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World War One centenary: 'Viral hit' Pack Up Your Troubles re-launched as video

The Harlequinaders Image copyright Aubrey Powell
Image caption Felix Powell (left) and brother George (far right) wrote the song

A marching song which became an iconic hit during World War One is being re-launched as a video to mark the centenary of the conflict.

Military charity SSAFA recorded Pack Up Your Troubles after being given the go-ahead by Aubrey Powell, grandson of the co-composer George Powell.

Mr Powell said the song had been hailed as "the viral hit of World War One".

The video features members of Military Wives choirs, veterans and serving personnel.

Those who have benefited from the support of the charity, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, will also feature, along with famous faces such as TV presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, and gardener and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh.

The song, which was penned by brothers and music hall stars George and Felix Powell, has been translated into around a dozen languages, including German. It continues to earn royalties to this day.

'Enduring popularity'

Aubrey Powell said: "I was delighted to help give SSAFA the opportunity to create a new recording of the song, which has been hailed by many as the viral hit of World War One.

"Pack Up Your Troubles became one of the defining songs of the 20th Century and it's great to be part of its resurgence 100 years on.

"The support SSAFA continues to offer to those who are serving, and those who have served, as well as their families, is as vital today as it was back then, so I'm glad they will benefit from the song's enduring popularity."

Image copyright Aubrey Powell
Image caption The song continues to earn royalties to this day

Kirsty Bushell, vice national chair of the charity, said: "We were thrilled when Aubrey gave us his blessing to record the song for the centenary.

"It's been a great way to bring everyone together - those we've supported through difficult times, and those who support us in providing that help.

"The words of this incredibly famous song remind us of how resilient people are, and that even in the darkest of times we still find the ability to 'smile, smile, smile'.

"We hope this film will help people to do just that."

Veteran singer Dame Vera Lynn, known as the Forces' Sweetheart, said: "Pack Up Your Troubles is such an optimistic song, and you can easily see why it helped keep up morale among the forces, as well as on the home front.

"I think its message is just as relevant now as it was 100 years ago."

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