Music filled the Davies home and later in life, Ivor recalled how sometimes, he would come home from school to find 10 or 20 miners, covered in coal dust in the front garden, being coached in singing, by his mother, Clara.
Clara set out to get a scholoship for her son to attend the prestigious Magdalen College School in Oxford, to study music. At college, he was often in trouble for writing songs while he should have been studying his lessons.At the age of 15, Dai Davies, wrote his first published song.
Dai Davies' beautiful voice led to him become head chorister at college but he was by no means a model student. He was caught having sexual encounters with other boys. Then at the age of 16, he was expelled from college.
Clara moved her family to London, with the intention of starting a musical career for her son. Young Dai Davies changed his name to the more romantic sounding Ivor Novello.
He began writing musical plays and songs for the theatre. His work was well received.
By 1914, Britain was at war and music became an important tool for morale boosting and also for the recruiting effort.
Clara encouraged Ivor to write a patriotic song but he was reluctant. Eventually, Clara decided that she would write a war time song herself and get it published.
She came up with a piece which she called Keep the Flag A-Flying. Her son thought it was so bad that he finally agreed to write a patriotic song himself.
Ivor Novello teamed up with American lyricist Lena Gilbert Ford and together, they created the song that became the most popular of the First World War. It was the only song that Lena had any success with. Sadly, she and her son Walter were killed when a German bomb destroyed their London home in 1918.
When Keep The Home Fires Burning was first published, it was called Til The Boys Come Home.
In 1915, the sheet music was re-issued with it's new name. Amercans took the song to their hearts and it's lyrics were printed on the front page of many US newspapers.
The most famous recording of Keep The Home Fires Burning was by Irish Tenor John McCormack, but it was a song that was easily remembered and soldiers sang it together in the trenches. At the same time, the families they had left behind, sang it at home by their fire-sides.
It's 100 years since Keep The Home Fires Burning was published and still, it stirs emotions and thoughts of that terrible war. The war they said would end all wars!
Ivor Novello made in excess of £15,000 from Keep The Home Fires Burning, which was an enormous amount of money back then.