Sunday, 8 September 2013

Voices from the Vale

There was recently an article in the Daily Fail about an archive of sound recordings held in the British Library made by German researchers of British POWs whilst they were in captivity in prisoner of war camps.

Pleasingly it has one recording
of a man from the Vale of the White Horse - it is of a Charles Hall from Shrivenham (Born 1882) and recorded on the 5th September 1916. He is reading the Parable of the Prodigal Son (taken from Luke chapter XV, verse 11-32). We can assume he could read and he is probably using his best 'reading' voice and day-to-day he would have spoken less formally- but there are lovely moments when he colloquialises (is that a word?) the text- I particularly like the point at 0:16s in when he says 'young'un' and then corrects himself.

Hopefully if I can find the time, I'd like to find out what happened to Mr Hall after the war was over (assuming he survived the camp).



Tonight we feel the muffled peal
Hang on the village like a pall;
It overwhelms the towering elms -
That death-reminding dying fall
The very sky no longer high
Comes down with the reach of all.
Imprisoned in a cage of sound
Even the trivial seems profound

John Betjeman