Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Norman Peterkin

Letter No.: 
VWL1659
May 1 [1942]

The White Gates,
Dorking.

Dear Mr Peterkin

The history of the “Hymn for Airmen” is as follows - Lord Lytton, through Sir Hugh Allen, asked me to make a setting of the words, & I accordingly did so.1
I wrote yesterday to Lord Lytton saying that I had sent you the setting & that if you accepted it you would write to him for leave to print the words & wd send him the necessary proofs before publication.

His address is
The Right Hon the Earl of Lytton
The Manor House
Knebworth

Yours sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams


1.  The second Earl of Lytton (1876-1947). The Airmen’s Hymn, Catalogue of Works 1942/3, was originally intended for a service at Westminster Abbey on 3 July.  However on 21 May Humphrey Milford wrote to Peterkin to say that the Abbey had rejected the hymn on the grounds that they would need to include a navy and army hymn as well.  Sir Hugh Allen (Heather Professor of Music at Oxford) who had asked VW to make the setting on behalf of Lord Lytton, was extremely angry and was attempting to arrange a service at St Paul’s as which the hymn could be performed.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 1176
General notes: 

lTo OUP - Norman Peterkin

Format: 
Letter
Original database number: 
420501