Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Joint band performance at Raleigh celebrates the corps birthday

28 October 2016
The 352nd anniversary of the formation of the Royal Marines Corps has been celebrated at HMS Raleigh.

The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth marked the occasion with a joint performance with members of the Sea Cadet Corps band and the cutting of a celebratory cake.

The cake was made by the wife of one of the musicians and cut by the Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, Captain Ellie Ablett, and the youngest member of the band, Musician Jack Lewis, aged 20.

Formed on 28 October 1664, the Royal Marines Corps traces its roots back to the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot.

Around 40 Cadets from all over the UK have spent four days working and rehearsing with the Royal Marines culminating in the concert performance and a full-scale beat-retreat.  Sea Cadet band courses are regularly held with the help of the Royal Marines Musicians and many of the Cadets present were fresh from the annual Trafalgar day parade in London (Sunday 23 October).

The Royal Marines are the people they look up to, particularly those who want to join the Band Service as a career.

Lieutenant Steve Louch,

Lieutenant (Lt) (Sea Cadet Corps) Steve Louch, Staff Officer for the Sea Cadet band (Southern Region), said: “About 30 of our Cadets were in Portsmouth last week where they trained for two days and then went to London to perform in Trafalgar square.

"They got straight onto the coach to come here and have been training since Monday morning.  Our Cadets come as quite talented musicians because this is an advanced intermediate course.

"They come and train with the professional musicians of the Royal Marines Band Service and under their help and guidance the Cadets get a lot out of being here.

"The Royal Marines are the people they look up to, particularly those who want to join the Band Service as a career.”

Lt Louch has been involved with the Sea Cadet band since he was 10-years-old.  His brother, Chief Petty Officer David Louch, is one of the instructors and both men have children in the band, who attended the course at Raleigh.  At one point there were eight members of the Louch family involved with the Trafalgar day parade.

Bugler Maddy Louch, aged 16, is CPO Louch’s daughter, while Marcus, who is also 16 and also plays the bugle, is Lt Louch’s son.  Maddy, from Portland, said:  “I’ve been to Raleigh nine times for a band course and I’ve been playing the bugle since I was 10.  The fact that it’s a bit of a family reunion is something we all look forward to.”

Marcus also plays the clarinet and comes from the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.  He said:  “The only time we get to see each other seems to be Cadet related. I really like coming here for the course. I can play stuff, but after working with the Royal Marines, I can play better and more precise.”

Major Richard Long, the Director of Music of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth said:  “We are delighted to have the Sea Cadets here with us for the week.

"It’s an excellent opportunity for them to see how we work and for us to share with them our musical experiences and expertise.

"We’ve steadily had a few musicians come and join the Royal Marines Band Service as a result of these courses and audition at the Royal Marines School of Music in Portsmouth, so that helps us as well, but generally the course is broader than that.  It’s about encouraging young people to enjoy music.

"Overall I think they’ve had a great time.  We’ve certainly enjoyed hosting them and look forward to many courses being run here in the future.”

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.