A family heirloom: Bugle from 1916 finds home in N.L. musician's collection

·2 min read
Jeremy Eaton/CBC
Jeremy Eaton/CBC

Music teacher and musician Adam Baxter owns a unique family heirloom steeped in historical significance — a bugle originally owned by his great-grandfather and used during the First World War.

"I'm awestruck over this instrument to be completely honest," Baxter told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show on Wednesday.

"This is an actual piece of equipment that was used at Vimy Ridge. It's in hard shape, but it's pretty cool."

Baxter, who lives in Lewisporte, said his great-grandfather, Edward Frederick Crumb, enlisted in the Canadian armed forces in June 1916 as part of the 202nd Battalion in Edmonton, Alta. Baxter's great-great-grandfather, Edward's father, enlisted at the same time.

Crumb became the bugler for the 202nd, said Baxter, relaying messages to comrades on the battlefield through bugle calls which have now become synonymous with trumpets during Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Last Post

The antique bugle from generations past found its way to Baxter naturally. He said it was an instrument he was drawn to early on as a child while visiting his grandmother for holidays.

Last year the horn made its way into Baxter's possession once more — a Christmas gift from his mother who knew of his appreciation for the piece. The trained trumpeter added it to his collection of instruments.

Francesca Swann/CBC
Francesca Swann/CBC

On Wednesday morning Baxter took up a familiar place, playing the Last Post in a ceremony for Remembrance Day, but this time it had added meaning - he used his great-grandfather's trumpet

"I think I get more out of it when I'm looking at it and reflecting, because when I'm playing I'm like practicing to get it to do the job at hand," he said.

"I just really want to nail it, as good as I can, so that people can kind of connect with it. ... I'm just going to kind of shut my heart and my brain off, get in full musician mode, I'm going to play it as best as I can and whatever emotions come afterward bring them on."

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