On the 2nd of August Sue attended the Beating of the Retreat, at the Royal Military academy Sandhurst – by The Band of the Parachute Regiment.
On the 1st of August in 1942 the Parachute Regiment was formed, three battalions were formed at a later date, however, in 1985 they were disbanded and reformed. It was in 1994 when the Corps of Army Music was formed which resulted in the amalgamation of the bands- creating the the current ‘Band of the Parachute Regiment’, who still maintain a full schedule of military and civilian engagements not only in the United Kingdom but abroad.
The ceremonial aspect of the ‘Beating retreat’ despite now being a more modern aspect, was founded in necessity and historical military routine,initially the beating of the drum was utilised in order to break off fighting and withdraw to the safety of camp as darkness fell,later, its purpose served to signal the closing of the camp gates at the end of the day and called troops back to base for the night. The historical aspect is a truly rich one and shows the importance of this event not only now but in the past.
This remains a significant event for the community in order to show gratitude and support towards the soldiers who work tirelessly in conflicts and for their families who support them. A reception was held in the Indian Army Memorial room and the programme of music was captivating with a display consisting of ‘Marching songs of World War Two’, and a sunset ceremony with an evening hymn. At the heart of the event lies the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF): The Soldiers’ charity, a charity which supports the families and children of those who have made the supreme sacrifice, the charity website shows the vast impact of their work stating:
“The overall scale, breadth and range of our support is vast. We help very young serving families cope with a sudden bereavement or traumatic loss. We provide wide-ranging support to wounded soldiers, many of whom will need increasing financial assistance for decades to come. We provide help with housing, education and training for employment for soldiers and veterans of all ages. We are there for older veterans and their widows or widowers when they find themselves lonely or isolated.’
The proceeds of this incredible event went towards The Soldiers’ Charity, which will positively impact the lives of so many. The significance of this event is indisputable and is a vital event for not only the community but for a widespread audience.
Sue commented ,“I always feel tremendously proud of these events, their precision and skills in marching and band playing is exemplary, I am so proud of those that serve our country. To think I was able to sit where the Queen usually sits to watch the Beating of the Retreat was a true honour”
Click the link below for more information about The Soldiers’ Charity and the work that they do: https://soldierscharity.org