Welcome to WarComposers.co.uk, a site dedicated to retelling the stories of the generation of classical composers who fought in World War I.

We quite rightly hear a lot about the ‘war poets’ of World War I, but less well known are the war composers. Almost a whole generation of young composers volunteered to fight in the Great War, many whom did not survive or were permanently affected by that conflict.

George Butterworth's The Lads in Their Hundreds (British Library)

The site launched in August 2013 and aims to present a unified resource of biographies and related materials about the composers who fought in World War 1.

What's new?

As of February 2018, the latest addition to the site is a new edition of Ernest Farrar's part-song "Margaritae Sorori" of 1916. This is one of a growing collection of short works by WW1 Composers available on the site. Another recent addition is George Butterworth's obscure choral setting of a folk song "We Get Up in the Morn" he collected with Ralph Vaughan Williams near Diss, Norfolk in 1911.

The latest article is about Maurice Ravel's various attempts to join the French military and his experience as an army driver during the Battle of Verdun.

Also new is a biography about Herbert Matheson, an organist and composer of parlour songs. He composed a large number of such pieces, including many patriotic songs during World War 1. He was killed at the Western Front in the final year of the War.

The War Composers blog features notes and queries on a few WWI composers about whom details are obscure, as well as a look at WWII composers.