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The 179 British personnel who died during the Iraq war

The invasion of Iraq led to the deaths of 179 British personnel between March 2003 and February 2009. Tony Blair told the Chilcot Inquiry[1] into the conflict he had “deep and profound regret” about the loss of life suffered by British troops and the countless Iraqi civilians. Some of the Britons who died were just 18 years-old.

Here is a roll of honour of the British personnel who died on service during Operation Telic in Iraq:

References

  1. ^ Chilcot Inquiry (www.itv.com)

Heat Gets to British Soldier During Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Celebration

A British soldier passed out during a ceremony honoring Queen Elizabeth s 90th birthday in London, where temperatures reached 71 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday. The man was a member of a British Army unit known for their tall bearskin hats, which, according to the Mirror, cost an average of around $1,700 each[1]. The standard bearskin of the British Foot Guards is 18 inches tall and weighs 1.5 pounds[2], according to the Associated Press. Other members of the unit rushed to the man s aid, and he was eventually lifted onto a stretcher and carried away[3] in front of worried spectators, the UK Evening Standard reports.

More than 1,600 soldiers and 300 horses[4] took part in the event that was attended by senior members of the Royal Family, Royal Central reports. The troops were assembled for a formal review called Trooping the Colour[5], which since 1748 has been used to mark the official birthday of the British sovereign. The ceremony is part of a weekend-long series of celebrations marking the Queen’s Birthday and follows Friday’s poignant national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. On Sunday, the informal Patron’s Lunch street party for 10,000 will be held in The Mall. Fainting soldiers are actually a common sight at events like these, Royal Central reports, and in fact, a different Guardsman collapsed during Trooping the Colour rehearsals last month.

(MORE: London Zoo Lion Licks Chops at Sight of Queen[6])

On Friday, a member of the RAF collapsed while waiting outside St Paul s cathedral for a service of the Queen during the national service of thanksgiving. The Queen has attended Trooping the Colour in every year of her reign, except in 1955 when a national rail strike led to the event being canceled, the Standard reports. Prince Phillip, the Queen s 95-year-old husband also attended in his role as Colonel of the Coldstream Guards, wearing the same uniform as the downed Guardsman.

MORE ON WEATHER.COM: 50 Amazing Places in England

References

  1. ^ cost an average of around $1,700 each (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ 18 inches tall and weighs 1.5 pounds (www.pravdareport.com)
  3. ^ lifted onto a stretcher and carried away (www.standard.co.uk)
  4. ^ 1,600 soldiers and 300 horses (royalcentral.co.uk)
  5. ^ a formal review called Trooping the Colour (www.trooping-the-colour.co.uk)
  6. ^ London Zoo Lion Licks Chops at Sight of Queen (weather.com)

Consequences of Scutari for British Army Music 1857 – 1867 …

A ruse in the French Manner

A ch teau overlooking La Loire, with a shy, yet spirited, young woman looking at her wine, clear and garnet, against the white Chantilly lace of her long sleeve, was a day s sail away. I was voyaging back from war on the SS Great Britain. She was wondering if the Bordeaux classifications of 1855 would make her wine taste inferior this vintage. It was terroir surely that made a wine special and the sunny south facing hills behind Ch teau du Lude, with its earth made courser by the local peasantry, were perfect for pinot noir? I was to learn, later, when I visited Kneller Hall for the second time on 5th January 1857, and met this young lady again, that pinot noir actually tasted better if from further east towards Burgundy and wine classifications, particularly those of Bordeaux, were a ruse in the French manner. Her hair slightly curled in the brunette of her timidity; it seemed to sit too self consciously so, for someone of her evidently gentle nature. Nevertheless she had a habit of sitting back, involuntarily looking up; then twirling and pulling down the ends, sometimes unfortunately split, to try and straighten them. She would lift her small pointed nose whenever a stranger approached, more unconsciously so if he had the style of a gentleman. This posture accentuated a forward movement within her blouse somewhat more noticeable by the tight gathering of the lace into her waist, which was so slim she matched stunningly the opaline hour glass on the provincial sideboard of the ante room to the ch teau. Premier Cru Sup rieur surely applied to the lineage of her mother. An unworldly woman was Marie Beatrice; she had woven many a tortured thread, mainly in her diary, but none was to prove more contradictory than her marriage to Marie Florence s father. He had always eschewed romantic matrices as they confounded him absolutely. Their young daughter berated him once, just the once: But Papa surely books are about heroines; how they think and feel about what is happening to them and a hero; to all those they meet rich or poor? Her words had been met with a confused grimace; she had somehow disrespected him. She would never, in honour of his reputation as a writer, repeat those words. He had been influential in founding the cole Musique de la Garde Nationale. He had proposed the formation of a corps of musicians, and was put in charge, although he never had been a musician. The music itself was of minor importance, as he would postulate. A music director could organise the la-di-da, what would be essential would be the effect on prestige, morale, oh of course the splendour of war, Napol on and the greater glory of the Republic. Yet he had seduced Marie Florence s mother.

