Famous military band to perform in Norfolk market town

PUBLISHED: 14:53 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:53 14 May 2018

Band of the Grenadier Guards. Picture: Ministry of Defence

Band of the Grenadier Guards. Picture: Ministry of Defence


One of the oldest bands in the British military is heading to Swaffham to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The Swaffham Royal British Legion, in partnership with Swaffham Town Council, have arranged for the Band of the Grenadier Guards to perform a military ceremony, known as the Beating Retreat, in the Marketplace.

British Legion branch chairman Barrie Thorp, said: “In August 2014 we held a candlelit vigil around the war memorial and read out the names of every World War One soldier named on that memorial who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Now the time has come to mark the end of that dreadful conflict and we feel at this time, whilst remembering, that perhaps a note of celebration is appropriate too. The idea for this event was mooted by the late Major George Harris who was branch chairman at that time, so this is an occasion when we can remember all that George did for Swaffham RBL and the Poppy Appeal.

“With much help from our county chairman John Boisson we’ve been most fortunate in obtaining the services of Her Majesty’s Grenadier Guards. I feel confident that this will be a long remembered event.”

The Band of the Grenadier Guards was formed in 1685. Last year, they performed at Royal Ascot, supported the Poppy Appeal and played outside Buckingham Palace during the changing of the guard over Christmas.

The newly elected Town Mayor, Colin Houghton said it should be a “fantastic” occasion for the town.

He said: “It is also very fitting that it is taking place in Armed Forces Week, as we pay our personal tribute to the work our armed forces continue to do in serving our country each day, as well as those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. The Town Council is very proud to be part of this event and to be working with the Swaffham Royal British Legion.”

The Beating Retreat will take place on Thursday, June 21, between 6pm and 6.30pm. Then at 7.30pm there will be a special band concert in the Church of St Peter and St Paul in celebration of the end of the war.

The concert will be a ticket only event with proceeds going to the Poppy Appeal. Tickets are on sale at the Town Hall and Ceres Bookshop. You can also contact Anne Thorp on 01760 722611.

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