The Principal and Mess Members of the Armed Forces Chaplaincy held their Annual Garden Party at Amport House. This ended with the Sounding Retreat Ceremony - see below - with the salute taken by the Principal, Revd T R Lee.
Light Division Drill
The drill of the remainder of the Army originates from the close ranks of the redcoats advancing to a measured beat of the drum and firing in disciplined volleys. Drill of the Light Division derives from their historic role as skirmishers operating in pairs or platoons, firing individually aimed shots. Instead of drums the bugle was used to communicate orders on the battlefield. To react rapidly they marched at a faster pace or doubled. Drill movements were executed quickly and silently and orders were kept to a minimum.
The Sunset or Sounding Retreat Ceremony has its origins in the Sixteenth Century and was formalised as an order in 1727: “Half an hour before the setting of the sun the drummers and Port Guard are to go upon the Ramparts and beat a retreat to give notice to those without, that the gates are to shut”. This order remains extant today and each evening a lone bugler sounds Retreat in camp to post the night guard.
In recent years Sounding Retreat has become a display by the band and bugles to mark special occasions. Held in the evening before sunset it provides a focal point for past and present members of the Regiment at the same time as presenting to the public a spectacular ceremony of which the Army is rightly proud. The form of retreat used is a display of drill and marching to traditional military music, followed by a short finale which concludes with the playing of “Sunset”. It is an exhilarating and moving ceremony.