The History of Commonwealth Regimental Marches
Contributed by Ian Pearson
This collection of regimental march histories is in several parts and begins with the numerical entries. Ian Pearson is a former member of the Royal Canadian Air Force and has one of the largest and most complete set of military band recordings in North America. We are indebted to him for his work .
1st Dragoon Guards Slow March and 2nd Dragoon Guards Slow March
1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards
In 1959 The 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards were formed and the two slow marches of the former regiments were combined by the first Bandmaster of the new regiment, Bandmaster Robert Spencer. The arrangement includes The 1st Dragoon Guards Slow March played up to the trio then straight into the 2nd Dragoon Guards Slow March.
1st Suffolk Regimental Slow March
1st Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment
Raised during the Monmouth Rebellion (1686) as the 12th Regiment Foot with ‘East Suffolk’ being added in 1782. In 1881 the name changed to the Suffolk Regiment with the regiment’s 1st Battalion using this march until 1959 when they became, along with the Royal Norfolk Regiment, the 1st East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk). During WW2 the First Battalion was sent to France with the 3rd Division of the British Expeditionary Force and fought in France and Belgium. In 1940 it was evacuated from Dunkirk but returned on 6th June 1944 at Sword Beach in Normandy and eventually recovered the Battalion’s drum which had been hidden at Roubaix in 1940 during the retreat. In 1964 they became the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment and at this time the march was discontinued in favour of The Devonshire Rose as the slow march.
2nd Dragoons and 7th Hussars7th Queen’s Own Hussars / Queen’s Own Hussars
The 7th Queen’s Own Hussars were raised as dragoons in Scotland in 1690, disbanded in 1714 but restored a year later as the HRH The Princess of Wales’s Own Regiment of Dragoons. When she became the Queen Consort the title changed to The Queen’s Own Dragoons. In 1742 the name changed to the 7th and later converted to Light Dragoons in 1783 then to Hussars in 1807. The slow march, The Garb of Old Gaul, was the same as the Royal Scots Greys but when Boosey and Hawkers published the regimental slow marches of the cavalry, in 1903, the title appeared as the ’2nd DRAGOONS and 7th HUSSARS’. When the regiment amalgamated in 1958 to form the Queen’s Own Hussars the march was retained and played with the 3rd Hussars Slow March. In 1993 the regiment amalgamated with The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars to form The Queen’s Royal Hussars (The Queen’s Own and Royal Irish) with the slow march of The 3rd Hussars Slow March and Garb of Old Gaul.
3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales’s Dragoon Guards) / Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
The march was written by a Regimental Bandmaster John Brophy and adopted by the 3rd Carabiniers in 1922. The regiment was formed from two old distinguished regiments of horse, The 3rd Dragoon Guards and The Carabiniers. In 1971 the regiment was amalgamated to form the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) and this march became the quick march for the military band.
3rd Hussars Slow March
3rd The King’s Own Hussars
3rd The King’s Own Hussars began in 1685 during the Monmouth Rebellion and received the title The Queen Consort’s Regiment of Dragoons. In 1714 George I became king but there was no Queen Consort so the title of regiment was changed to ‘The King’s Own’. The number ‘3’ was added in 1742 followed by the 1861 convertion to Hussars. This march was their regimental slow march and is believed to have come into use around 1880. Although the composer is unknown, when the 1903 cavalry marches were published it became the official slow march although it had been in use for a long period before this recognition. When the regiment amalgamated with the 7th Queen’s Own Hussars both slow marches were retained and used by the newly form The Queen’s Own Hussars.
3rd Hussars Slow March and The Garb of Old Gaul
Queen’s Own Hussars
See 2nd Dragoons and 7th Hussars
4th Dragoon Guards Slow March and 7th Dragoon Guards Slow March
4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards / The Royal Dragoons
In 1922 the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards and the 7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal’s) were amalgamated to form the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards. The slow marches of each regiment were combined and are played together – the first being the 4th followed without a break by the 7th. The Royal Dragoons were formed in 1992 by the amalgamation of the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guard and the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards from which the march is adopted.
4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards Slow March
4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards
The 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards received its title in 1788 after a long period of service in Ireland. This march, composed by Eckersberg in 1839, was used by the regiment as a slow march and bears no other title other than 4th Dragoon Guards. It is known as The Blue Horse after the Regiment’s nickname taken from the colour of their facings. The march was retained during the amalgamation when the regiment becamae the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards.