He later fell victim to the Code Napol on and left under circumstances often talked about at Kneller Hall to this day but not really understood. He spent the rest of his days writing political treaties in Algeria as a gentleman of indeterminate means not unsubstantial. No one actually read any of his writings; they lined coffee tables for show in places where fine dining was evident. His wife and children stayed at Le Lude as he could not entertain bringing them; his son visited him often, however, some said more for financial reasons than affection. Marie Beatrice blamed her son Louis Phillipe for Marie Florence s lack of inclination to be an obliging daughter. He had telegraphed from Scutari that the SS Great Britain would bring him home with the Fifty Seventh and he: the only true Zouave on board! Napol on the Third still flush from his coup d tat of 1851 had insisted that the Duke should have one of his officers liaise their joint manoeuvres and Louis was chosen for lack of loyalty in that; he actually seemed to relish speaking the English language. Damn! Mess him with the Fifty Seventh and keep him out of my sight, thundered the Duke when the poor officer turned up at Headquarters. I, as his Aide de Camp, understood his intent that French troops should only have second place in the order of battle; any glory was to be his not some republican s. We were besieging the Tsar after all. Louis Phillipe was a victim of the ambition of the Emperor the Third to restore the former grandeur brought to France by Emperor the First. He was even more unpopular after the French expedition against the Russian forces still in Dobruja: utter failure. But what really vexed Headquarters, in this time of disease and hardship for the soldiery, were regimental bands. Musicians at that time were enlisted soldiers, had been since at least 1751. But there had appeared not a single bandmaster anywhere on the Peninsular. Find out where Heinrich Schellenbaum is, the Duke ordered his Aide de Camp, and ask him why.

At least fate took me back to the Seventeenth encamped in a rather foggy spot, like the left bank of the Garonne in October. It was good to be with the Regiment again, in spite of the proximity to Sevastopol. Something about life at Headquarters irked, even if it was stationed in a grand place. Robust and ruddy faced personalities, dining finely, were all very well but the strutting was unpalatable. And the decisions made arrogantly devoted to personal ambition and social advancement rather than compliance to the principle and any logic for war. Nevertheless Armyrats © military music would prosper under these conditions. As aristocratic patronage of composers and musicians declined in the Nineteenth Century, regiments interloped. The Seventeenth noted for, inter alia, the panache, engaged musicians, nominally as troopers, officers paying, very much so for a bandmaster, in particular. A Bandmaster took care of everything, at a price. Prussian background worth paying extra for: Armyrats © military certainly but perhaps rather stolid musically. Life within the family of a regiment was very, some would say too much so, comfortable, especially for Lancer, my horse. Headquarters ranked with hypocrisy, it put him off his nosebag. At least with the Seventeenth an officer did not need to be the most senior to have an opinion about breeding horses to charge with the lance. Indeed discussion was encouraged provided that the Colonel s mount was not present. But then a horse was either that of an officer in the Seventeenth or not. Marie Florence s father used to say: Let musicians and their music praise the Messiah fortissimo; Saint Martin is to whom soldiers should turn but only sotto voce, and don t let your horse know anything of it. But then her father was the son of a shoemaker, born in Bordeaux, who went to Paris, as an accountant, tradesmen both. During the French Revolution, he joined the Garde Nationale, and it amazed all, when they found out later, that the Conservatoire de Paris was cobbled together from his Algerian treaties. Florence, as she liked to be called, Marie in front of one s name made it sound so saintly; did not argue with her father on that point; not quite as vehemently as she did so when the subject of montant en amazone cropped up. Why her mother, noblebly born, married him, she did not know, but times had been hard at Ch teau Du Lude especially after the failure of the Vend e uprising, and her father did have those ruggedly handsome looks of the Bordelais. But Headquarters, after hours of deliberation and agreeing not to disagree with the Duke, decreed that too little use was being made of bands within the Division.

