[Sheet music] I hear you calling me

Accession Number RCDIG0001308
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 305
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type Item
Item count 1
Object type Sheet Music
Physical description 6 Image/s captured
Maker Marshall, Charles
Hartford, Harold
Place made United Kingdom
Date made 8 November 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Attached digital images are protected by copyright and are provided here for research and study purposes. For further use, please contact the Memorial.

The music for this particular piece was written years before the lyrics were added by Harold Lake, a journalist who used the pen name of Harold Harford. The story behind the lyrics as given by Lake is: ‘A 16 year old pupil teacher at an elementary school in Canterbury met a girl nearly a year his junior. Then followed three years of utter devotion as only the very young can know, then a fortnight of galloping consumption, and a lad of 19 standing on a November day grave.’

The song was published in 1908 with several editions appearing in different keys. This handwritten copy of the song in C Major was just one of these different versions. Lyrics from this song also appeared on a series of postcards published in 1915.

The song was copied out by hand with reference to a printed version of the song at AIF Headquarters, Tidworth, on 8 November 1917. This was done as a gift for Sergeant Frederick Reginald Hedges by Corporal John Aitken Ballantyne.

According to a letter that Hedges wrote at the time the music was donated, the story behind the music is described as:
'... in 1917, Cpl J Ballantyne who copied the song for me as a gift did not know a note of music and so it was copied note for note, the music lines of the stave being done by hand also on a parchment paper, it is a work of art, the front and back covers being splendidly worked, the music itself cannot be distinguished from a printed copy….'