Harry Patch died in July 2009 aged one hundred and eleven. The last British survivor of the Western Front, he said in his memoirs he thought "We'll All Come Up From Somerset" was written as a recruiting song for the Somerset Light Infantry; at the outbreak of the war, people were walking around Combe Down where he was born singing this and other patriotic songs.
This is not quite true, the words were written by West Country lawyer - and extremely prolific lyricist - Fred Wetherly. Wetherly was born in 1848, and in 1851 as little more than a babe in arms he was taken to the Great Exhibition in London's Hyde Park; it was this which inspired the song, and contributed to the West Country's wurzel
image. The music was composed by Wilfred Sanderson. The melody lends itself to parody, and with the words slightly altered, it was at one time used by the Coates Cider Company for a TV advertisement.
Alexander Baron - London, England