7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal’s)
7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal’s)
The 7th was raised in 1688 as Horse and served in Ireland about the mid eighteen century. In 1788 they converted to Dragoon Guards with the title 7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal’s) being granted in honour of the then Princess HRH Princess Charlotte Augusta Matilda. The Princess was the eldest daughter of George III, which explains the Princess Royal’s cornet in the cap badge. This tune, preceded by a trumpet flourish, became the regimental slow march also known as The Black Horse a regimental nickname referring to the black facings of the uniforms in the mid 18th century and the colour of their horses. It is interesting to note that the regiment refused to have a quick march considering that it was undignified for a cavalry regiment to be dismounted on ceremonial occasions. The march was composed by J. Ord Hume, one of the England’s most prolific brass band composers. The regiment was using the march prior to their amalgamation with the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards in 1922.
The 8th Hussars
8th Canadian Hussars / 8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars
The 8th Canadian Hussars adopted this slow march as used by their predecessors the 8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars. This regiment was formed in 1866 from the New Brunswick Regiment of Cavalry raised on the amalgamation of independent troops of cavalry. One squadron was Regular Force and served in CFB Gagetown however in 1998 was returned to reserve Army status.
13th Hussars Slow March
The 13th Hussars were raised in 1715 as the Munden’s Dragoons and later changed to 13th Hussars in 1861. This slow march was published in 1903 and was adopted although for some time following the Crimean War they had been using Norma and I’m Ninety-Five. When the regiment amalgamated in 1922 the march was combined with that of the 18th Royal Hussars.
13th Hussars Slow March and 18th Hussars Slow March
13h/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own)
The march is the combination of the 13th Hussars and 18th Hussars slow marches that were adopted after both regiments amalgamated in 1922 to form the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own). On 1 December 1992, the regiment amalgamated with the 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars to form The Light Dragoons however the march was not retained in favour of the slow march Denmark.
(The King of Prussia)
The 14th King’s Hussars were raised as Dormer’s Regiment of Dragoons in July 1715, converted to Light Dragoons and in 1861to Hussars. This slow march was referred to as the 14th Hussars but the original title was The King of Prussia. Major General William Arbuthnot CB introduced it at the time he commanded the regiment at Bangalore in 1880. In 1922 the regiment amalgamated with the 20th Hussars to form the 14th/20th King’s Hussars. Another amalgamation in 1992 was with The Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own) that formed The King’s Royal Hussars with a regimental march of the same name.
15th Von England
15th Regiment of Foot / The East Yorkshire Regiment (1st Bn)
The 15th Regiment of Foot began in 1685 as Clifton’s Regiment by James II during the Monmouth Rebellion. Service would take them to Europe, America and later under General Wolfe capture Louisburg and Quebec. In 1881 their name changed to The East Yorkshire Regiment and in 1935 was granted the secondary title The Duke of York’s Own. This date marked the Silver Jubilee of King George V and the 250th anniversary of the raising of the regiment. In 1922, HRH The Duke of York (later King George VI) became Colonel of the regiment.
The 15th Foot had been using three quick marches that appeared in a collection of music by James Aird of Glasgow. This slow march was re-discovered in 1907 by a German Professor of Music under this title and passed onto and adopted by the 1st Battalion The East Yorkshire Regiment. It was not retained during the 1958 amalgamated that formed The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire.
16th Lancers’ March
The 16th Queen’s Lancers
The 16th Queen’s Lancers had the unique title of the Scarlet Lancers due to the fact that they were the only Lancer regiment wearing scarlet tunics. Although the composer is unknown the march had been in use by the regiment for many years when it was published in the 1903 list of cavalry marches. It appears that the only title the march had was The 16th Lancers and may have been brought over from Austria and presented to the Regiment by Queen Charlotte, Consort of George III. In 1922 the regiment amalgamated with the 5th Royal Irish Lancers to form the 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers but the march was discontinued in favour of The Scarlet and Green.
18th Hussars Slow March
13th/18th Royal Hussars / 18th Royal Hussars
The 18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own) were raised in 1762 as the 18th Light Dragoons and obtained the title of hussars in 1805. This march was not published until 1910 but had been in use with the regiment for many years. It is derived from an old Irish air The Rose Tree that may date back to the 18th King’s Irish Hussars of 1805. When the regiment amalgamated in 1922 the march was combined with that of the 13th Hussars.
19th St. Catharines Regiment
In 1863 the 19th and 20th Battalions of Volunteer Militia (Infantry) Canada were formed then three years later combined to form the 19th Lincoln Battalion of Infantry. This regiment was changed to the 19th Lincoln Regiment in 1912 and later the Lincoln Regiment in 1920. In 1936 the regiment became part of the newly reformed Lincoln and Welland Regiment. The march was not carried over in favour of The Lincolnshire Poacher.
The 20th Hussars started in 1759 as the 20th Inniskilling Light Dragoons and later changed to the 20th Hussars in 1861 after several name changes. This slow march was published in 1903 although used by the regiment for many years. In 1922 the regiment amalgamated with the 14th Hussars to form 14th/20th King’s Hussars.
