The following list contains the full forces for which the piece is scored. However, the composer makes it clear that there is a degree of flexibility permissible in order to facilitate smaller performances. For instance, a smaller chorus and smaller orchestra can be used. Church performances are possible with just organ accompaniment. A condensed version of the score is available for this. The additional fanfare groups can be accomodated by the orchestra if unavailable.
- 3(pic,pic).2+ca.2+bcl.2+cbn/4.3.3+btbn.1/timp.3perc.cel.2hp.org/184.108.40.206.4 offstage fanfare players: 9trp.3tbn/7perc
- Small chorus of boys (8) and youths (8), SATB (at least 100, 100, 80, 80)
- Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, 4 Violins
- 1 hr 29 min
Foulds wrote the work between 1919 and 1921, and conceived it as a memorial to the dead of all nations in the wake of the First World War. The text (in English), assembled by his wife Maud MacCarthy, to whom the score is dedicated, is not liturgical, though it uses sections of the Requiem Mass plus several other Biblical passages as well as excerpts from John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, a poem by the Hindu poet Kabir and a few passages she wrote herself. There are 20 movements arranged in two parts of 10 movements each, though some movements are quite brief.
It was premiered under the auspices of the Royal British Legion on Armistice Night, 11 November 1923 in the Royal Albert Hall by up to 1,250 instrumentalists and singers.