The WW1 Bass Drum
In 2013 the band discovered, in their store room, a WW1 bass drum which had been out of use and stored since the 1960’s. On the inside of this drum we found five inscriptions written by WW1 soldiers. The inscriptions indicate the drum was used at the Australian training camps at Fovant and Sutton Veny on Salisbury Plain, UK, during WW1. Research of the soldier’s WW1 service records found that, following their training on Salisbury Plain, they all served on the Western front. One of the men, No 2133 Alexander Lambert, was killed in action on 30 August 1917.
The discovery of the WW1 bass drum inspired the band to develop a special project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WW1. To this end the band commissioned a major musical work titled “The Silent Anzac” based on the exploits of the Australian submarine AE2 which was the first vessel to penetrate the Dardanelles on the morning of the 25th April 1915. The band has developed a show that provides a special and moving commemoration of the Australian’s who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The title for the show was also chosen as “The Silent Anzac” as this represents all those service men and women who did not return. This show has been performed for Remembrance Day 2015 and 2016 to much acclaim. In October 2017 the band undertook a professional recording of the show and it is planned to release this CD in 2018.
The Silent Anzac show
Four archetypal characters, The Mother, The Soldier, The Girl and The Poet face their sternest test during the dark days of the First World War. Will their courage, resolution and faith stand the test of war and bring them through the conflict? A story of loss, sorrow and, ultimately, the forging of a legend.
Through the fates of war these archetypal characters form a connection that explores the full impact of war on both the participants at the front as well as the people at home. The show reflects the experiences of the characters through song, poetry and music as well as using the visual elements of historical WW1 photos as a backdrop.
The show depicts events from the opening of the Gallipoli campaign to the final months and represents the experiences of many of our WW1 soldiers and their families. The show has received much critical acclaim from both audiences and the theatre press.
The Silent Anzac Road Show
The Silent Anzac roadshow is an opportunity for school students to learn more about their Anzac heritage. Our road show caravan will visit schools to display WW1 memorabilia and provide resources to research WW1 topics and people. Students will be able to research information about relatives that served and/or soldiers who lived in their street as well as dedicate a poppy to be laid by the band in a commemoration service to be held at the Australian National Memorial, France. The road show caravan provides:
- an interactive experience with WW1 memorabilia (e.g. our WW1 bass drum, souvenirs sent home by the troops, letters and diaries, medals etc.)
- general information on a range of topics about WW1;
- our Anzac legacy and what it means to us today.
The road show also provides a number of activities for the students to be involved in including:
- Dedicate a poppy to a WW1 soldier from their local area or a relative to be laid by the band in a commemorative service at the Australian National Memorial in France in November.
- Make up care packages and write a letter to send to current serving troops overseas. The Silent Anzac Road Show was recently launched at the Seddon Festival on 3rd March 2018 and received an outstanding response from the public with many poppies being dedicated and interest in the WW1 memorabilia.
The Silent Anzac European Tour 2018
The band will be touring France, Belgium and the UK from 3 November 2018 to 20 November 2018 to commemorate the centenary of armistice of WW1 and to perform our show called “The Silent Anzac” for communities where our service men fought and died. The band will be performing The Silent Anzac show and/or commemorative services at:
- Paris, France
- Amiens Cathedral, France
- Australian National Memorial, France
- Menin Gate, Belgium
- Reninghelst New Military Cemetery, Belgium
- London, UK
- York, UK
- Leicestershire, UK
The band has a public program to lay wreaths and poppies on be-half of groups and individuals at the Australian National Memorial near Villers Bretonneux, France. Wreaths may also be laid at Menin Gate Belgium. These ceremonies will be filmed/recorded for schools and our communities at home.
The Silent Anzac – Project Goals
- To commemorate the sacrifices of Australian service men and women during WW1;
- To provide audiences with a moving and memorable performance that honours the memory of our ANZAC forebears;
- To renew links with the local communities in France and Belgium where Australians fought and died;
- To enhance the cultural significance of the 100th anniversary of the armistice of WW1;
- To specifically commemorate the service men and women from Maribyrnong who lost their lives.
- To provide a lasting record of the WW1 commemorations for our community and future generations.
- Provide connections for our current and younger generations with those men and women who served in WW1.
- Represent the City of Maribyrnong as cultural ambassadors during this armistice centenary period to similar municipalities in the UK, France and Belgium.
You are invited to dedicate a poppy which will be laid by the band in a commemorative service at the Australian National Memorial near Villers-Bretonneux, France, in November 2018.
This service will be recorded and live streamed for audiences at home.
For further information about this project or to dedicate a poppy or wreath you may contact the band by email at:
You can also make a donation to the band by clicking on the donate button below: