[Sheet music] In Flanders Fields

Accession Number RC10961
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 476
Collection type Published Collection
Measurement Overall - closed: 31.2 cm x 24.7 cm
Object type Sheet Music
Maker Wells, J Deane
McCrae, John Alexander
Date made 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 song titled 'In Flanders Fields', with music written by J Deane Wells set to the poem written by Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae at Ypres. This copy of the music was published by the Frederick Harris company, London, and features a colour image of five Flanders poppies on the front cover.

Inside the front cover are the lyrics typed in full. These have been written from the perspective of the soldiers who fell during the First World War and talk about the birds and poppies that grow in the cemetery where they are buried with a request that others take up their 'quarrel with the foe'.

The back cover features a song with lyrics and music composed by Captain Charles Ferguson Nash Leahy who served with the Royal Engineers during the First World War titled 'Mourn not for those (a message to mothers)' which was published in 1914. F G Cooper, Commander, RNR, requested that the above song be played at Armistice Day concerts.

McCrae, a Canadian medical officer, stated in a letter to Sir Andrew Macphail that he wrote the poem to pass time between the arrival of wounded soldiers, and to experiment with different poetic metres. In 1917 J Deane Wells, an Australian living in Vancouver, set the poem to music, and the song soon became a local favourite.

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].