The Guards Division Corps of Drums Association
Updated 10th December 2007
CORPS OF DRUMS ASSOCIATION
As reported in the last Newsletter, the first half of the year was fairly quiet in terms of General Practices at the Windsor Club, and official engagements. During this time we have however, been called upon to supply Buglers and Drum and Flute players at various Funerals, firstly, Chris Evans, our Silver Bugler, sounded Last Post and Reveille at the funeral in May, of veteran Grenadier Jack Walker, who sadly collapsed and died during the Grenadier Remembrance Day Parade. Several weeks later, we sadly lost one of our own, Ex. Grenadier Drum Major Bob Bennett; Jim Norris sounded Last Post and Reveille, whilst Stuart Sutton (B Flat Flute) and Peter Taylor (Side Drum) played the Grenadiers Return. On the 30th.July, Jim Norris again sounded the Last Post, whilst Peter Nightingale (B Flat Flute) and Peter Taylor (Side Drum) played the Grenadiers Return, at the Funeral of Major the Hon.Jeremy Monson, who was the President of the Reading Branch of the Grenadier Guards Association. On a much lighter note, Stuart Sutton and Peter Taylor have played “Roast Beef of Old England” at various Regimental Dinners. Although in a small way, good to try to keep calls of the day on Drum and Flute going, despite the fact that I know of no Regiment that carries this tradition on, I would however be interested to learn of anyone does, I await your call !
As most of you know, our Chairman Major Brian Lane has been quite ill since August, during which time, he has spent two weeks in Frimley Park Hospital, having lost some three stone in weight. Since coming out of Hospital, he has made steady progress, both in terms of his internal problems and weight, so, having visited and sat with him on a couple of occasions recently, I am most pleased to see him returning to his old self, even though it will take a little more time for a full recovery. I am hoping he will be able to attend the AGM in January.
PAST ENGAGEMENTS FROM JULY 2007.
Sunday 8th July. Grenadier Day at Lille Barracks Aldershot.
Compared to the last time 2004, when we played at Grenadier Day, the weather was just brilliant, in fact dare I say so, a little too warm, although ideal for the spectators. We assembled at 12.15hrs in a changing room, allocated to us over the NAAFI, this gave our Drum Major for the event Bill Scattergood time to run through the program, and get to know a little about us. Our slot in the arena commenced at 14.00hrs, and as usual, our allowed half hour went by all too quickly. It appears we created a good impression with the assembled audience, and many ex Drummers who had not seen or heard a Corps of Drums thirty, in strength, and formed up in fives, for many years. Rumour has it that we could be invited again next year, watch this space !!
Sunday 9th.September. Practice and Display at the Royal Chelsea Hospital.
This was yet another prestigious day for us, the weather was warm and sunny, and we were honoured to be in the presence of such eminent “Old Soldiers”, which included a number of ex Drummers. We started off with a Practice Session in the Band Practice Room, and in the absence of Brian Lane due to illness, we were most grateful to Brian Harrod, who stepped into the breech as Music director, and also to Geoff Fairfax for taking over the Drum Major position, a fine Drum Major he is too. At 15.00hrs, we made our way over to the central quadrangle to carry out our short Display Program for the in Pensioners. We turned out a Corps of 24 on the day, and were pleased to have Tony Taylor, the Coldstream Guards Drum Major join us with his B Flat Flute. Our visit finished up as you might expect, in the Bar where we were treated to drinks and sandwiches. Our thanks go to RSM Appleby for inviting us, and for making us so welcome.
Sunday 14th October. General Practice at the Grenadier Club, Windsor.
Sunday 11th.November. Remembrance Day Parade at Bristol.
This was a repeat of last years Parade, and although always a bit difficult in terms of logistics, well worth the effort, which, as always, was very much appreciated by the organizers. We numbered 21 on Parade, expertly fronted by Drum Major Geoff Fairfax, with a good balance of playing from all departments. As usual, we received rapturous applause from the Bristol residents lining the route, with many individual positive comments about our performance. It would be remiss of me not to mention John Morgan, who represented us at the appropriate Bristol organizing meetings, and for arranging Bed and Breakfasts for some of our Drummers over the Saturday night, many thanks John. Another Job well done, congratulations to all attendees.
