of the The 14th/20th King’s Hussars
The Regimental Band was a multi faceted unit within the Regimental system. Most Army personnel and Civilians only got to see a little of what a Regimental Band could provide musically.
Predominantly the Regimental Band was a Concert band and Marching band providing musical support for Mess Dinners, Concerts, Church services as well as Military and civilian parades. However there was more to the 14th/20th King’s Hussars Regimental Band as they could also provide a 16 piece dance band playing the latest pop music of the day for Regimental functions this band was made up of brass instruments, Lead and Bass Guitar and Drum Kit, they also had lead singers in the main these were provided from within the band although in the early 1980’s they manage to acquire a female singer who was married to a member of the Regiment.
The Dixie band started in 1984 and replaced the 16 piece dance band and was able to perform with less players however it did concentrate on music from the 1920’s and 1930’s. In the 1990’s a Brass group was formed and this small band together with a key board player performed a small mess dinners.
The 14th/20th King’s Hussars Regimental Band were the only RAC band to use a Glockenspiel whilst on parade in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
The Band also had a Fanfare Team which was made up of 8 Trumpet Players playing fanfares on Eb Herald Trumpets, the band also provided a Duty Trumpeter who played the Regimental and routine Calls throughout the Day.
In 1982 the Band held the First Commanding Officers (CO’s) Trumpeter Competition and the competition took place at the Officers Mess Schloss Breadabeck in Hohne. The winner of the competition became the CO’s Trumpeter for 12 months , carried the Garbutt Silver Trumpet when on parade and used what was known as the Gurka Trumpet Banner when performing in the Fanfare team.
For the majority of engagements the band would wear number 1 dress however in the early 1980’s the band did acquire the ceremonial dress uniform of the Regiment.
Every Five years the Regimental Band were inspected by the Royal Military School of Music – Kneller Hall. Every aspect of the band was inspected, all musical capabilities as well as the Instrument store, Band Library and administration.
Every member of the Regimental Band had the opportunity to attend a pupils course at the Royal Military School of Music – Kneller Hall, this was a 12 month course and on completion of this course pupils could apply for the 3 year Student Bandmasters course also held at Royal Military School of Music – Kneller Hall.
The Regimental made Four recordings in 1982 they recorded an LP entitled The Regimental Band of the 14th/20th King’s Hussars, followed by a joint recording with the Pipes and Drums of the 6th Gurka Rifles. In the early 1990’s the band recorded The Passing of the Regiments dedicated to all the Royal Armoured Corps Regiments and recorded with the Regimental Band of The Royal Hussars (PWO) and our final Band recording was the CD Farewell which was dedicated to all those who served in the 14th/20th King’s Hussars.
Each member of the band also had a combat role – their role was Medical assistants either qualified as RAMAC 3 or later as a Combat Medical Technician. The band could be deployed in a variety of Medical roles ranging from Regimental Aid Post (RAP) as they did in Gulf War One, or as part of a Field Ambulance, Dressing Station, Field Hospital, General Hospital.
The Band was no stranger to conflict, between 1941 and 1947 it was temporarily disbanded assuming the role of Mortar Troop. In October 1947 they were re-formed under the bandmastership of WO1 Mr Hurst A.R.C.M.
The Regimental band was one of the smaller elements of the Regiment however during the 70 years of the 14th/20th King’s Hussars the band participated in most of the sporting opportunities available. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the band had Regimental and Royal Armoured Corps sportsmen in Football, Golf, Hockey, X – Country Running, Road Running and Squash. The band could also boast that they also had Army Champions in Golf and Windsurfing.
The Band wearing ceremonial uniform.
Written by: Dave Higson – former band member of the 14th/20th King’s Hussars