Friday 11 November 2016

Commemorating Albert Midgley

The RCM Library is displaying a small exhibition to commemorate RCM alumnus Albert Midgley, who died in World War One.

Albert Midgley was an organ scholar at the RCM in the early years of the 20th century, studying with Sir Walter Parratt.  Active as an organist in Perth, Scotland before he came to the College, he then worked in various churches in London before joining the army and sadly losing his life in 1918. 

Albert Midgley


The exhibition has been curated by RCM Librarian Sarah Batchelor in collaboration with Perth Academy, Midgley’s former school. Sarah says  ‘Some years ago we were given a collection of papers, reports and letters relating to the college career of Albert Midgley, which prompted me to research his early life in Scotland through newspaper cuttings and information provided by his old school.  Sadly he is one of many examples of a gifted musical child winning a scholarship to the RCM, doing very well during his time at the College and embarking on a promising musical career, but then making the ultimate sacrifice in the service of his country.’

Albert Midgley is named on the Royal College of Music’s War Memorial along with 37 other RCM students and staff who lost their lives in the First World War, and 21 who died in the Second. Every year on Armistice Day RCM students and staff gather at the memorial to hear these names read out and to observe a two-minute silence.

More information about the stories behind the names on our War Memorial and the RCM’s contribution to the First World War can be heard in this BBC Radio 3 interview with Librarian Peter Linnitt.

The exhibition can be viewed in the RCM Library’s Donaldson Room throughout November 2016.

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