For King And Country
is part of a larger work entitled "The Angel Of Mons" by composer Patrick Hawes
, dedicated to the memory of the British soldiers who, Hawes
believes, witnessed an 'angel' during a battle in World War One. This is the Vocal Score, arranged for SATB Chorus and Piano Accompaniment.
This piece, with a libretto by his brother Andrew Hawes, was premiered in the latter's own church on the centenary of the date the 'angel' sighting was said to have occurred.
The inspiration comes from a mythical story around the Battle of Mons during World War One, where a group of soldiers supposedly received divine help from 'angels'. The story arose from a fictional short story by a writer that came to be known as fact, despite the author's desperate please otherwise. The music itself is beautiful, perfectly capturing the crisis of conscience and cognitive dissonance that the soldiers must have experienced, being told that they were fighting for King and country, yet at the same time being terrified of their own lives.