I had been against interfering. Heinrich Schellenbaum had always been faithful to the interests of the Regiment. His best trumpeter rode constantly with his Lordship, god forbid he would ever sound a charge in the wrong direction down these treacherous valleys hereabout; Russian cannons, with their unorthodox canons on the use of artillery, lurked everywhere. Then there was Nuri, recruited near Pruth, who played the tulum so sweetly that it made the Second in Command weep into his Sauternes making it just too delicious. Only the Cornet Assistant Surgeon knew for sure, after examination, that she was in fact a gypsy s daughter who could also play the violin, very fetching in lancer uniform. That was Schellenbaum: conducting, recruiting, training, arranging, composition? You name it Colonel Sir! He was paid to scour schools, poor houses, gypsy camps, for the younger the better, so that the band could be shaped to be the most renown, so agreed the Second in Command who no one wanted to upset as he levied our mess subscriptions for the band. In fact Herr Bandmeister was in Vienna working on incidental music to Romulus, at the Burgtheater, and being paid handsomely for it. Bandmasters seemed to work for no particular monarchy, republic, army, corps or regiment. Cavalry occasionally, infantry hardly, but not exclusively. Why compromise musical ability, prodigious talent by squandering an opportunity for fame elsewhere? But it has to be said some regiments of the British Army paid extremely well. Order him back; do bandmasters think they know how Armyrats © military music should be arranged? The Duke was even more flushed after luncheon than usual. Louis tried to say that it was in the nature of people of artistic temperament to need nurturing rather than instructing as one would do a reluctant child. I wondered if bandmasters were actually governable; I had seen Heinrich commit many a violation of decency. Some bandmasters of the time seemed to want to serve none except their own vanity. Looking out of the port hole of Cabin 17 on the Salon Deck of the SS Great Britain, I brooded through the fog; could not see the Atlantic coast of France, just the memory of charging down that valley devoid of trees, and in a forlorn hopeless charge, towards the Russian cannon. Lancer had charged unflinchingly straight, well trained, then re-formed the other side with the Thirteenth. We looked for Edward Louis (Nolan) but he was no where in our line of sight. Not sure if my poor horse would ever be the same on a gallop again. His eyes retain that uncertain look, much remarked upon from his portrait hanging in the Museum of British Army Music.

