Military bands are an essential part of our British culture, supporting our Forces and playing music to mark all kinds of occasions from State ceremonies and celebrations to homecoming parades and remembrance services. [...]
Swift and Bold
On Thursday 18th October, the Massed Bands and Bugles of The Rifles came together at the Royal Albert Hall to mark the Regiment's first five years and to celebrate 200 years of history. In front of five royal colonels and the Colonel-in-Chief, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, the 260 musicians and singers, who included 91 buglers, the Fijian Choir, the Pipes of the 1st Bn the Royal Gurkha Regiment, fiddler Alastair Caplin, and singers, Wynne Evans and Charlotte Collier, put on the performance of their lives.
It was an incredible night.
Click her for the photo galleries that recorded this great occasion
This unique event celebrates the first five years of The Rifles and the 200 years of service since the great Battle of Salamanca. The ethos of The Rifles, encapsulated in the Regimental motto of Swift and Bold came of age in the Peninsula War and has been the hallmark of thinking Riflemen from the dusty fields of Spain through to Afghanistan today. This extravaganza of music and entertainment performed by the Massed Bands and Bugles and their special guests will delight and reflect the character and spirit of The Rifles.
200 Years of History
It is over 200 years since Riflemen made their first appearance in the British Army using the silver bugle as a means of communication on the battlefield. Sir John Moore, considered today to be the founding father of The Rifles, fostered the idea of the thinking, fighting man, where each individual soldier had a unique role to play on the battlefield; a bold move in what was an age of unquestioning obedience. Equipped with the Rifle, carrying no Regimental Colours and being the first to wear green jackets instead of scarlet, these 'chosen men' were at the forefront of military innovation. The Rifles today is built around the same ethos and looks forward with confidence and a relentless desire to innovate; to be one step ahead of its adversaries as were the Riflemen at Salamanca 200 years ago.
The Rifles Today
Five years ago, the four like-minded regiments of The Light Division of their own volition came together to form The Rifles; these were The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, The Light Infantry, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets. Sharing a common outlook and a determination to innovate and look to the future, they embraced change and formed the largest regiment in the British Army. This forward-thinking regiment has now served almost continuously at the forefront of operations both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
With its Regular Battalions based in Chepstow, Northern Ireland, Edinburgh, Bulford and Germany, The Rifles is supported by two Territorial Army Battalions in London, the Home Counties and across the South West, with further sub-units in Shropshire, Yorkshire and County Durham. The Regiment is proud of its strong and deep connections with its historic Counties. That nearly one quarter of all Army Cadets proudly wear The Rifles cap badge is the living embodiment of these enduring links.
Whether a General or a new recruit, every individual in the Regiment shares the common bond of being a Rifleman. Intelligence, initiative and self-discipline are the hallmarks of a Rifleman, as is professional excellence and fighting spirit. It is a point of pride to say "I am a Rifleman". These distinct characteristics, born of a rich heritage, are now encapsulated in The Rifles' motto, "Swift and Bold".
The Rifles' success on the battlefield has come at a cost. Over 60 Riflemen have been Killed in Action and countless others severely wounded. Many have lost limbs, are permanently blinded or will require long term neurological care. The Rifles Regimental Family believes that it has an enduring responsibility to care for its bereaved, wounded and their families. Care for Casualties is a ring-fenced appeal which provides immediate and long term support to our casualties and their families. However seriously a Rifleman has been injured, he still has a future ahead of him, the potential of which must be realised. Care for Casualties aims to do this.
Click above for the three galleries of photographs taken before and during the concert.
".... The Concert in the Royal Albert Hall was a bold and ambitious concept brilliantly executed , deeply moving and enormously enjoyable.
I was never more proud to be a Rifleman.
God speed the Rifles."