Reunion 2005 - Photo Album
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'The Memorial Trumpets of the Royal Naval School of Music'

Photo's courtesy of Patrick Hill


The War Memorial Silver Drums 1914-1918 and The Roll of Honour.

Every member of the RNSM donated one day's pay towards a Memorial to comrades who had died in the 1914-1918 War. The Memorial comprised a set of five silver side drums and a wooden bass drum. Each silver drum carries the following inscription: 'In Memory of the one hundred and forty-three WOs, NCOs and men of the RM Band Service who lost their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918, whilst serving in the following ships and theatres of war: HMS Bulwark; HMS Monmouth; HMS Inflexible; HMS Lion; HMS Natal; HMS Invincible; HMS Indefatigable; HMS Queen Mary; HMS Cornwallis; HMS Vanguard; HMS Glory; HMS Monarch; HMS Carnarvon; HMS Caesar; HMS Princess Royal; HMS Britannia; HMS Conqueror; Drake Battn, RND Gallipoli; West African Frontier Force. Presented by voluntary subscriptions from their comrades'.

The bass drum has the name of the one hundred and forty three men upon it.

These drums were dedicated and presented at a parade held on the 5th March 1921 when some four hundred men of the School of Music were present. Following the inspection the RMA Chaplain conducted a short religious dedication. After a brief speech the Adjutant-General handed the drums to the RNSM percussionists and the band marched through the ranks prior to the National Anthem being played. The Roll of Honour, also paid for by the men of the Royal Naval School of Music, comprises four massive oak panels richly decorated with the Service crest surmounted by the Admiralty coronet with a carved laurel decoration and a scroll with the carved motto 'Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

The Memorial Trumpets of the Royal Naval School of Music.

A Memorial Committee, consisting of a representative of every band rank in the Band Service including Band Boys, was appointed to collect the donations and to select what should be purchased as the Second World War Memorial. Fourteen fanfare trumpets were purchased and the 1st of June was the date set for their dedication and presentation. The bells of the trumpets are inscribed with the names of the ships in which the men died. The banners are of Royal blue velvet with gold lace fringes. The rules relating to these trumpets were set down in 'The War Memorial Charter' of 1949 with a Book of Remembrance being the third part of the Memorial.

The Massed Bands were paraded before a dais bearing the Book of Remembrance and the stands bearing the Memorial Trumpets. During the Dedication Service the Commandant General read the Lesson and the Book of Remembrance was blessed. All ranks were called to attention and, in the silence, the School Chaplain handed one of the trumpets to the Chaplain of the Fleet for Dedication. 'In memory of those who gave their lives in the service of their country'. The Commandant received the trumpets and, with the Musical Director, handed each of them to those who had the honour of receiving them on behalf of the Royal Marines Bands. On the command, a moving fanfare was sounded. 'The Spirit of Joy and Thanksgiving for Victory, and Meditation for those who gave their lives in its cause' known simply as 'To Comrades Sleeping' and composed by Leon Young, a wartime survivor of HMS Hermione. The Musical Director then passed responsibility for the 'Act of Memorial' by the Massed Bands of the Royal Naval School of Music to Lt W Lang. What followed was an original marching display, designed by Lt Lang, which became the pattern for Beating Retreat on Horse Guards Parade.

Courtesy of "Marcher" of the Blue Band Magazine.
The official journal of the Royal Marines Band Service.

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Richard Valentine -1996 - 2006© - All rights reserved