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Blackstone Edge Studios Presents “I Vow To Thee My Country” in Images and Voice on YouTube

Orthochromatic negative produced on a glass plate c. 1972

While living in London in the early 70s, I was awoken on a misty morning in my small bedsit in Swiss Cottage by the sound of caissons rolling and hooves clippity clopping on the damp tarmac. For a moment, I thought I was living in the past when troopers regularly rode off to the front on chilly mornings in 1914, on the eve of World War I. In fact, I was working around London for some of the great photographers of the day. I’d just landed a job in an ad agency, but I wanted to do something a little different than photographing cat and dog meat for clients. I wanted to tell a whole story in photos, capturing the preparation for the celebration of the Queen’s Birthday on June 2, 1972.

Royal Horse Artillery Barracks in St. Johns Wood © Philip Clayton-Thompson 1972

I later immigrated to the United States, where I became one of the most prolific interior design photographers over the last 20 years. I had been storing these 8×10 B&W prints for the past 40 years, and when it came time for to me sing this anthem – “I Vow To Thee My Country” with music by Gustav Holst; poem by Cecil Spring-Rice – it called out to be illustrated by these images I took so long ago. Thus, it is with great pleasure that I share this historical moment through my photography and voice.

Marble Arch opened on June 2nd for the Queen's Birthday © Philip Clayton-Thompson 1972

A limited edition poster that includes most of these images is available through www.blackstoneedge.com/poster

Watch the YouTube Video to see all the vintage images, hear me sing this moving anthem and to view the poster. There is also a link available on www.blackstoneedgeband.com

1 comment

1 Kathia Emery { 10.12.11 at 9:54 pm }

Philip–I knew you could sing, but this really gave me goosebumps. Loved the anthem and the wonderful photos.

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