November signals the beginning of the Remembrance period which sees Royal Air Force Music Services support a variety of events across the country.
Some local and some national but all with the same sentiment: to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice whilst serving the UK at home and abroad.
In support of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, the Jazz ensemble from the Central Band of the RAF performed in Leadenhall Market, London and the Gallery Shopping Centre in Bristol. Their performances delighted members of the public and encouraged them to donate to the Royal British Legion in return for a poppy, the symbol of Remembrance.
RAF Trumpeters sounded the Last Post at over 20 different events during the Remembrance period. From local churches to Premier League football stadiums, this trumpet call is synonymous with Remembrance and commemorating the fallen.
The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. This year, the Festival included a tribute to Her Majesty The Queen’s unwavering sense of duty, and her devotion to a lifetime of service. Members of the Central Band of the RAF led by Senior Drum Major RAF Warrant Officer Paul Phelan formed part of a tri-Service Band to open the Festival. The RAF Squadronaires performed a stunning arrangement by bandleader Sergeant Matt Walker to accompany vocalist Hannah Waddingham. With choreography by Matt Flint, 16 dancers jived and lindy-hopped around the auditorium to this high energy tribute to the war years of the 1940s.
The Band of the RAF Regiment was proud to be a part of the National Act of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. It is always an honour and privilege to perform during this Service, which this year was attended by His Majesty King Charles III. Once the band has taken position, 10 RAF Trumpeters take their place in front of the Cenotaph in readiness to sound the Reveille (Rouse).
Honouring a long-standing tradition of sounding the Reveille on cavalry trumpets, this short call signals the conclusion of the formal wreath laying. It is then the turn of the veterans to march past the Cenotaph to pay their respects. Playing whilst the veterans march past the monument which was erected in 1920 is always a humbling experience.
Remembrance is a time to think of and pay respect to those that have gone before. It is also a time to reflect on what service means, to think about the service of others and of those that made the ultimate sacrifice. Music plays a significant role for many during this period, expressing emotions that words cannot.