I held William Brittain s trumpet in my chapped hand, all shot through but still recognisable as an instrument, albeit more of historical value than true. I made as if to blow a note but staves of fallen comrades appeared trapped in the sea mist in front of me as if held in time r p titeur. I have never been able to clearly recall what exactly happened on the 25th of October 1854. To Lancer and I the cannon certainly did not seem to be in the mode of retreat. I turned my thoughts, to stop brooding, to the two Companies of the Fifty Seventh that had been disembarked to change route, via Aden, for Calcutta. There had been a mutiny of Sepoys in Bengal. My travel companion, the Major, now snoring in the lower berth, had recently embarked from Scutari. He was sandy haired of that sunset at the Leptis Magna s ruins against the Sahara that I remembered so well visiting with my father when I was seven. The Cornet Assistant Surgeon had sworn that the cholera had gone and would not infect Cabin 17 as it had not done his. But just in case the officer of the Fifty Seventh had not been fit to disembark, certainly not for India. Nuri, who now assisted the Cornet in the ship s surgeon s bay had shown Henry the cutting from the Times: William Howard Russell reports that even amidst the carnage and cholera of the Crimea officers and men would wonder from their camps to listen to the wonderful band of the Seventeenth in particular. They had first met the Major John then. So of course he should mess with me in the cabin of the Seventeenth, and it should be an honour. For him, or me, I remained unsure. John had been sick for nearly a year, he tried to write when lucid but he did not want to demean the art of penmanship which he had always much admired from his younger days, enthused by his tutor Hardcastle. He wanted desperately to write about the nurse with a candle who had cast her light over him in the hospital, from time to time, particularly, or so it seemed to him, when his morale hit the darkest deeps. Perhaps she was just an apparition of one of the saints? (They had teased him, from when he arrived at the depot in Middlesex, for his Roman Catholicism, but then if it was not for that the Fifty Seventh, Anglican, would have chosen to banter about something else, his moustache perhaps, which was the colour of the ginger Cookie used to add to puddings back home at Rathrobin).

Me for dinner, I thought, and put down the trumpet. Schellenbaum was bound to be foraging. He had introduced K mmel last night, a ghastly drink found on his last recruiting for bandsmen tour. Nuri said her father had traded it for Schnapps and a few violin bows of the baroque kind. Some present were not certain whether it was Nuri s shaping or the effect of the general musicality and conviviality of the on board soiree which had made John blub enough to compete with the vibrato of Brunel s new propeller invention steam stuttering. Oh well the SS Great Britain was due to dock at Lorient in the morning for repairs to the propeller, mechanical thing, bound to fail unlike a horse . Would we ever get to Bristol and then onwards to Cork? A troop ship is a Armyrats © military prison, but this steamship, magnificent in its steel and innovative design, was somehow less so. Mostly the company was entertaining, excepting beery Heinrichs becoming boorish. Nevertheless there had been talk, mainly by gypsies in Steerage Class, of lions being bred at Dublin Zoo. Now that the war with the Tzar was over, and trouble was brewing in Belfast, there might be further duties for the Seventeenth to perform? No such luck, news came through that the whole regiment were to India, except me, a mere Biddulph, heading for Horse Guards. But first Louis Phillipe had invited us: Cornet Assistant Surgeon, Nuri, the Major and blast it Schellenbaum to Le Lude for some leave. The harvest was finished and wine-making begun; was it terroir or perhaps the grape that mattered? When we got there Marie Beatrice greeted us with a flirtatious: Of course you all know Prince William Frederick Charles George, the Second Duke of Cambridge ? I raised my battle-hardened riding crop to my weather beaten tschapka, Sir, the initials he carried after his illustrious name of the Privy Council of Ireland stuck in my mind at the time for no reason that I can think of now.

Kneller Hall

It was that balmy Sunday of May 1855 and the warm breeze carried the acrid scent of foreboding, carried from a spray of horseshoe vetch bordering on the chalky grasslands. Adonis blue butterflies abounded. An estate worker grumbled to himself as he slammed the oak door shut and withdrew the giant key from the rusting lever tumbler lock. What will become of this forsaken hall? he whispered to no one and then crossed himself before trudging up the path, overgrown with the failure of the liberal evangelism of the past few years, to Whitton Church, for Mass. There had been the Grand Review at Scutari, in the Crimea: C est magnifique, mais ce n est pas la musique! exclaimed our Louise Phillipe in exasperation. What the devil do you mean Sir? thundered the Duke.

