The poetry of a north-east soldier will be set to music by a celebrated composer to mark the centenary of the World War I Armistice.
Charles Hamilton Sorley, who was born in Aberdeen in 1895 and was shot in the head by a sniper during the Battle of Loos in 1915, penned a great deal of poems during his time fighting in The Great War.
Collections of his poetry published posthumously received critical acclaim.
And now Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan will use the horrific depictions of war featured in Sorley’s writings in a new composition, which will be premiered in October ahead of the armistice commemorations in November.
Sir James said: “Years ago I was given a book of poems of World War I, edited by Martin Stephen, and I immediately turned to the ones by Owen, Sassoon and Graves. However, I was also directed towards a beautiful poem, All the Hills And Vales Along by Charles Hamilton Sorley and I made a mental note of this at the time.
“I returned to it years later, along with others by him in the book, which are now set in the now oratorio.”
The new composition will feature settings from five of Sorley’s most famous poems, including his final poem When You See Millions Of The Mouthless Dead, which was discovered in his kit bag following his death in October 1915 at just 20 years old.
Its official premier will take place during the Cumnock Tryst music festival, which will be held in Cumnock from October 4 to 7.