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The Banks of Green Willow – a tribute to Daisy Caroline Dakin and the Demonstration Team

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March 19, 2016 by tommy

‘I feel quite fit and in condition now and am making myself still more so by teaching and doing a sword dance! It is great fun and the lads in my platoon are wonderfully quick at picking it up and seem to enjoy it a good deal.’
So wrote Reginald Tiddy to his Dad from Salisbury Plain a few weeks before he went to France in June 1916. He was killed in action on August 10th, the last of the four members of the first  ‘Demonstration Team’ and founder members of the EFDS.
‘I read the awful news of poor Tiddy’s death.  Now that he, Butterworth, Lucas and Wilkinson have gone I seem to have lost all my pillars.’ CJ Sharp.
EFDS demonstration team longsword 2

EFDS longsword demonstration (EFDSS)

Joe Dunn has written to the SDU asking for some help in supporting and promoting a project to commemorate the centenary fo the Battle of the Somme. In 1916, four of Cecil Sharp’s demonstration team died within weeks of each other on the Somme. This project aims to celebrate the lives of these men and their contribution to the development of English folk dance.

The Banks of Green Willow also aims to pay tribute to women like Daisy Caroline Dakin (Daking) who did gallant work in the rehabilitation of British and Commonwealth soldiers through music and dance. Dakin also popularised folk dancing the UK and as a result it attained mass credibility. Folkinmotion will also be recruiting wheelchair veterans from recent conflicts to further commemorate the work of Dakin.
EFDS demonstration team longsword

EFDS longsword demonstration (EFDSS)

Fools Gambit Morris are developing a 45 minute performance using the music, songs and dances of the period as well as arranging their own material. A longsword dance will be included and the UK performance dates are as follows;

Sheffield Launch – Saturday June 4th, location TBC
Tiddy Hall, Ascott-under-Wychwood – Saturday Aug 6th at 7.30pm.
This is prior to the departure on Mon Aug 8th of a party of 44 from the village who will be at Mr Tiddy’s graveside on the 10th, the 100th anniversary of his death.
Cecil Sharp House – Sunday November 20th. Members of the project will be joined by Folkinmotion, a group of wheelchair users who perform Wolk, Playford and other dances, and seek to involve wheelchair users in folk and dance, showing the world that it is for everyone.
The project will be representing the EFDSS in France and will be laying ‘6 sword locks’ at the following sites;
British Military Cemetery, Laventie – RJE Tiddy’s graveside, Thursday July 21st, 16.30pm
International Memorial, Notre Dame de Lorette – Friday July 22nd, the only place where all four men are listed
Butterworth Farm, Butterworth Trench and No-Man’s Land, Pozieres – Saturday July 23rd
Son et Lumiere, Pozieres – evening performance
CWGC commemoration, Thiepval memorial – Sunday July 24th, 12:00pm
Les Galets – Afternoon performance in memory of GJ Wilkinson
Mametz and Hidden Wood – Monday July 25th, in memory of PD Lucas
For more information about the Banks of Green Willow project and how you can support it can be found on the Fools Gambit website.

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