A young man’s song for the UK’s servicemen and women has received a thumbs-up from the Duke of Edinburgh.
Student Christopher Bevan, from Otley, wrote Memories of You to highlight the efforts and sacrifices of the country’s armed forces.
The 20-year-old, who spent most of his childhood in care, was inspired to compose the piece after listening to a family member talking about his harrowing experiences in Afghanistan.
Now the song, which has been recorded by fellow former Prince Henry’s Grammar School pupil, soprano Lucy Watmough, with lyrics by Micki Stokoeis, is being sold online to raise money for Help for Heroes.
It was also due to receive its first live performance, sung by international mezzo soprano Juliette Pochin, at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Proms Concert in Plymouth last weekend.
Christopher already knows at least one member of the royal family is a fan.
He said: “We received a letter from Buckingham Palace saying that the Duke of Edinburgh had enjoyed listening to the song and wished us every success.
“We sent a copy to several members of the royal family because of their connection to the forces, and to receive something back was fantastic.
“I composed the piece to make the public aware that there are people willing to give their lives for something they believe in.
“Whether we think the war is right or wrong, these men and women do their duty and would take a bullet for any one of us, despite the fact they have never met us.
“My aunt’s partner told us how he once ran across the Afghan desert, with his best friend on his back after he lost both his legs. The friend died while he was being carried.
“He will live with this trauma for the rest of his life, yet he still has the courage to go about his everyday life, and he is just one of hundreds of people affected in this way.”
A psychology student at Plymouth University, Christopher’s love of music began when he was seven and, though composing is his chief passion, he is also a keen pianist.
Memories of You, produced by Kevin Peech at KPDigital, can be bought from iTunes, Amazon, HMV and other retailers, while the video can be viewed at youtube.com