It was his cousin s birthday and he had wanted to impress the Allies with the pageantry of his troops with the massed bands of his Division. Well . the unfortunate officer began in that dandified English foreigners sometimes use: The massed bands are very smart, naturally, but your national anthem? Are not your cavalry playing a different arrangement than that of the guards, and the highlanders? And I suggest not even in the same key? It s a cacophony! The Duke brooded and muttered a thousand incomprehensible oaths right up to the glorious fourth of June. Shouting, often in German, about bandmasters not bothering to come to the Crimea with their musicians, damn and blast to them all, along with finding fault with liaison officers of every persuasion. His cousin would probably not have been amused with this blimpish behaviour, but what was certain: There would be consequences for Army music said no one back to the estate worker back home in a little hamlet called Whitton in the Queen s County of Middlesex near where they played Rugby School football at Twickenham. On 24th September 1856; an officer was on an errand for the general commanding-in-chief of the British Army. I had reached the Sixth Crossing at Hampton around noon. A gentleman approached on the best turned out mare I had seen this side of Horse Guards. I hailed him, with a quick tap to my tschapka: Biddulph, Seventeenth Lancers. He raised his bowler: Starling, Esquire only you understand, but Runnymede House. Whitton Hall? I ventured, pulling Lancer up short. Well, indeed, no, goodness me, you mean Kneller Hall. There was something whimsical, musical certainly, obvious in the manner with which he addressed me. Would this Kneller Hall be near Cavalry Barracks at Hounslow? He chuckled and began to trot out a lecture on some portrait painter called Gottfried Kniller, born 1646, after having exclaimed rather boastfully: Follow me; I used to arrange music for the ears of the officers of the Coldstream Guards! Nearing St Margaret s, I almost regretted not having paid more attention to the art master at school, but art lessons were always after fives at Eton, if at all. This was going to be a long journey through paintings, architecture, and, by the chirpy sounds of my new guide, British Armyrats © military music. I dared not interrupt nevertheless. The Duke would have my kidneys for high tea. My errand was on a project closer to his heart, or so I was to discover later, than his resistance, to making promotions based on merit, rather than an officer s social standing, which was just too simply ghastly to even seriously contemplate. We passed a railway station, which Starling told me had been built in 1848, and were approaching that northern part of Twickenham where the local folk grow their cabbages along the banks of the river Crane.

We were at walking pace and Starling was preparing me for my first glimpse of Kneller Hall and the story that was to come. Lancer became restless, it was as if we had come all this way, and knowing him as my best friend, looking forward to a gallop towards russian cannon, only to walk march slowly back in time to 1709. We paused at a lodge, the gate opened to a vista of laurustinus along an avenue. The Indian summer sunlight was broken into shards by the plane trees, which resembled those other languid gentlemen cadets I remembered lining the drive of the Royal Armyrats © Military College looking for inspiration (unlikely). I caught a reflection from a brass plate set into a white corner stone of quite, well by some standards, a substantial building, behind a copse, as we reached the end of the gravel drive. This painter fellow might have been a man of some means? The brick of the building, which had come into view was that hue of blood only produced by the sweat and tears of immigrant masons. I was about to comment but Starling seemed to read the intrigue in my mind. The building was remodelled in 1848, some Irish labourers were enticed from the Great Western Railway whilst building the sidings at Twickenham . Nevertheless as we approached, the morning sun reflected back on me, as if accusingly, from three stories of lead lined windows. I had to pull the visor on my tschapka down as the kaleidoscope of breezy brown autumn colours juxtaposed with those off the important wintry looking brass in the corner stone. It was as if all the Kneller Hall ghosts of the past were looking out, just at me: some seemed dazzlingly friendly, some perhaps not so much, maybe angry?

