THE TRENCHES of the Somme and a good sing-song may not be immediately connected in the mind.

But a Malvern man is looking for people of all abilities to join him in a musical journey back in time to World War One, and the highlight will be a concert in the autumn.

William Coleman, of Redland Road is calling for people to sign up to learn the songs that soldiers in the trenches would have known and enjoyed.

Mr Coleman, a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, said: "The well-loved songs like 'It's a long way to Tipperary' and 'Pack up your troubles in your own kit bag' are just the tip of the iceberg.

"The beauty of it is that one needs absolutely no experience of singing to join in, although it is useful if you do. What matters is a willingness to learn the songs and enter the spirit of it for a concert of First World War poetry and music on October 4 at 2pm,- one that is being organised by the Friends of the Dymock Poets."

He added: " Many of the tunes are still well known, as they tend to come from hymns and music hall songs, but with some very inventive and pithy words coming from the experience of war."

This year is an important centenary date for the Dymock Poets because the outbreak of the Great War dissolved the band of writers and poets that had gathered in the Dymock area, for a brief golden age under the Gloucestershire sun.

Members of the group who were to die during the conflict included Edward Thomas and Rupert Brooke, best known for his war sonnets.

Mr Coleman hopes to start rehearsing on July 14, and anyone wishing to enlist should email him on