Sunday 18th November. General Practice at the Grenadier Club, Windsor.
This Practice session, just a week after the Bristol Parade saw us with just a turnout of 15, which was, I must say, very much expected, however, it has to be said that we who did manage to make it, enjoyed a very interesting program of Music instigated by Brian Harrod. Although I do not normally report in detail our Practice sessions, we thought it well worth doing on this occasion. We started off with a couple of pieces before tuning up, and they were, Sons of the Brave and The Colours, after tuning, it was on to three pieces we should have played at Bristol, but for one reason or another were replace by others, so we played Step Lively, Hotspur and Nethwold Bells without music, just to prove that we could have played them at Bristol given the opportunity. To take us up to lunch time, we played a medley called “North to South” as arranged by Stuart Sutton, the only regret was he was unable to attend the Practice so did not partake in its first outing, then on to El Capitan, Coburg, Brooklyn Belle, Blue Devils, Coronation Bells, Wein Bleibt Wein, For Flag and Empire and Under the double Eagle. During the lunch break, we were blessed with a visit by our Chairman Brian Lane and his wife Thelma, so good to see them both. At Brian’s request, we commenced the afternoon session with Silver Trumpeter, a great favorite of his, it was also a pleasure to have in our presence, our senior Vice President, Peter Horsfall, who has a habit of turning up at some of our Practices and engagements in his quest to support us. A very committed Vice President, with always grateful words of encouragement. The rest of the Session was taken up with playing, Trumpet Tune, Officer of the Day, Eileen Allanah, Viscount Nelson, Felicity, Aerial Review, El Abanico, New Colonial and to finish, the Guards Division Regimental Quick Marches.
Wednesday 21st.November. Lille Barracks, Aldershot.
Having received an invitation from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards Drum Major, Mathew Betts, some of us, mainly retired people, or those able to take a day off work, joined the serving Corps of Drums, playing at the Battalion “Hanging of the Brick” ceremony. It was great to meet up with Mathew and his Drummers, and we thank him and other members of the Sergeants Mess who gave us Lunch and refreshments.
Sat/Sun. 24/25th.November. The Army School of Ceremonial.
The British Army Senior Drum Major, WO1. Shaun Huggins organized a Drummers Past and Present get together at the School in Catterick Garrison. There was a total of 55 attendees made up from members of The Corps of Drums Society, The HAC Drummers Association, The Yorkshire Corps of Drums, and eleven from the Guards Division Corps of Drums Association, plus of course, some of the School instructors. It was a wonderful weekend, well planned and organized by Shaun and his staff, which included a formal Dinner on the Saturday evening in the Sergeants Mess. During the proceedings, representatives of the visiting organizations were presented with a most ornate Collage of the Drumming School Motif, suitably engraved, as a record of the occasion Many of us attending from the various organizations know each other very well, but still enjoyed meeting up with each other again. We managed about five hours of General Practice over the weekend, playing a variety of both well known and not so well known pieces of Music. I know I speak for all who attended when a say a big thanks to Shaun and all at the School, we hope a repeat might be considered in the not too distant future.
FUTURE ENGAGEMENTS. 2008.
Sunday 20th.January. The AGM and General Practice at the Windsor Club.
Details of the AGM have already been sent out, either by email or post, please let me know if you have not received them. As per last year, and after the AGM, there will be a Finger Buffet to be taken at 1300hrs. after which we will get a session or two in of General Practice. The meeting will start at 10.45hrs sharp. Please make every effort to attend; a large turnout will be very much appreciated.
Monday 4th.February for 5 Days.
Eight of our members will be giving an intensive course of instruction to the 1st. Battalion Grenadier Guards young Drummers in Music. It is probable that we could finish up carrying out a further two weekly blocks. This is of course in conjunction with The Drum Major and the Army School of Ceremonial.
Sunday 17th.February. General Practice at the Grenadier Club, Windsor.
Usual start time, 10.45hrs. Please note, that all general Practices will be held at the Grenadier Club, Windsor unless otherwise stated.
