In the August 2014 issue, The Strad reports on how string players in the trenches of the First World War kept up their playing by creating makeshift instruments. Made from packing crates or cases for gas masks and ammunition, the instruments were often described as 'friends' and 'comrades' in their owners' letters. In 2011, the instrument made for French cellist Maurice Maréchal was reconstructed; it is now performed regularly in concert by Emmanuelle Bertrand.

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