Their souls obliterated by shells
floating like dust on the breeze, 
gently coming to rest on the mud 
later, returning as flowers

Frederick Septimus Kelly is one of Australia’s greatest sons. A century after his death on the last day of the first Battle of the Somme, the time has finally come for his music to be played again, for the notes to rise off the page, like ghosts taking form, and move towards us through time with arms outstretched, before finally embracing us, here, in the present. This is a gift to all who love beauty – the music of a deeply, sensitive soul, who was an Olympic Gold medal-winning athlete, Pablo Casals’ preferred pianist and a composer of real genius – Australia’s Vaughan Williams. It is time to finally hear his music and savour the sweetness of his flowers – for Australia to love its lovely boy.

Kelly as a young boy in uniform

The person who probably knew ‘Sep’ Kelly best was his brother Bertie, himself an amateur violinist who had studied...

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