Tom Lambert's Letters
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My Dear Richard,

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.

1 Can anyone name all 14 of the fanfare team? (I've got four but the rest are gone)

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.

There 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.

Must Fly now.

Ever Tom.................(Lambert)

My Dear Richard,

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.

I've 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 year.

Kindest 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.

Maybe this will drag a few out of the wood.

Regards ever

Tom Lambert

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