The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment
The Cheshire Regiment / Merican Volunteers
The Regiment was raised as the Duke of Norfolk’s Regiment in 1689 and later the title changed to the 22nd Regiment of Foot in 1751 and the Cheshire Regiment in 1881. The forerunners of the Corps of Drums were almost certainly on the first parade of the Cheshire Regiment at Chester in 1689 although the history of the Band only dates back to 1758. The march also serves as the regimental quick march of the Mercian Volunteers. It is interesting to note that the regiment had never been amalgamated until 2007 when The Mercian Regiment was formed from the amalgamation of several famous regiments: Cheshire Regiment – 1st Battalion; Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment – 2nd Battalion; Staffordshire Regiment – 3rd Battalion; and West Midlands Regiment – 4th (V) Battalion . The march was not retained in favour of the quick march Wha Wadna Fecht for Charlie/Under the Double Eagle.
22nd Regiment 1772
The 22nd Cheshire Regiment
Several regiments were raised in 1689 to resist the attempt by the former James II to regain the throne. One such regiment was raised by Henry, Duke of Norfolk, on the Wirral Peninsula was later numbered 22nd Regiment of Foot. The title Cheshire was added in 1782and later when numbering system changed to the regimental designation in 1881 the title changed to The Cheshire Regiment. The Cheshires are one of the few regiments in the British never been amalgamated.
The song, composed by an officer of the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment, was used by the 1st Battalion after its authorization in 1772. It was discovered in the Cheshire Regiment Regimental Orderly Room archives in 1911. The score, with a plan of the city of Quebec on the front, is inscribed “March of the 22nd Regiment 1772, to the Officers 1st Cheshire Regiment from the Officers 22nd Regiment District”. The march was not retained when the regiment was amalgamated in 2007 with the Staffordshire Regiment and the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters to form the Mercian Regiment.
The Gloucestershire Regiment
The Gloucestershire Regiment was raised in 1694 as Gibson’s Regiment of Foot and later changed in 1751 to the 28th Regiment of Foot. This was followed by a second battalion in 1756 the 3rd Foot later renamed the 61st. In 1782 both battalions became the North and South Gloucestershire, respectively followed by the major change in 1881 that formed the Gloucestershire Regiment. This slow march, composed by Bandmaster George Plummer of the 1st Battalion, takes it title from the two regiments of foot numbers – 28 and 61st. In 1994 the regiment amalgamated with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire) forming the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment and at that time the march was not retained.
The 31st Greys
The Grey Regiment / The Grey and Simcoe Foresters
This march was written around 1900 by Bandmaster Charles Miller of the 31st Greys Battalion of Infantry. The 31st later became the Grey Regiment in 1920 and during the 1936 amalgamation with the Simcoe Foresters (Young May Moon) formed The Grey and Simcoe Foresters. It was at this time that Young May Moon was not adopted and The 31st Greys officially became the new regimental march. The march is short in duration but lively and based on the Regimental Call. It uses the repeated A and B sections and the accents in the opening melodic material provide the essence of rhythmic motion necessary in a 6/8 march.
33rd Slow March
33rd (The 1st Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment / Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) / Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding)
In 1702 the Huntingdon’s Regiment of Foot was raised and later became the 33rd Regiment of Foot in 1751. In 1782 the title was changed to the 33rd (The 1st Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot. In 1793 the future Duke of Wellington was a Major in the regiment and later the commanding officer. When he died in 1852, Queen Victoria granted the Regiment the secondary title “The Duke of Wellington’s’ in his honour. This title gave the regiment a unique status as the only regiment in the British Army not named after royalty. During the 1881 reorganization the title changed to The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding Regiment) and in 1920 The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding). During the last two name changes this music was retained as the slow march. In 2006 the regiment was amalgamated with Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, The Green Howards and all Yorkshire-based regiments in the King’s Division forming the Yorkshire Regiment with the march The Wellesley.
39 Canadian Brigade Group March
39 Canadian Brigade Group
The 39 Canadian Brigade Group (39 CBG) is part of Land Force Western Area (LFWA) of the Canadian Army. It is composed of Primary Reserve units that are based in British Columbia and is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)
The Black Watch began in Scotland from the merging of independent companies and was known as Am Freiceadan Dubh or The Black Watch. This was due to their policing the highlands following the failure of the 1715 rebellion. The designation ‘42’ came about in 1751 when the name changed to the 42nd Regiment of Foot which lasted until 1881when the numbering system was changed to the present one. The title is taken from the regiment’s old 42nd designation.
46th Slow March
The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (2nd Bn)
The 46th Regiment of Foot began in 1741 as Price’s 57th Regiment of Foot and did not become the 46th until seven years later. In 1881 it merged with the 32nd (Cornwall) Light Infantry to form the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. The 2nd Battalion received new colours in 1931and Bandmaster Young composed this slow march for the occasion. Part of the march consists of an arrangement of the hunting song Drink Puppy Drink. When the regiment merged in 1958 with the Somerset Light Infantry they formed the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry at which time the march was discontinued.
