The Waterloo Band of The Rifles
The Waterloo Band and Bugles of the Rifles is a band of the Army Reserves based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom, one of three bands: one Regular and two Reserve belonging to the Rifles regiment. The Rifles is the largest regiment of the British Army and was formed in 2007 with the amalgamation of four former Light Infantry and Rifle Regiments.
The Waterloo Band was formed in 1988 as the Royal Green Jacket Territorial Army Band based in Oxford, and was fortunate enough to be rehoused to Edward Brooks Barracks in 2008, a brand new purpose-built facility with our own sound-proofed band block. Two of the original members still play in the band. All the musicians on parade are Reserve soldiers, loyally committed not only to the busy schedule of the Waterloo Band but holding down full-time jobs ranging from teachers, translators, plumbers, electricians and train drivers, as well as juggling normal family commitments.
The Bands and Bugles of the Rifles uphold traditions dating back as far as the Napoleonic Wars. Instead of using the cumbersome drum, the earliest Riflemen used bugles to communicate orders on the battlefield. The bands have evolved a unique style of music to match The Rifles faster than normal marching pace at 140 paces per minute, maintaining the tradition of the Rifles motto “Swift and Bold”. Our regiment’s emblem of the silver bugle features heavily within the band’s bugles, on our buttons, as part of our cap badge and is the name of one of our most popular marches: Silver Bugles.
The band draws its musicians and buglers from all over the South of England with some travelling from as far as Bournemouth, Gloucestershire and East London. It travels extensively fulfilling engagements both throughout the UK and abroad, notably providing musical support at the 2012 London Olympics, UK Freedom and Homecoming parades throughout the UK and supporting the United Nations Partnership for Peace Initiatives in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Just this year, the musicians have had opportunities to perform in London, marching past Buckingham Palace and along The Mall, some have visited Georgia and Armenia and we are all thrilled to now perform for the Bermuda Tattoo as well as the Lord Mayor of London’s Parade in November. The three Rifles bands have forged close musical links, and in 2012 performed together in a musical extravaganza at the Royal Albert Hall attended by seven Royal Honorary Colonels in aid of the Rifles Appeal: Care for Casualties.
The band’s Director of Music is Major Peter Clark, MCMI, MMus, PGDip (Mgt), ARCM, psm. He served as a regular Director of Music and moved to the Army Reserves, commanding the Waterloo Band in 2005.