Royal Marines Rehearse Drumhead Service for VJ Day 70

Royal Marines Rehearse Drumhead Service for VJ Day 70

Royal Marine musicians have been practising their manoeuvres for the drumhead service set to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day on 15 August.

VJ Day 70: Royal Marines rehearse Drumhead Service ahead of national commemorations

Members of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band Portsmouth will be leading the musical contributions in London on 15 August as the nation gathers for the anniversary of the Victory over Japan in the Second World War.

The band will be performing in London as part of a ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in front of The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and hundreds of veterans of the Far East campaign.

The main focus of the event will be a drumhead service, where Royal Marines buglers and percussionists will pile up their drums to form a ceremonial altar at the centre of the parade.


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Colour Sergeant Bugler Phill Hawkins, the Bugle Major in charge of the Corps of Drums of the Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth, said:

We are very much looking forward to playing our part in the upcoming 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day.

It is important for us as a nation to pay tribute to the veterans of the Second World War and the sacrifices they made so that we might enjoy the freedoms we have today.

I would encourage everyone to show their support for our veterans by marking the anniversary on 15 August.

Drumhead ceremonies were used during times of conflict as a point of worship when no real altar could be used.

Bugler Adam Peers, 23, has just completed his training at the Royal Marines School of Music in Portsmouth, and joins the Portsmouth band this summer. His first major event will be the VJ Day ceremony on Saturday. He said:

I am a little bit nervous but looking forward to joining the band and performing for VJ Day as my first major event.

It is an important part of our nation’s history and I will enjoy being part of the ceremony paying tribute to our veterans.

VJ Day 70

Her Majesty The Queen and members of The Royal Family will attend a series of events on Saturday 15 August 2015 in London to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day.

Members of the public are being encouraged to support this anniversary by lining Whitehall in Central London to watch a spectacular flypast of historic and modern military aircraft, view the drumhead service taking place in Horse Guards Parade on big screens, and cheer on the veterans as they parade supported by military bands and current personnel in honour of the role they played in the Second World War.

Visit VJ Day 70 for more information about the event and how you can take part. You can also join the conversation online by following #VJDay70.