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The oldest brass band in the Milton Keynes area


Wolverton is twinned with Ploegsteert, a small town in the French-speaking part of Belgium and very close to the border with France.

In the First World War, a young Wolverton lad - Albert Edward Mortlock French - lied about his age and joined the army to fight for his country.

Albert was born on 22 June 1899 and was an apprentice fitter at Wolverton Railway Works. He was just 16 years old when he signed up for the King's Royal Rifle Corps. Along with many others, he was sent to France for training and he was later posted to Ploegstreet in Belgium. 

Albert was killed in action on 15 June 1916 while part of a working party sandbagging a trench, which was attacked by enemy machine-gun fire. It was a week before his seventeenth birthday. Personal letters to Albert's father from his Captain and Padre tell of a fine young man who served with pride and was an asset to his regiment.

The letters were a chance discovery, in 1975, bundled among the belongings of his sister May after her death. The full transcripts of the letters can be found here.

Wolverton Town Council has an exchange programme with Ploegsteert and, each year, the two towns take turns to organise a twinning weekend of commemoration, fun and music playing. As part of this twinning, Wolverton Town Band is twinned with the Ploegstreet Harmonie Royale Band and the two bands play together during the twinning weekends.