[Sheet music] When the Great Red Dawn is Shining

Accession Number RC10581
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 96
Collection type Published Collection
Measurement Overall - closed: 34.5 cm x 25.9 cm
Object type Sheet Music
Maker Sharpe, Evelyn
Lockton, Edward
Date made c 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Attached digital images, content and recording are protected by copyright. It is reproduced here for research and study only. If you wish to use or quote from this recording and images, please contact the Memorial’s Research Centre via info@awm.gov.au or 02 6243 4315.

Sheet music for the ballad titled 'When the Great Red Dawn is Shining' composed by British composer Evelyn Sharpe with lyrics by Edward Lockton. The music was published in 1917 by Chappell & Co Limited, Melbourne. The lyrics of this song talk about returning to a loved one after being separated by distance and the dawning of the day when they will see each other again.

The front cover features information about the song and its publication, without any illustrations. The reverse cover features a list of songs published by Chappell & Co music publishers which are available for purchase. Some of these titles, such as 'The Bandolero', 'Little Grey Home in the West', and 'Over There' were very popular songs during the First World War period.

Evelyn Sharpe composed songs and piano pieces for children, orchestral pieces, church music, vocal music, and drawing-room ballads. The song'When the great red dawn is shining' falls into the drawing-room category and was one of her most popular works. Other popular songs that she composed included 'Hambledon Lock', 'Where the Milestone End' and 'Go down to Kew in Lilac Time'.

Edward Frederick Lockton was an American lyricist and composer, amongst other occupations, who also published works under the pseudonym Edward Teschmacher. Some of the works that he wrote or contributed to included 'Because', 'Where my caravan has rested', 'Your heart will call me home' and 'I'll walk beside you'.

Towards the bottom of this page is a sound recording of this sheet music, or a parody, that was created as part of the Music and the First World War project. More information about this recording, including names of the performers, can be found on the catalogue record for the sound recording. A link to the catalogue record for the sound recording can be found at the bottom of this page, under the heading ‘Related objects’ where it can be identified with the prefix [sound recording].

History / Summary

This song was performed by Australian soldiers on active service during the First World War. This was particularly the case during voyages home to Australia at the end of the war. The first of these performances was given by 7242 Leslie Fisher who served with the 1st Battalion. Fisher performed 'When the great red dawn is shining' at the final performance of the Ragged Set Perriot Troupe held aboard HMAT Boorara at 7.30pm on Monday 18 August 1919. The song was also performed by 1752 William Goodfellow at the second performance at sea of the Napierrots Concert Party on 7 June 1919. Another performance of the song occured at the Belgian village of Passchendale on 25 June 1920 where it was performed by Corporal Hubbard.

This song was also popular in Australia towards the end of the First World War. The The first mention of the song in Australian newspapers appeared in connection to advertisements for the sheet music. This occurred on 25 November 1918 in the Zeehan and Dundas Herald, Tasmania, when it appeared in an advertisement for the music store Louis Issell in Queenstown. This advertisement appeared several times before the song was also advertised as available from Sandringham Music & Electric Supply Store on 6 December 1918. Other advertisements for the music followed. The first public performance of this song in Australia appears to have been by Miss Bond at a concert at Greenbushes, Tasmania during at the end of November 1918. The concert was held for the Patriotic Fund with 12 pounds raised.

The sentiments of this song leant itself to being suitable for welcome home receptions for soldiers and nurses returning home after the First World War and it was extremely popular at these events. The Narracoote Returned Soldiers’ Welcome Home Committee, South Australia, organised a reception for soldiers and nurses who returned home to the district after the First World War. The Narracoote Band played during the evening with the song ‘When the great red dawn is shining’ performed by Mr Hector Rule. His performance was described as being conducted ‘with much taste and expression’. The song was also performed by Miss Nettie Leyshon at a reception organised by the Returned Soldiers’ Reception Committee at Charters Towers, Queensland, on 28 March 1919. Another welcome home reception where this song featured was that of Private Alan Southam who returned to Tilba Tilba, New South Wales, to a reception held in the Temperance Hall on 15 April 1919. The song was performed by Mrs Hogan during the musical program presented at the event. Another welcome home reception was tendered for six locals from the Tilba district as well as Sister Pearl Corkhill who had served as a nurse during the First World War on 30 May 1919. This song was again performed by Mrs Hogan.

The song continued to be popular well into 1920 when it was featured in professional productions. One of the shows it featured in was the revue titled ‘Do it now’. This appeared at the Victoria Theatre, Newcastle, in February 1919 where it was performed by Miss Essie Jennings.