Tour of Holland 1947 - Part 4

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A high spot of the campaign was the visit to the prison at Leeuwarden. Between seven and eight hundred prisoners, forty of whom are undergoing life imprisonment, were seated on the square in the centre of the prison, and the band marched in to the vociferous applause of the men. The festival, which lasted an hour and a half, was of the highest order. After the short message of Major Baker, which went right to the hearts of the men, the governor thanked the visitors for the blessing and cheer brought to the prisoners. He assured the bandsmen that their playing, as well as their spirit, had amazed him, and that they had never had such a wonderful morning.

A prisoner then came forward and in excellent English assured the Bandmaster and his men of the prisoners' gratitude.

When you will have left this place we shall talk together about your splendid music and all we have heard today. Personally, I must say that the message which has come to us has never before been understood by me so clearly. I thank you and shall think it over. May God bless you.

Band at Osterbeek

A note on the door of the corps hall announced that every ticket for the night festival was sold. Thus the hall at Leeuwarden was crowded for another first class programme. Among the one thousand two hundred present were nearly six hundred members of non-Salvationist bands and choirs, many visiting the Army for the first time.

At the town hail an official reception took place, and the bandsmen admired the old paintings and fine gobelin tapestry.

The next night the band was at Arnhem, in the overcrowded Klarendalsche Kapel. This building was far too small for the purpose, but one thousand two hundred people were present. It was too warm and too close for the band, but the men surprised the crowd by the quality of their playing.

Wreath laying ceremony

On Thursday morning the bandsmen visited the battlefields of Arnhem and Oosterbeek, where so many Britishers lost their lives. In the cemetery for British airborne troops the band played a hymn tune and Bandmaster Mountain laid a wreath during a short rememberance service. All present were moved deeply.

On the same night, after a march with The Hague I Band, a festival took place in the Juliana Church at The Hague. More than one thousand eight hundred peoole enjoyed the very good programme. The playing of the selection, Stand by the Flag, on behalf of The Hague I Corps, which lost its building by fire a few months ago, was received enthusiastically and a collection was given to help the rebuilding fund.

The march, The Glory of the Combat, selection, The Man of Sorrows, The Unfinished Symphony (first movement), and the air varie Stand Like the Brave, the cornet solo Tucker, the cornet trio The Heralds and the trombone solo Over Jordan, were the numbers in this festival.

Major Van Dalen writing in The Musician, 1947