Sam Sweeney's Fiddle: Made in the Great War



In 2009 Sam Sweeney, fiddle player with superstar folk ensemble Bellowhead, bought a violin in Oxford. It had all the appearance of a new instrument but the label inside gave the date 1915 and the name Richard S Howard. Research revealed that the violin had been made - but never finished - by a luthier and some-time music hall performer. He had been conscripted in 1915 at the age of 35 and two years later was killed during the battle of Messines Ridge. His violin had been left unfinished in his workshop. The pieces were given to his daughter as a memory of her father. Discovery of the history behind the fiddle has inspired Sam to create a multi-media performance telling the incredible story of the fiddle, to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. Collaborating with award-winning story-teller Hugh Lupton, fellow Bellowhead band mate Paul Sartin and acclaimed concertina player Rob Harbron, Made in the Great War, will bring the reality of World War I into 2014, as Sam performs the show with the actual fiddle.