the last post

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bodge
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the last post

Post by bodge » Mon May 06, 2019 2:35 pm

*The Last Post *

I suppose some of you are familiar with this story – for those who aren’t….perhaps it may add an extra and special dimension to this familiar tune.

If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which The Last Post was played, this brings out a new meaning of it.

Here is something everyone should know. Until I read this, I didn't know.

We have all heard the haunting song,

'The Last Post.'

It's the song that gives us the lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes.

But, do you know the story behind the song?

If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble Beginnings.

Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the American Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in

Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.

During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention.

Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, The Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him towards his encampment.

When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead..

The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier...

It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out.

Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status.

His request was only partially granted.

The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.

The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.

But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician. The Captain chose a bugler.

He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.

This wish was granted.

The haunting melody, we now know as 'The Last Post' used at military funerals was born.

The words are:

Day is done.

Gone the sun.

From the lakes

From the hills.

From the sky.

All is well.

Safely rest.

God is nigh.



Fading light.

Dims the sight.

And a star.

Gems the sky.

Gleaming bright.

From afar.

Drawing nigh.

Falls the night...



Thanks and praise.

For our days.

Neath the sun

Neath the stars.

Neath the sky

As we go.

This we know.

God is nigh.



I too have felt the chills while listening to 'The Last Post'



But I have never seen all the words to the song until now.

I didn't even know there was more than one verse. I also never knew the story behind the song and I didn't know if

You had either so I thought I'd pass it along.

I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before.



Remember Those Lost and Harmed While Serving Their Country.



*Also Remember Those Who Have Served And Returned; And for those presently serving in the Armed Forces.*

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Re: the last post

Post by Arnie » Tue May 07, 2019 6:42 am

Bodge, heard the story before and it is a very poignant one. There is however some controversy about it being found in the dead soldiers pocket. Might add that as far as I know its only the Yanks who are debating its origins. Still a very moving piece.

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Re: the last post

Post by PINKY » Tue May 07, 2019 3:02 pm

Thanks for sharing.

Pinky

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Re: the last post

Post by mick burgess » Sat May 11, 2019 10:33 pm

Hi Bodge and guys,
Yes I too have heard this Last Post story and as we all know when and where ever we are wether its played on a trumpet or bugle it makes ones heart tingle and memory reflect on mates we have lost over the years.
Take care health and happiness for the future.
Mick

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Re: the last post

Post by mick burgess » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:56 pm

Hi Guys
Just been forwarded an alternative view regard its authenticity so here it is make of it as you wish
Have a great summer old friends and keep posting,
Mick

The Last Post



I regret being the one who has to challenge the validity of this story.


The bugle call that originated in 1862, during the American Civil War, was a replacement for what was known at the time as “Extinguish Lights”, and later became known as “Taps”.

It is generally accepted that this change was introduced by Brig Gen Daniel Butterfield, who at the time commanded The Union Army of the Potomac. He instructed his bugler, Oliver Wilcox Norton, to play this reworked bugle call, replacing the original, which he disliked, at lights out.

Buglers from other units heard the 24 note tune, and it very quickly spread throughout the Union Forces. Amazingly

It was taken up by Confederate Troops, who could hear the emotional melody from their own lines. “Taps”, as we now know it differs from our own “Last Post”, both in musical notes and length.



The Last Post played by British Army buglers and Cavalry trumpeters, was first used by British troops serving in The Netherlands in the 1790’s. It was thought to have been derived from a Dutch bugle call, Taptoesignal.



All bugle calls in almost all armies worldwide, were used to signal a particular time of day,before the advent of timepieces.

The Last Post signifies the end of the day. It is also sounded at military funerals and commemorative services and Remembrance Day to indicate that the soldier has gone to their final resting place.



Sorry, theres always one clever Dick , or Harry, who spoils a good story. Whats more, there’s no real evidence to prove that the musical notes for “Taps” were found in the pocket of a dead Confederate soldier.



Regardless of what the history of The Last Post is, it will always make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, as I remember with pride and humility the many friends and comrades who we have laid to rest to it’s haunting tune.

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Re: the last post

Post by PINKY » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:17 pm

The plot thickens......

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