Even in wartime music had an important part to play in military life. During the Second World War military bands, both those supported centrally by the War Office and those funded regimentally, were used to raise morale amongst both troops and the wider civilian population. Live music was a popular pastime for many and famously even the National Gallery was used to give lunch time concerts for workers.
A popular output for music were competitons between different bands and musicians, competing for prestige and perhaps a small prize whilst also entertaining the public who then as now enjoyed watching leasure activities with a competitive element. An obvious prize for a music competition was, of course, a book of music that a musician could then get use from and tonight we are looking at a book of cornet music presented as a prize:
This music was presented in a faux leather case:
It is this case and more specifically the writing in the bottom right corner that make it of interest to us:
From this we can see it was presented in 1942 at a Forces Musical festival, sponsored by the News Chronicle and presented to an F Bower who I suspect was a conductor as he seems to have been involved with both the York and Lancaster Regiment and the No9 Auxilliary Territorial Service Training Corps Choir.
The music itself is perhaps stock left over from before the war as the quality of the paper and printing is excellent. The book opens with an impressive frontispiece:
This is followed by a couple of pages explaining this method of cornet playing:
Before moving onto the music itself:
This was presumably a quite impressive prize, and I doubt it was cheap when new, a fitting reward for entertaining so many civilians and servicemen in wartime.