A Tribute to Salvation Army Musicians, Music and Composers

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Hugh Saunders' Castaway Tracks

Hugh's Comment
A little about me: This is not an autobiography - more like a testimony. I was born in Paddington, London. My parents were in Service, my dad being a chauffeur. Shortly after I was born we upsticks and moved to a country house. Life was good. Then the war came and everything changed. We lost our home when Dad rejoined the army. He had been a hero in the WW1 earning the MC and Croix de Guerre. We were evicted and went to live in a little cottage in Salisbury near to where Dad served in the army. For some obscure reason my Dad suddenly was Court Martialled and went to prison. Just then my mum had twins. We had no income nor money. Life became quite terrible.

Somebody took in my elder brother and looked after him whilst Mum was in hospital and I was left to myself. It was always thought that I would be able to look after myself. And I did, except that I obviously wasn't very good at washing myself because each day when I went to school a lady would dash out of her house and drag me into her kitchen where she would put my hands into a bowl of water and then continue to wash my face and neck and then turn me out onto the street. That lady was a Salvationist as was her husband. Her husband was a builder and took me under his wing and we used to go to his allotment by the river. We would "dig for victory" as they used to say. We would repair the river bank, pile driving and so on. He taught me Trigonometry and Geometry.

When I was 14 I joined the Royal Corps of Signals and served at Catterick camp - a hell hole. Then I served for 70 days in Egypt - that was enough. I then went to Ankara Turkey where I taught the Turkish Army Signal Corps. After that it was back to Catterick Camp and an instructor.

I left the army in 1956, married and started a new life. I had many different jobs but finally entered the Computer profession as a Hardware Tech. I worked in Switzerland, Germany, Malaysia, Hong Kong and many places for short stays in SEA. I retired in 1990 and tried to keep a low profile, but I do sometimes find myself helping people over electronic in general problems.

I started going to the Salvation Army church one day after we heard the band playing in the Centre of Reading. My wife just stood there enjoying the music and a lovely lady invited her to church the next day. That was about 12 years ago. And that's most of my story. We have been going ever since. We do have some special friends there.

1 Vocal - I Know A Fount - Mrs Commandant Ward, Soprano, with violin, 'cello & organ accompaniment - MF216
I first heard "I Know a Fount" sung by our Songsters about 12 years ago when I first started to attend church at the Salvation Army in Reading, Berkshire. I just loved it then but they haven't sung it lately. I'd love to have that with me.

2 Vocal Selection - Christmas Hymns - Part 1 (a) While Shepherds Watched, (b) Christians Awake - Southall Singers with Band of the Supplies Dept. - MF213

3 Selection - Christmas Carols Pt 1; (a) First Nowell, (b) As with Gladness - Wood Green Songsters with Supplies Dept. Band - MF220
Christmas Hymns and Carols. It doesn't matter when in the year, I always love to hear them. In Reading the Salvation Army put on a Carol Concert in the towns theatre. I am quite deaf now and that no longer appeals to me because of my deafness.

4 Song - Christ is All in All - Mrs Adjutant J. Coulter - Soprano with string sextet - MF237

5 Vocal - Oh! What a Wonderful Day! - Assurance Songsters accompanied by organ accompaniment - MF261

6 Vocal Solo - Oh, It Was Wonderful Love - Doris Coles - MF276

7 Vocal - Tell Me The Story of Jesus - Croydon Songsters - MF305
Christ is All, Oh What a Wonderful Day, Oh it was Wonderful Love & Tell me the Story of Jesus. I have heard them before and would love to have them with me on the Island. I think that lady has a lovely voice.

8 Vocal - The Old Rugged Cross - Hanwell Songsters - MF336
This has always been my favourite. I couldn't not take that with me.