Text below from Voices of Hope facebook page.
‘Kiss the Bairns’ composed by Jessica Curry commissioned for the Centenary of World War One by the Northern Regional Brass Band Trust and Durham County Council for ‘Durham Hymns’.
‘Kiss the Bairns’ is based on a letter written by Shildon born soldier Joseph Furness who joined the Durham Light Infantry in 1906. He served first with the 2nd Battalion but joined the 10th Battalion when war broke out, and was promoted to sergeant. He died in 1915 while on active duty.
Five months before his death, Joseph wrote a letter to his wife, Annie, which was to be delivered in the event of his death. “I am awfully sorry to leave you like this, Dearie, buried away in a foreign land. I am also sorry to be the means of causing you pain. The only request I have to make under the circumstances is that you don't grieve too much about me. And my last wish is that you marry again if you find anyone you think worthy of taking my place. You are still quite young and it would be a shame to spoil your life for a memory. You might kiss the bairns goodbye for me...”