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The Shirley Band Continues Remembrance Tradition

November 2018

William Henry Hodesdon, (right) founder of The Shirley Band, playing the Last Post in the 1920s at the Shirley War Memorial at St James Church in Shirley.

Shirley will fall silent on Sunday to the sound of the Last Post as it has done since the 1920s when The Shirley Band founder was photographed doing just that.

William Henry Hodesdon was a gardener in Shirley and despite being 49 years old, he signed up to fight in the First World War in 1916, serving in France with the Royal Engineers. Two of his sons were already fighting overseas.

On his return in January 1919, William formed a brass band in Shirley with his sons and a handful of friends. Over the years the band went on to be known as Shirley Brass Band and Shirley Silver Band but are now known as The Shirley Band and will be celebrating their centenary in 2019.

Since the War Memorial in the churchyard of St James Church in Shirley was unveiled, the band have played for the Remembrance services and still do to this day and they will be playing again on Sunday for the Centenary of the end of the First World War.