Thursday, February 03, 2011

Trumpeter Landfrey

Perhaps it makes me unpatriotic or something, but I'd not ever heard of the fellow in the title of this post until a couple of nights ago when Mrs The Millbrooker and I were huddled around the wood burner listening to music on Spotify.

When we're using Spotify, we tend to explore around a bit and try to find music that we've not hard before but looks as if it might be interesting; a habit that led me from June Tabor and Maddy Prior recording as the Silly Sisters, via the Amazing Blondel, to a band of which I'd not heard at all - Pearls Before Swine and the album Balaklava.
Have patience, I am getting to the point of this story.

The first track on Balaklava is a very short recorded piece that has been considerably cleaned aurally and is a recording of Trumpeter Landfrey (a quick piece of research shows his name was mis-recorded and the "Trumpeter is actually called Martin Leonard Lanfried...[of] the 17th Lancers. He was wounded in the charge and his horse was killed."

"What 'charge'?" I hear you ask. The answer is, of course, the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Oh yes, there is in existence a recording made in August 1890 of a survivor of that famous military action...."Landfrey was a bugler in the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaklava, October 25, 1854, of the Crimean War. On this recording Landfrey plays a trumpet that was used at the Battle of Waterloo, June 18, 1815, of the Napoleonic Wars."

This recording, to use some hippy-dippy parlance, blew me away. Enjoy, this is the original (not aurally cleaned) version taken from a wax Edison cylinder.

Balaklava photo nicked from 
quotation from Damian Stockport on

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