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Our history

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History of The Guards Division Corps of Drums Association
The Official Web Site of The Guards Division Corps of Drums Association

Our History:

Malcolm Found, an ex-Grenadier Guards Drummer and ex-Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) Drummer, was most anxious to organise the ‘Reunion of all Reunions’, with the view of enticing old, and not so old, ex-Drummers to pick up their instruments again.  He believed in the often-quoted phrase “Once a Drummer, Always a Drummer”.  Malcolm did no more than turn to Peter Taylor, also an ex-Grenadier Guards Drummer, for help. They invited Major (Retired) Brian Lane (ex-Grenadier Guards Drummer and subsequently a Drum Major, and Blues and Royals) to head up the team to organise the big reunion.  Major (Rtd.) Lane was known as a “Drummer’s Drummer” and proved to be an ideal candidate for the post.

 

Major (Retired) Brian Lane
Major (Retired) Brian Lane,
Original Chairman
from 2004 to 2009

The reunion was to be staged during September 2004, but sadly Malcolm Found passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. This was before all the arrangements for the reunion had been completed. Fortunately with lots of hard work by the committee the “Reunion of all Reunions” did take place in September, 2004 at the Grenadier Guards Association Club, Windsor.  It was attended by ex-Drummers from both the Grenadier Guards and Honourable Artillery Company Drummers Association (HACDA).

During the gathering the ex-Drummers were invited to take up their instruments for an impromptu general practice. Even after many years, in some cases over forty years since a flute or drum had been played, the performance was most gratifying to see and hear.  As a result of the successful reunion, many former Drummers suggested they ought to “set something up, on a regular basis”. 

It was at this stage that Stuart Sutton, (ex-Coldstream Guards Corps of Drums, (3rd., then 2nd, and finally 1st Battalion Corps of Drums, and later the HAC Corps of Drums, eventually becoming their Drum Major) joined the organising committee.


It was decided, however, that to ensure a reasonable number of regular players they should include all ex-Drummers of the five Regiments of Foot Guards as well as members of the Honourable Artillery Company Drummers Association (HACDA).  Within eight weeks the first practice session was organised, and was attended by 35 ex-Drummers and has continued on a four to six-week cycle ever since.

In July 2005 Major General S.J.L. Roberts, Irish Guards, Commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District approved the name “The Guards Division Corps of Drums Association”.  The Inaugural Meeting took place on Sunday, 6 November 2005 and the following were voted into office:
 

Peter Taylor, [Lead Tap]
Peter Taylor, [Lead Tap]
Original Hon. Secretary
from 2004 to 2011

Stuart Sutton
Stuart Sutton
Original Hon. Treasurer
from 2004

President:

Major Denis Burton, ARCM, psm, Director of Music, Grenadier Guards.

Vice-Presidents:

Major (Rtd) Peter Horsfall (Coldstream Guards),
All serving Drum Majors of the five-Foot Guards Regiments,
Martyn Pearson, Chairman of the Honourable Artillery Company Drummers Association.

Chairman:

Major (Rtd) Brian Lane (Grenadier Guards and Blues and Royals).

Honorary Secretary:

Peter Taylor (Grenadier Guards).

Honorary Treasurer:

Stuart Sutton (Coldstream Guards and Honourable Artillery Company)

Since those early days we have paraded on many occasions.  The most moving and enjoyable parade was when we linked up with the Yorkshire Corps of Drums for a joint weekend at Ypres for the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.  The joint Corps of Drums gave a static performance for about twenty minutes in front of Cloth Hall in Ypres.  We then formed up and marched down Menin Street to the Menin Gate to take part in the Last Post Ceremony held every night at 8.00 pm for the Sounding of Last Post.  The joint Corps of Drums were then asked by the Last Post Officials, who manage the ceremony, to play more of our unique marching music.  Both visitors and residents really appreciated our contributions to that evening’s ceremony.

Our thanks to Ian Nash and Stuart Sutton for the above photographs

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Name that Tune
played by the GDCoDA

 

 

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