The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's)

'Sans Peur'       Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders red and white dicing       'Ne Obliviscaris'


Bandmasters
lst Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's)

Dates

Name

Comments

1855 - May 1862 Davies ? 
1862 - May 1886 Kelly, Peter Long and Meritorious Service Medal 1884. Glamorgan Artillery Volunteers. Died in Wales 1891.
July 1886 - February 1889 MacKinnon, JohnTo 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry.
March 1889 - January 1902 Hill, Michael 
January 1902 - November 1909 McClurg, JohnTo QVS.
November 1909 - December 1914 MacDonald, Edmund Maxwell  
December 1914 - December 1932 Garrett, JohnTo Captain, Director of Music, Cyprus Police.
December 1932 - September 1951 O'Connor, Alexander George ARCMTo Highland Brigade Aberdeen.
Longest serving in the 1st Battalion's history (19 years).
April 1952 - March 1958 Howe, James Hakin MBE LRAM ARCMTo Brigade of Guards as Major, Director of Music.
April 1958 - December 1963 Pope, Maurice Andrew ARCMTo Staff Band, Woolwich.
December 1963 - April 1969 Pearson, James Henry ARCMFrom Royal Engineers.
April 1969 - 1972 Tomlinson, Roger Grenfell BA ARCM LCSM FTCLTo Blues & Royals, Director of Music.
January 1972 - February 1974 Chamberlain, Lemuel 
April 1974 - December 1983 Clark, S.R.  
January 1984 - 1991 Lamb, Kevin G. BA DipEd FVCM BBCMTo Royal Military School of Music as Captain.
1991 - 1993 Hunt, Peter John 

Bandmasters
2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's)

Dates

Name

Comments

1800 Band formed
1835 - 1839 McKENZIE, James 
1839 - 1843 Ross, J 
1843 - 1850 Dark, A 
1850 - 1859 Clow, JDied in the Himalayas at Subhatoo, India, 1859.
1869 - 1884 Becker, ATo 3rd Battalion A&SH.
1884 - 1894 GRANT, JamesTo Pension.
1895 - 1903 DAVIES, WilliamFrom Oxfordshire Light Infantry to Pension.
1903 - 1908 WALSH, JohnTo Pension.
1908 - 1927 RICKETTS, Frederick JosephTo RM (Kenneth Alford).
Longest serving in the 2nd Battalion's history (19 years).
1927 - 1939 BEAT, Charles Smart ARCM 


These notes have been adapted from The History of British Military Bands,
Volume Two: Guards & Infantry

The Regiment, known as the 91st, had Pipes and Drums from the time of their formation. However, the Military Band was not formed until a few years later.

In a letter dated 13 January 1801, the first Colonel of the Regiment, Duncan Campbell, expresses his regret that, "other duties have prevented him from looking out for a man as master of the incipient band: I shall however, write to our friend Wortley to speak to the man who made the First Regiment's Band, to be looking out for a proper person and also choosing Instruments and Materials for Clothing." The post was filled shortly afterwards and the Band was formed.

The Regiment, known as the 93rd, appeared to have had a Band from its earliest days of formation. Evidence for this is provided by General Wemyss of Wemyss, who raised the regiment in 1799. He had a reputation for providing his units with brass instruments.

His own record of accounts from 1800 show that he paid Broderick and Williamson 6.0.2d for musical instruments, and Kolak 12.4.7d for French horns. During an inspection of 1809 in Capetown, he reported that the band were merely 'tolerable', and that the 'instruments were good'. The following year he commented that the musicians were 'improving'.

To this day, the General Wemyss' legacy survives in the form of a Jingling Johnny, which was inherited by the 93rd from one of his previous Regiments, the 3rd Sutherland Fencibles. The instrument is still in the possession of the Regiment and is engraved with the initials W.W.

Little is known about the first Bandmasters of the two Regiments. Sergeant James McKenzie was responsible for the Band of the 93rd between 1835 and 1839, whilst a brief entry in the Commanding Officer's Rough Book of the 91st in 1860 mentions a Mr Davies, who had offered to conduct a weekly band practice whilst the Regiment was in Kamptee in India.

Much more is known of Mr Davies' successor, Sergeant Peter Kelly, for he had attended a course at Kneller Hall prior to taking over the position of Bandmaster in 1862.

