THE CORPS OF DRUMS

“The Drums”, as the Corps of Drums are affectionately and usually known, have a unique and honoured place in Battalion life.

The Drums lead the Battalion on parade and so only the very highest standards are acceptable from the Drum Major and his Drummers, who are traditionally answerable to the Adjutant for their standards of playing, turnout and deportment.

Drummers, as all Private Soldiers in the Drums are known, were expected to set an example for discipline and turnout as it was them who were responsible for flogging soldiers convicted of military crime.

The Drum Major oversaw this flogging and was charged with keeping Battalion routine by setting all clocks and ensuring that the bugle calls controlling the Battalion routine were sounded punctually and accurately.

Drums, and later bugles were carried in Battle (the latter as late as 1944 with the Royal Norfolk Regiment in Burma) and were used to give tactical orders.

Drummers uniquely are infantry soldiers as well as providers of music. Before armies were mechanised, formed bodies of soldiers marched everywhere and it was the duty of the Drums to provide fife and drum music throughout the long miles of a route march.

The roles given to the Drums have been many, SF Machine Gunners and as the Battalion HQ Defence Platoon, but Drummers have also provided Anti-Aircraft Gunners, Intelligence Staff, Stretcher Bearers and even Assault Pioneers.

The Corps of Drums have been described as “The Pride of the Regiment”, and for this reason the Drummers beat reveille to begin Minden Day and the Drum Major alone among non-commissioned ranks, handles the Colours between the Officers’ Mess and the Escort.

The Vikings have been lucky to maintain the fife and drums traditions of the Infantry and of the former Regiments that make up the Royal Anglian Regiment, a tradition that can only be maintained with the full support and pride of all ranks and former ranks of the Battalion.

Drum Majors
1959 1962 Drum Major T Hitchen
1962 1966 Drum Major GF Moyes
1966 1968 Drum Major RW Huxtable
1968 1979 Drum Major D May
1979 1984 Drum Major D Hilton
1984 1990 Drum Major A Bokenham BEM
1990 1996 Drum Major R Fleming
1996 1997 Drum Major TR Lenton
1997 2000 Drum Major M Wildney
2000 2003 Drum Major J Self
2003 2005 Drum Major P Howlett
2005 2008 Drum Major NJ Love
2008 Drum Major SI Panter
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