IVOR Gurney was a Gloucestershire composer and poet of much promise.

His music and his writings captured the true essence of our county, whether it be the Forest of Dean, The River Severn or the high Cotswolds.

The Tenebrae singers, backed by the Aurora Orchestra have released a record A Walk With Ivor Gurney dominated by his music.

Its sorrowful beauty clearly shows what might have been had his talent been allowed to develop.

Read Gurney’s poems and you will feel the same.

He describes our county as “Set for men’s joy, town, rower trees, river under a royal azure sky for ever”.

Gurney loved the Severn, the cathedral and high hills and their beauty and freshness bursts from his work.

Coming from Newnham on Severn he could daily observe the whole Gloucestershire scene, and his pre-war work shows how he rejoiced in it.

This is what war can mean.

The Battle of Hastings was a tough fight, but it was over in a day.

Of course there were personal and family tragedies but the area of the battle was limited and the conflict brief.

A month ago we were in a country still bearing the effects of a war that ended forty five years ago.

It brought new, terrible words to our consciousness.

Remember Napalm and Agent Orange?

The results of those two weapons are still present in Vietnam.

When it comes to military conflict we live in a terrible time.

Switch on TV to watch the news and on too many occasions there are awful examples of this.

This weekend we shall remember those who have given their lives in war and it is right we do this, but there is something else we can do.

Think beyond memory and consider another word.

It has just five letters, but means so much.

That word is of course peace. Is it that difficult to attain?

Can we not enjoy forest, vale and high blue hill in a war free world?