In 1871 the Band and the Pipes and Drums of the 91st, played at the wedding of Princess Louise, the Duchess of Argyll and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. The wedding procession was lead with a rendition bt the Band of 'Bonnie Mary of Argyll'.

In 1872 the Regiment incorporated, Princess Louise, into its name.

During the winter of 1873 the Band and the Pipes and Drums of the 91st, played weekly at the Assembly Music Room in Edinburgh. 42 was collected in the form of admission charges. That money was used to erect a drinking fountain on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade.

Also in 1873, the 93rd was posted to Aldershot. But for various reasons, the Band members arrived in such small numbers that it was nicknamed 'The Twelve Apostles'.

After the 1881 amalgamation of the 91st and 93rd, the 1st Argylls were posted throughout the British Empire. As the reputation of the Band and Pipes and Drums grew, they found themselves in great demand for local weddings in Ceylon.

During their tour of duty in Johannesburg in 1902-3, the Band and Pipes played a regular weekly afternoon concert in the public gardens.

The 2nd Battalion was posted to India at the turn of the century. The British Army serving abroad at that time became very fond of Regimental concert parties, and the new Bandmaster, Mr Walsh and his wife, soon established themselves as regular songsters in the concert. The orchestra at these concerts was usually organised by Band Sergeant Hall.

In 1908 the Regiment sent a detachment of officers and men, including the Band and Pipes and Drums to London for guard duties, in the absence of the Foot Guards, who were on manoeuvres.

 

A certain Frederick Joseph Ricketts, who served with the Regiment under the name Kenneth J Alford, was appointed Bandmaster of the 2nd Battalion in 1908, joining the Band at Tempe in the Orange River Colony. He is recognised as having composed many of the finest British military marches.

During World War I, Bandmaster Ricketts and the bandboys joined the 3rd Battalion in Edinburgh. The remainder of the band musicians acted as stretcher bearers and medical orderlies.

During the 1920s, under the baton of Bandmaster Ricketts, performances by the 2nd Battalion Band became a popular fixture in the parks of London.

In 1925 the Band of the 2nd Battalion did a six-month tour of New Zealand, where it played as the resident band for the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition. It was during this tour that Bandmaster Ricketts wrote two of his famous tunes, 'Dunedin' and 'Old Panama'.

In 1927 Bandmaster Ricketts was appointed Director of Music at the Royal Marines depot in Deal, and as a mark of his popularity, 15,000 people turned up to wish him well. Bandmaster Charles Beat was appointed as his successor.

After a period in India, the 2nd Battalion moved to Singapore in 1936 and remained there during the surrender of the Island to the Japanese in 1942. It was during this period that the Band suffered some human casualties as well as the loss of their instruments and band equipment.

During this period of action by the 2nd Battalion, the Bandsmen of the 1st Battalion were undergoing preparatory training for service in the Western Desert of North Africa.

At the end of World War II in 1945 the Band returned to Britain, where the 2nd Battalion was disbanded in 1947. The two Bands were then amalgamated under the baton of Bandmaster O'Connor of the 1st Battalion.

In 1960 the Band performed at the British Trade Fair in Moscow, where the Bandsmen were introduced to Nikita Kruschev.

Later, in 1962, they performed at one of their most spectacular events in the Hollywood Bowl, California, USA, where an audience of 40,000 watched the Band play in a reproduction of Stirling Castle.

In 1970, under threat of the reduction of the 1st Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from a Regiment to a single Company strength, the Band were disbanded.

However, after the Regiment gained a reprieve in 1972 as a result of a world-wide 'Save the Argylls Campaign', the Band was reformed in January of 1972.

The Band visited the men of the Regiment in the Falklands in 1986. They toured Australia in 1987, and spent three months performing across the USA and Canada at the end of 1989.

In February 1990 Bandmaster Kevin Lamb was appointed Deputy Chief Instructor at Kneller Hall, becoming the only Argyll ever to wear the uniform as a commissioned Director of Music.

Under the leadership of Bandmaster Peter Hunt in 1993, the Bandsmen joined the International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes, playing at various church services en route, and performing at various functions in the evening.

In 1994, the Band was finally disbanded and was absorbed into the newly formed Highland Band.


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