Belgium 2017

The Menin Gate


The Long Road to Passchendaele Tattoo

Scribe Mike Boxall

The Long Road to Passchendaele Tattoo

The Cinque Ports RV Corps of Drums in Belgium, August 2017

The Cinque Ports Corps of Drums was invited to take part in The Long Road to Passchendaele Tattoo in Zonnebeke, Belgium, on 19th August, 2017, with participation in the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate on Friday 18th.


Seventeen members of the Corps, two accompanying ladies and the Drum Major made the trip to Belgium, staying at the Peace Hostel at Messines. After playing in front of the Cloth Hall in Ypres beside the Pipes and Drums of the London Scottish Regiment, the Corps marched them down to the Menin Gate for the evening ceremony.


The Corps practised its tattoo routine on Saturday morning before going to the tattoo venue for rehearsals on the showground. The other bands taking part were: the Traditioneel Jachthoornkorps Gardejagers (a hunting horn band linked to the Dutch MOD), the Band of Liberation (a Remembrance Band, also from Holland), the Pipes and Drums of the London Scottish Regiment, the Ypres Surrey Pipes & Drums (a Belgian Remembrance Pipe Band) and Field Marshal Haig's Own Pipes & Drums (another Remembrance Pipe Band from Belgium). Also featured at the Tattoo were Alan Bryden on guitar and vocals, and the singer Isla St Clair.


After an enjoyable and successful tattoo, the Corps returned to the UK on Sunday 20th August. Before leaving Belgium, the Corps visited the Strand and White House Military Cemeteries where remembrance crosses were placed at one relative’s and three Royal Sussex Regiment, Cinque Ports Battalion, graves.


For a fuller account of the trip seen through the eyes of the Corps mascot, a teddy bear called Little Geoff, click Little Geoff's adventure For some photos go to Belgium photos 2017


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