Memorial Case
Brother Officers, 1914-1918
Memorial Case Plaque

Memorial Bugle

Memorial Bugle (Detail)

1914 - 1918

Further Information
In 1920 the officers of the Royal Marines privately subscribed to the purchase of thirty-two Silver Memorial Bugles in memory of their brother officers killed during the First World War. The bugles are of standard Service pattern but in sterling silver. They have the Corps crest embossed on them and an engraved inscription, "In undying memory of our brother officers who fell in the Great War". These silver bugles were issued, in groups of eight, to the Royal Marine Light Infantry Divisions at Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth as well as to the Depot, Deal. They were not sounded together until the first Beating Retreat by the Massed Bands of the Royal Marines on Horse Guards Parade in 1950. The bugles were only brought together for the 1958 and the 1964 (Tercentenary) Ceremonies of Beating Retreat. In 1959 it was decreed, through a Royal Marines Routine Order, that their condition was such that they were not to be used again. They are normally held, again in groups of eight, in the Officers Mess at Plymouth, the Officers Mess at the Commando Training Centre, the Royal Marines Museum and here, in the Memorial Room at the Royal Marines School of Music, are held the eight bugles originally issued to the Depot, Deal. In 2003 all thirty-two were gathered together for a special exhibition at the Royal Marines Museum. Although not a Band Service Memorial they are an inherent part of the Bugler's history.
All eight of the bugles in this Memorial Room carry the inscription described above but four of them carry additional inscriptions. Eleven of the thirty-two bugles were presented by individual officers, or in memory of individual officers or groups of officers. Two of these were in the batch sent to the Depot, Deal. One was in memory of Captain F S Wilson, presented by Lt Col L O Wilson CMG DSO MP whilst the second was presented by Maj Gen N F U Sampson-Way CB.
In 1927 two Silver Memorial Bugles from each Division were issued to the Buglers selected to serve on HMS Renown which was taking the Duke and Duchess of York on a World Tour. Part of the purpose of the Royal Tour was for His Royal Highness to open the Federal Government House at Canberra, establishing independent rule for Australia. The eight Silver Memorial Bugles were used to sound two especially composed fanfares on the steps of the new building to mark the arrival of the Duke and Duchess and then the completion of the ceremony. These bugles were inscribed “Canberra 1927”. Two of these are amongst the eight held in this Memorial Room.
John Ambler, Royal Marines Band Service Historian, March 2014