Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
Battle of the best of British at Blenheim Palace Saturday event
Buy this photo The British and French forces in the thick of battle
RECORD crowds saw Napoleonic infantry skirmish and a Spitfire flypast as the Battle Proms marked its tenth anniversary at Blenheim Palace on Saturday.
A 6,600-strong crowd watched the New English Orchestra play military-inspired pieces to mark the First World War’s centenary and next year’s bi-centenary of the Battle of Waterloo.
The open-air concert was joined by 193 cannon, 150 Napoleonic Association re-enactors and 12 cavalrymen in Great War regalia from the living history group Crown and Empire.
It was the second year spectator Olwen Goss, of Wantage, had visited the event at the palace grounds in Woodstock.
- Olwen Goss shows her enthusiasm
She said: “Jerusalem was my favourite.
“That was on towards the end but it was very British and very patriotic.
“Towards the end we came down to watch the amazing performances and fireworks.
“There were troops firing their muskets, which were really spectacular, and it was a really good atmosphere.”
The five-hour concert began with the three-piece vintage singers the Rockabellas.
Then the orchestras’ two-hour performance opened with the flypast to a rendition of Gustav Holst’s Jupiter before Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
The concert is named after Beethoven’s Battle Symphony – also known as Wellington’s Victory.
Concert organiser Adam Slough said: “It’s our biggest crowd yet at Battle Proms and also the most exciting.
“The infantry, cavalry were superb and the Spitfire gave a great panoramic display.”
The concert finished with a firework display over the palace grounds in Woodstock.
Mr Slough said: “We go completely to town with it.
“It is the proms for the patriotic and a quintessentially British summer event.”
The Battle Proms raise money for veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress.
This year it has raised £22,000, taking the total amount raised to £166,250 in eight years.
Mr Slough added: “There are lots of military charities but this one feels like one that’s overlooked because it’s mental rather than physical health.
“But we think it’s a very worthwhile case and we are proud to be their supporters.”
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories
9:12pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014
THREE people were arrested after a brawl on Cowley Road.
5:40pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014
A vigil has now started for an Oxford Brookes Gaza Scholar in intensive care after losing five members of his family in an Israeli bombardment.
5:00pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014
IN 1965, when the Beatles released their album Help!, residents in Towersey realised their village hall was in desperate need of repair.
Listen: Fiaz Munshi guilty of manslaughter over Magdalen Road arson as police apologise for blunder + Audio
2:52pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014
FIAZ MUNSHI has been found guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of murder over the deaths of two children in an arson attack in East Oxford in 1997.
9:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014
MORE than 300 friends and relatives turned out yesterday to pay their final respects to Witney schoolgirl Liberty Baker.
8:30am Tuesday 22nd July 2014
HIDDEN under the sand for centuries, this little statue will come face-to-face with thousands of visitors in Oxford.