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Violin belonging to Grantham flying ace to be played at St Wulfram's RAF100 finale

An iconic violin belonging to WWl flying ace Captain Albert Ball will be played at this Friday's RAF100 Concert at St Wulfram’s Church in Grantham.

Albert Ball’s great niece Vanda Day has lent the restored violin to the Band of the Royal Air Force College for the finale to this summer’s RAF 100 events.

SAC Shane Underwood will play the violin at tonight’s commemorative concert as part of a 617 Squadron Past and Present concert medley linking past and present.

Until last weekend, when the violin was played in Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall Armistice Centenary Concert by Braimah Kanneh-Mason, it had remained untouched since Albert Ball died in battle over France in 1917.

Fighter pilot Albert Ball, who studied at Grantham’s King’s School, played it for squadron colleagues and on his allotment in Northern France to escape from the horrors of airborne warfare.

The violin is one of the precious artefacts in Vanda’s collection, with others on show at Grantham Museum.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to think that it will be heard again in Grantham, just a stone’s throw from where Albert attended the King’s School.”

SAC Underwood, normally a bassoon player, received the violin from Vanda at a concert rehearsal last Tuesday.

He said:”It’s an absolute privilege to be given the opportunity to play such a special instrument, if a little scary.”

The 7.30pm concert, organised by South Kesteven District Council, combines the Band of the Royal Air Force College and the Cranwell Military Wives Choir.

Proceeds will go to the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Association.

For tickets, go to www.guildhallartscentre.com or ring the Box Office on 01476 406158.

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