Friday, June 10, 2011
Who doesn't love a MARCHING BAND?
If this soldier looks annoyed it is because "someone" called him a Chocolate Soldier....that story is for another blog!
Beating Retreat on Horse Guards Parade by the Massed Bands of the Household Division has been an annual event since 1966 and is a spectacle of music and pageantry which is second to none. From a historic perspective, the ceremony should take place in the early evening but some license has been taken by moving it to a later time to further enhance the occasion with the use of floodlights. This year featured the US Army (looked like Air Force to me!) Band Europe with Jitterbug dancers - probably not what the British audience was used to but it sure was fun!
Here's a little history....The Beating or Sounding of Retreat has its origins in the 16th Century when it was used as a signal to recall troops to barracks at the end of the day. During campaigns, it was often difficult to gather troops together after a day’s fighting. Beating Retreat provided a signal to regroup, enabling a unit to be led as a single body to a safe encampment.