Sunday 16th March. General Practice.
Venue To be Advised.
Sunday 13th.April. General Practice.
Venue To be Advised.
Sunday 11th.May. General Practice.
Venue To be Advised.
Sunday 18th May. Grenadier Guards Remembrance Day Parade.
There is a possibility that we could be invited to Parade with the Grenadiers Regimental Band on this occasion. It could depend on whether or not the serving Corps of Drums is available.
Saturday 14th.June. The Queen’s Birthday Parade.
Information for your diary only.
Sunday 29th. June. Grenadier Day.
Grenadier Day will again be held at Lille Barracks Aldershot. There is a possibility that we might be invited to play again, as last year, but I will confirm in due course.
Instruments and Equipment.
We are still waiting for 6 Limpet Practice Pads from Potters.
As at the 30th.November, our Bank Balance stood at £1686.00. Still very healthy, and of course, a full annual statement will be available at the AGM.
As you all know, we do have a Raffle on Practice Days, we are now in need of more prizes, and so any unwanted Christmas Presents would be very much appreciated !!
Annual Subscriptions of £5.00 are now due for 2008, please submit your payment to the Treasurer before or at the AGM in January.
As previously mentioned, our Chairman, Major Brian Lane continues to improve, and we were pleased to see him for a couple of hours at our last Practice meeting on the 18th November. Richard Nettleton has also made very good progress after treatment earlier in the year, and has appeared at various Engagements and Practices. John Longhurst has had another spell in Hospital recently, and manages to bounce back due to his determination, well done John.
During the year we have recruited two new members, but the Campaign must continue with much vigour, so I take this opportunity to ask everyone to seek out some of your own former pals, and get them to come aboard. No doubt this subject will also be broached at the AGM.
Where are they Now ?
1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, Lille Barracks, Aldershot.
The Battalion returned to the UK during September/October, after a six months deployment to Afghanistan. A very successful tour despite suffering five fatalities,and thirty two wounded. The Battalion will be posted to Wellington Barracks,London in August 2008.
1st.Battalion Coldstream Guards, Victoria Barracks, Windsor. (Home Base)
The Battalion was deployed to Afghanistan in October 2007 and will remain there until March/April 2008. We wish them a successful tour, and a safe return home in the New Year.
1st Battalion Scots Guards. (Home Base. Germany)
The Battalion has also been deployed to Afghanistan from Germany, and we also wish them well, and a safe return in the New Year.
1st Battalion Irish Guards. Mons Barracks, Aldershot.
The Battalion was also deployed to Afghanistan, and after a very successful tour, has now returned to the UK and currently on leave until the end of January 2008.
1st Battalion Welsh Guards. Wellington Barracks, London.
The Battalion has, been carrying out Ceremonial Duties in London for quite some time now, but has also been deployed to Bosnia during this year. They will be changing places with the Grenadiers in Aldershot in August 2008.
For your information, the Telephone Number of the Grenadier Club in Windsor is: - 01753 851506.
Brian Lane. Chairman/Welfare. Stuart Sutton. Treasurer. Peter Taylor. Hon. Secretary.
“Rhooti” 10 Fortrose Close, 13, Vowley View, “Lynton”, Drome Path,
College Town, WOOTON BASSETT. Winnersh,
SANDHURST. Wiltshire. WOKINGHAM.
Berkshire. SN4 8HT. Berkshire.
GU47 0XF. RG41 5HB.
Tel: H. 01344 778255. 01793 852969 01189 793372
M.07961 926434. 07831 179766. 07890 875966.
News Letter No 8
The Guards Division Corps of Drums. Walsall SSAFA Veterans Parade, Saturday 23rd June 2007. Drum major Bob Cooper.
The Guards Division Corps of Drums. Grenadier Day, Sunday 8th.July 2007. Drum Major Bill Scattergood.
Stop Press. We have been invited to play at the Garden Party of the Aylesbury Branch, Grenadier Guards Association on Sunday 27th July 2008. Please let me know soonest if you are available to attend. May I take this opportunity of wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Peter Taylor. Hon Secretary, The Guards Division Corps of Drums Association.