The architect of the building we see today was George Mair and John Kelk was the builder Sir John Kelk? I interjected, rather cleverly I thought, having read a newspaper recently. Indeed, now look at Kneller s coat of arms high up there between the twin towers . Starling told me that by 1709, having established himself in court as a painter of bespoke portraits by appointment to royalty, not he, goodness me, he Starling was not that old, although to hear the stylized way he spoke, one could have been forgiven for thinking so. Kneller had begun to feel that he needed a proper place to call his house, hang up his coat of arms, so to speak, now that he was rapidly gaining favour at Court. Proper is not a word that means anything very significant to those whose native tongue is not English, but most, even if not from these parts, have a grasp of what it means to own something to really call a proper hall. What he, in essence, wanted was somewhere grand to set up shop and paint, get a few pupils in so he could just concentrate on painting the faces and hands, entertain patrons, please the wife, and all that. Now it happened that he had become good friends with Sir Christopher Wren. Starling inferred to me, as an aside, that the latter persuaded Godfrey, the name Gottfried had gone by this time, to demolish the old house completely, not really hall material according to the famous architect, and build a new stylish nine-bay building from scratch. Nine bay buildings were all the rage then. He also advised his friend to anglicize his name from Kniller to Kneller, a name more acceptable in Court and certainly to those who spoke the soft Saxon dialect of this part of Middlesex, to spare offence. Godfrey, before his marriage, had enjoyed a liaison with a certain German lady who ran a fashionable coffee shop in Mayfair, which produced a daughter. Frau Voss thus became his mistress, and, Starling was not sure how he fixed it, their daughter, Agnes, came to live with his dear wife Susannah at Kneller Hall until the Fr ulein married a Mr Huckle. Their son Godfrey Kneller Huckle became the heir. The heir was never to live in Middlesex, however, having married the heiress to not just a mere nine bays of a building but a fully stabled estate in Hampshire.

Why does this place still have the smell of so much poverty and sin? Once again the perceptive and most unassuming Starling seemed to catch my unspoken thoughts. It became a training college for young men who would go on to teach pauper and criminal children. Pestalozzi was a Romantic who felt that education must be radically personal, appealing to each learner s intuition. Trying to influence with his theories on the physical in education; he developed a regimen of physical exercise and outdoor activity linked to general, moral, and intellectual education that reflected his ideal of harmony and human autonomy. I swear Starling had not paused for more than two beats between each sentence and intake of breath. In any event I had hoped that this Pestalozzi would have some of the good old baroque in him. Pestalozzi, evidently, did espouse liberal evangelism, but died in 1827, the Duke might possible wish to know why that was relevant? It seems that Fredrick Temple, as Principal, appointed in 1850, gave senior students free rein to run the place. They bullied and made miserable the juniors. One of the enlightened things members of the junior class had to do was run to Whitton Church, with a parchment signed by a member of the senior class, and take a brass rubbing of St Philip. Running back they then had to take a rubbing of Temple s brass plate in the corner stone. Then they ran back again to the Church for one of St James. It went on until the senior class decided that the juniors had benefited sufficiently from all this pointless exertion. On the playing fields they played Rugby School football. William Gilbert had just sold Temple his innovative pig s bladder ball at a discount. The size of the ball varied and was dependant on the inflation of its pig s bladder. It often fell to the youngest of the junior class to use his lung power alone, applied to the smelly green state innards, until the senior class were happy with the plum, but more often in preference for more accurate passing, oval, shape of the ball, depending whether one was with the scrum or the backs. Some poor juniors never knew which they were supposed to be: trampled in the mud with traces of blood, probably theirs, for most of the one-sided games. The level of remuneration in workhouse schools was so appalling that few would wish to devote their careers to such a profession. There was room for one hundred students but numbers barely reached enough to play a decent game of rugby. In its heyday of April 1852 the School numbered just forty six students. I knocked and entered, the Duke was in an uncharacteristically fine temper. I looked out over the parade and the falling leaves from the London plane trees in the park reminded me of yesterday and my visit to Kneller Hall. The late sun glinted off the helmet of a life guard. I hoped Lancer was alright, I did not like the look of that trooper in the stable. After an hour I closed the door behind me on the way out to the echo of: Good boy, let s see if we can have all that done today, shall we, and please summon Henrich Schellenbaum.

