World War One bugle last played by a fallen Marsden Soldier in the Battle of the Somme sounds again nearly 12,000 miles away

The great, great, great niece of Duke of Yorkshire Regiment member Harry Beardsall struck the right chords at a performanc in Nelson, New Zealand

Helen Beardsall, left, and daughter Charlotte Osmaston with a family heirloom, a bugle from the first world war.

It was last heard at one of World War One’s bloodiest battles.

But now an Army bugle has been heard again almost 12,000 miles away in New Zealand.

The great, great, great niece of Marsden-born Harry Beardsall, Charlotte Osmaston, struck the right notes in honour of the soldier, who tragically lost his life during the Battle of the Somme when he was only 22.

She created a moving tribute to the former drummer, who belonged to the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, after his instrument was specially transported to allow her to perform the commemorative military tune, The Last Post, at her school assembly at Nelson College for Girls.

It is 98 years since the bugle, which was made in London in 1906, sounded its last chord when Harry used it to lead his comrades onto the battlefield on July 4 1916, shortly before he died.

The instrument’s extraordinary 11565 mile journey saw it travel to the city following a family request by 15-year-old musician Charlotte’s mum, Helen Beardsall, who grew up in Huddersfield before emigrating.

The bugle had been in the care of staff at Halifax’s Bankfield Museum, where it had been on display for 19 years since it was donated by Harry’s great nephew, Ian Beardsall, of St Annes Avenue in Ainley Top.

It was one of the items transported back to them by the regiment after his death and had been passed down the family for generations.

Ian, 78, who is Helen’s dad and Charlotte’s granddad, said: “Charlotte played the Last Post on trumpet in the Anzac commemorative assembly at her school last year so we thought that this year it would be really nice if this year she could use Harry’s bugle to perform it.

Helen Beardsall's family heirloom, a World War One bugle.
 

“We were unsure if we would be able to send it over there because it’s now the property of the regiment at the museum so were really thrilled that they agreed.

“Charlotte was very proud to have been chosen for the role and the addition of the bugle made it even more poignant.”

His great, great uncle Harry was a signalman and was enlisted into the regiment with his older brother, Tom, where he used his talent to rally troops both to the mess and to send them out of the trenches.

He said: “Tom, worked at an oil extraction plant in a woollen mill and had been due to be his best man at his wedding after the war.

“A shell exploded close to them on the field but whilst Tom managed to escaped with shrapnel injuries Harry’s body was never found and he was commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.”

The bugle will return to the museum after its grand tour next month, where it will again go on display to the public.

Bankfield Museum, which has a collection of military memorabilia, is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

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