1st Battalion The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire)
The 47th Regiment of Foot was raised in 1741 as Mordaunt’s Regiment and in 1881became the 1st Battalion The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire). The 47th served under General Wolfe in Canada and due to its outstanding service there earned the unique nickname of ‘Wolfe’s Own’. This slow march, arranged by Bandmaster Palmer, has a striking resemblance to The Mountain Rose. In 1970 they amalgamated with the Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers) to form the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment but the march was not retained in favour of Long Live Elizabeth.
51st Highland Division at Wadi Akarit
The Queen’s Own Highlanders, ‘S’ Company
This march was used by The Queen’s Own Highlanders for their ‘S’ Company. The 2nd and 5th Battalions the Seaforth Highlanders and the 5th Battalion The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders took part in this famous battle that was the culmination of the North African Campaign that started with the victory at El Alamein. The composer, Lance Corporal W. MacDonald was a member of the 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders and it won first prize for composition at the 51st Highland Division piping competition at the end of the North African Campaign in 1943.
53rd Slow March
53rd Regiment of Foot / King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
The 53rd Regiment of Foot were raised in 1755 and in 1881 amalgamated with the 85th Foot to form the Shropshire Regiment, later The King’s Light Infantry “Shropshire Regiment, then The King’s (Shropshire Light Infantry). The 53rd Regiment of Foot took this, what is believe to a Russian march, into use between 1829 and 1836 and a hundred years later in 1932 the first 8 bars were adopted as the Regimental General Salute.
71st Quick Step
Royal Highland Fusiliers
This quick march was used by the 71st, a highland unit, until they became the Highland Light Infantry in 1881. In 1959 the regiment was amalgamated to form the Royal Highland Fusiliers that continue its use on guest nights.
74th’s Slow March
(Lament for the Old Volunteer)
74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot / Royal Highland Fusiliers
This march is an adaptation of the Lament for the Old Volunteer and was used by the 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot until 1881 when it became the 2nd Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment). At this time the march was discontinued in favour of Scotland the Brave. In the 1959 amalgamation, with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, formed the Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret’s Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment). Although not officially adopted as a regimental march it was retained and used on guest nights.
2nd Bn The South Staffordshire Regiment / The Staffordshire Regiment
The march was composed in 1931 by the Bandmaster of the 2nd South Staffordshire Regiment replacing Garb of Old Gaul. The title is taken from the 80th Regiment of Foot that became the 2nd Battalion, The South Staffordshire Regiment. In 1881 the 38th Regiment of Foot (1st Staffordshire Regiment) was merged with the 80th to form the 1st and 2nd Battalions, South Staffordshire Regiment. In 1959 both the South and North Stafford’s were amalgamated to form the Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s) that continued its use as an Inspection March.
84th of Foot Quick March
(Jockey of York)
The York and Lancaster Regiment
The 84th Foot began in 1793 later becoming, in 1881, the 2nd Bn The York and Lancaster Regiment. The march composed by the Bandmaster Brosang (2nd Bn) around 1909 was adopted under the title of Jockey of York. The regiment was formed in 1881 through the amalgamation of two other regiments: 65th (2nd Yorkshire North Riding) Regiment and the 84th (York and Lancaster) Regiment. The title of the regiment was derived not from the cities of York and Lancaster, or from the counties. Instead, the name came from the fact that it recruited from, amongst other places, landed properties owned by the Duchy of York and the Duchy of Lancaster. The regiment’s recruiting area was in fact wholly within South Yorkshire (an area known as Hallamshire). Indeed, the regiment’s Territorial Army battalion dropped its number and was known simply as The Hallamshire Battalion from 1924. With the reorganization of the army in 1968, the Yorks and Lancs was one of two infantry regiments that chose to be disbanded rather than amalgamated with another regiment.
The Royal Leicestershire Regiment
This was the quick march, for a while, of The Royal Leicestershire Regiment (the old 17th Foot) that presumably refers to the date it was adopted. Along with General Monckton 1762 it was replace with Roumika then A Hunting Call. The Regiment’s history dates back to 1688 and saw service for three centuries, before being amalgamated into The Royal Anglian Regiment in 1964. The combination of Speed the Plough and Rule Britannia were adopted when the 4th (Leicestershire) Battalion the same year but was disbanded in 1975. The Royal Leicestershire heritage was included in the new regiment’s button design, which features the royal tiger within an unbroken wreath.
The 17th Foot regimental band had a custom to play Wolfe’s Lament just before the playing of the National Anthem; officers of the 17th, like those of the 15th, 31st and 47th Regiments, wore a black line in the lace of their full dress uniform, as a sign of permanent mourning for General Wolfe.