who studied at the institution are being urged to get in touch and share their memories.  If you know someone who studied or worked at Kneller Hall and has a story to tell, please contact the Legasee Educational Trust at martin@legasee.org.uk.

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Press contacts: Beverley Wilkins (beverleywilkins@sky.com), 07525 042572) or Fiona Williams (fiona@hummingbird-communications.co.uk, 07734 113624)

Notes to Editors:

About Kneller Hall

Kneller Hall is the home of Military music. The Royal school of Military Music was founded there in 1857, It was formed by the then Duke of Cambridge, to train musicians. Kneller Hall is now home to the Corps of Army Music, The Royal Military School of Music and the Museum of Army Music. The Museum of Army Music features the history of military music from the early beginnings of signalling to the current role of State occasions, recruitment, supporting regiments and liaison with other countries. The Museum of Army Music holds a collection of musical instruments, uniforms, paintings and archives, and this Oral history project will be an extension of the work undertaken by the museum.

About Legasee Educational Trust

Legasee Educational Trust is a charity set up to record the experiences and observations of all veterans of conflict from WWII until present day ‘to create the largest online film archive of this aspect of our social history that can be used for education, learning and better understanding for today’s generation and many generations to come’.  Legasee’s film archive is well regarded and used to support educational projects, museums, media  and publications in the UK and Europe.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.

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