04 March 2014

Alec and banjo to appear on 'Antiques Roadshow', 6 Apr. 2014

Alec Somerville with the English-made banjo at the Canadian War Museum, 17 Dec. 2013 (photo: Ashley Fraser of the Ottawa Citizen)

On 6 January 2014 the BIB published news of old-time singer and clawhammer-banjo player Alec Somerville, now resident in Donegal, and the 5-string banjo that he had located in England and donated to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

The Museum put the banjo on display on 27 January, the sole example in its collection of a musical instrument that belonged to a soldier. On the inside of the original skin head are the names of twenty-eight men who had clearly been members of the Canadian armed forces on the Western Front, at the time of some of the heaviest fighting of the first world war. Further research is in progress.

Alec and the banjo were also filmed for a special edition of BBC TV's 'Antiques Roadshow', which - we're delighted to report - will be shown a month from now, on Sunday 6 April. The story is also expected to be featured soon in Banjo NewsLetter.

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At 9:09 pm, Blogger Kate Smith said...

Hi, a bit of a shot in the dark, but My Great Grandad and one of my Great Uncles fought in WW1 in the CEF. Do you happen to have a list of the names featured on the Banjo? Thanks

At 10:32 pm, Blogger Richard Hawkins said...

Hi, Kate,

Yes - as mentioned at the end of the BIB post of 6 Jan., you can see a list of the names in a photograph, published in the Ottawa Citizen of 17 Dec. 2013. Use the link on the BIB post; the photo is at the end of the newspaper article.

BIB editor


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