Did he just call you boy, have some K mmel? smirked Bertrand, Grenadiers. We had no lunch, and only a very late bite of supper, minus claret, that fine day at Horse Guards. The Duke wanted us to write to all the fine regiments of the Army to suggest the establishment of what we decided to call, after many a draft and screwed up parchment, a Armyrats © military music class. We emphasized that we wanted to relieve regiments of the great expense of employing those charlatans as bandmasters. We calculated that a preliminary outlay of five hundred pounds would be necessary for the supply of musical instruments and a further one thousand pounds per annum to maintain the class, including the salary of a director, necessary professors, copying and arranging music, repair of instruments and other incidental expenses. We worked out that there were twenty regiments of cavalry and one hundred and twelve battalions of infantry. What about the artillery? asked my second cousin Bertrand. They have an orchestra, not a band, I countered; and please don t mention sappers, Armyrats © military train and colonial regiments. So if every regiment would pay an original subscription of five pounds and eight per annum for the fund, that would be ample provision for all expenses. We will probably get twopence halfpenny, from the other assorted yeomanry. The next step was to purchase Kneller Hall, which still retained a certain magic in spite of the many broken dreams and promises of the past. Money from the Department proved to be no object. I was right the Royal Armyrats © Military Asylum did have designs on the property, as the Duke had anticipated, and I had to write a careful letter 4th November 1856, trying not to tread on anyone s toes, good job Bertrand was not penning it. I enquired of the Secretary of State for War, who had purchased the estate from Privy Council for Education, whether temporary, or other, accommodation was available in the West Wing. This would be for about fifty men and boys for the purpose teaching music pending their transfer to the Royal Armyrats © Military College where no accommodation was currently available, and which might become a suitable location in future, should it please the Secretary of State. On 4th December 1856 Bertrand issue a circular, he could do those, to commanding officers announcing approval for the setting up of a Armyrats © military music class, effective date 1st January 1857, and inviting applicants for vetting.

On 5th January 1857 Fredrick Temple handed over the rusty key of immigrant hue to Henrich Schellenbaum who promptly requested the estate worker to change it and get a more secure mechanism. As you wish your Excellency! I smiled at the way the latter crossed himself, three times no less, all the while chanting pray for us sinners in russian: what would become of this forsaken hall now that it had pretensions to be the saviour of musicians? The Duke had got his design which had prayed on his mind since Scutari; a music school which he could command and have all the bands of the Army, not just the Seventeenth, at his disposal. He could dictate the future of Armyrats © military music to his liking. There would be some very fine wining and dining indeed, accompanied by Armyrats © military band, yes strings, perhaps some brass, but not too much, wind, of course, that should impress society, sinfonietta that s it. He had better hide Nuri though; no matter how good her tulum or violin, he would appoint the Cornet Assistant Surgeon as doctor of the establishment. Her Majesty had an eye for uniforms and would notice a lancer s shaping which might not be quite as sharp as the rest of the band. I was startled accidentally pulling Lancer up short behind Schellenbaum s brand new carriage. He had been recruiting again, in France I believed. Two men were in the back with a lady. She straightened herself in the leather seat and started on shaping her brunette curls, dressed in the latest style of the Zouave jacket trimmed with Chantilly. Schellenbaum, a carriage, the very latest, and now Director of Music of an establishment, what a magnificent building, beats the cole Musique de la Garde Nationale in Paris, so it does. His German ancestor the portrait painter of Isaac Newton in 1689 would have been proud. A few days before Godfrey Kneller died, Alexander Pope had visited him. By God, I will not be buried in Westminster said the painter. The poet had asked him where he should be laid to rest. Wherever I drop; very likely in Twickenham . He had died in his London house, but his body was taken down and laid to rest within the grounds of his country home as per his wishes, somewhere around here I would wager. I offered my hand, with a polite bow, to help the pretty Zouave descend from the running step, as if she were the Venus from the Seashell off the coast of Cyprus.

Come on Mr Biddulph let s find the bones of Kniller, please do unhand the Commandant s fianc e, Sir he said inappropriately. Poor Lancer; I had leapt off him without a care in the world, so entranced, without even waiting for the stable orderly to gather him. He took off down the gravel of horseshoe vetch bordering; I was too distracted to wonder if I would ever see him again. Conveyanced in that heart breaking carriage I had failed to notice The Major General. John must have cheated me when we were on leave at Ch teau Du Lude. There would be consequences but no one at Kneller Hall foresaw these yet.

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