It is some time since we had contact and I am spurred on to write with
a little idea that may rouse some interest on the part of some of the
hidden users of your excellent website. The picture sent in by Johnny
Elsley (did you know him by the way?) of the huge band of four hundred
plus that did the first Royal Tournament after
the war brought back many memories for me. I was also a member of that
band, I didn't know Johnny at that time, but I certainly remember all
about the training that we had, the accommodation and the food that
we suffered, even a number of the pieces that we played and I am wondering
if you would like to pose these questions as a caption to the picture.
Can anyone name all 14 of the fanfare team? (I've got four but the rest
2.Who directed the show? (It was Tommy Lang)
3.Tommy Lang arranged two pieces especially for it. What were they?
(One a slow march from an aria in Don Giovanni of Mozart and excellent
it was too. The other was a very lovely slow piece from a motet by Handel,
called Judex, an unfortunate name that got the treatment that you'd
expect from the boys in the Band. I'll bet that neither are now available
from the RMSM Library.
4.There was an exceptional cymbal player who raised the business to
an art form. Who was he? (Crash, as you'd expect) Peters.
5 Name any 12 of the rest of the band.
6.Who was the Drum Major? (I'm pretty sure it was Charlie Bowden but
I wouldn't swear to it.
are other questions but those might bring a few replies in. If you got
Johnny's email out of the thing I should be very happy if you'd let
me have it, unless confidentiality has to be observed.
Just an amendment or so, John was quite correct of course, the band
was 200, not four hundred. That figure has stayed with me all these
years mainly because of Capt. Lang's incredible choreography for the
display, when, at one time the band split into four bands and marched
through each other diagonally. It was all done with great panache but
it is probably as well that the individual neck mic hadn't been invented
at the time, some of the things that were said in the passing would
have made very interesting listening. He was also mostly right about
the Drum Majors, though I'm not sure that Charlie Bowden wasn't involved
in some capacity.
remembered that Fred Tobin, Wally Spencer and I think a bandmaster named
Horace Luckham were three of them. All will be revealed soon. By the
way, it is Charlie Bowden's eighty fifth or sixth birthday tomorrow,
21st Dec. if you want to record that on the website. Charlie was a great
friend of the band service, no matter that he might have been seen by
some as too much of a Royal Marine, but if everyone had been as proficient
we would all have been living in dreamland. I take this opportunity
to wish you all that you would hope for at Christmas and in the coming
Regards....ever Tom Lambert
My Dear Richard,
I promise this will be the last word on the '48 RT Band, but whilst
I was reading a back number of the Blue Band (as you do!) I came across
an article by Marcher, or John Ambler. The article was about the dedication
service on the occasion of the dedication of the Fanfare Trumpets in
June 1948, just before the Royal Tournament. The names of the fanfare
team on that occasion, and subsequently for the Royal Tournament were:-
Bandmasters Archard and Fitzgerald, BdSgts, Anderson Arnold!!! Saunders
and Roper, Bd Cpls Woods, Phasey Glass and Corben, L/Cpl Dent, Musicians
Keld and Scott and finally Band Boy Green.
this will drag a few out of the wood.