Paris-Manchester 1918
Conservatoires in time of war

Two photographs of Maurice Ravel as a Soldier

Exempted from military service in 1895 on grounds of “frailness”,[1] Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) was not called up during the general mobilisation. He made considerable efforts to be accepted into the Air Force, but was finally sent as a military truck driver to the 13th Artillery Regiment (he nicknamed his truck Adélaïde) in the Verdun sector in March 1916. The two photographs shown here probably date from the start of 1916, just before he left for the front. Probably suffering from dysentery followed by peritonitis, Ravel underwent an operation on 1 October 1916, before being declared unfit for service on 1 June 1917.

[1]Service record for Maurice Ravel, Paris, Municipal Archives D4R1 870, registration No.3851.

Roland-Manuel (ca. 1916) Maurice Ravel as a soldier, at the House of Madame Dreyfus, his marraine de guerre [wartime female pen-pal], Bibliothèque nationale de France, Music Department, Est. Ravel M. 012 [on line].
Document description: positive print, 18×13 cm.
Catalogue: http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb39620272g

Anonymous (1916) Maurice Ravel as a Soldier, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Music Department, Est. Ravel M. 012 bis [on line].
Document description: positive print, 9×6,5 cm.
Catalogue: http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb39625215v

Bibliographie

Calza, Renato (1998) ‘Ravel e la Grande Guerra: Trois chansons pour chœur (1914-1915) – Mon ami z-il est à la guerre (… moi, je reste ici, hélas !) ‘, Musica e Storia, No. 6/2, p. 421-461.

Manat Marcel, 1986 : Maurice Ravel, Paris : Fayard.