THE SONGS of the First World War are making a Malvern-based singing group very popular indeed with one gig after another lining up.

Around twenty five people signed up for the duration after choirmaster William Coleman, of Redland Road, appealed in the Malvern Gazette for people keen to learn and perform the smash hits of the trenches.

The first performance of "The Trench Choir" will be this Sunday, August 17, in the Gloucester Arms pub, Malvern Link, and other forthcoming performances will take place at the Kidderminster Arts Festival, on August 23, and the Ann Cam School, Dymock, on October 4, at 2pm.

This event has been organised by the Friends of the Dymock Poets group.

The Dymock Poets were a group of writers who, as individuals, either lived or visited the Dymock area, shortly before the outbreak of the First World War.

The Trench Choir is rehearsing at the Great Malvern Hotel, and there will be a "Christmas in the Trenches" performance there, during the festive season.

Mr Coleman said: "We will also learn some of the German carols for this, to bring another dimension for it all."

Before then, the choir will perform at several Remembrance and Armistice Day events, in November.

The choir is by no means an all-male affair. Lady members are busy rehearsing the songs of the suffragettes which, like the popular songs of the trenches, had a wide following in their day.

Mr Coleman said new voices will always be welcome.

Anyone wishing to sign up should email him on