Pipes & Drums tune up for Balmoral

August 28, 2018

The Combined RAF Pipes & Drums performed a full dress rehearsal of Beating Retreat at Gordon Barracks in Aberdeen ahead of today’s performance before Her Majesty the Queen at Balmoral Castle. 

Yesterday’s event – which was part of the RAF 100 celebrations – was enjoyed by around 60 guests and hosts invited to the barracks by Highland RFCA.

Guests included the Lord-Lieutenants of Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire, plus the Deputy Lieutenant of Aberdeen City. Also present were MPs Kirsty Blackman and Andrew Bowie, and veterans and members of the RAF Association in the North East including John Cruickshank VC (210 Sqn Sullom Voe).

The combined pipes and drums were brought together from regular units including from RAF Odiham, RAF Northolt, RAF Halton, RAF Waddington, RAF Lossiemouth, and also from 2622 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force based at Lossiemouth.

The band ranged in ages from 16-76 and, at 130-strong, was the biggest-ever collection of RAF musicians. They were expertly marshalled by Pipe Major Ian Hughes.

All contributors to the event were volunteers and, given the collaboration of regulars, reserves, veterans, cadets and adult volunteers, was an excellent example of the ‘whole force’ concept in action.

The salute was taken by Air Commodore Robbie Noel RAF (Retd) on behalf of Air Officer Scotland.

Many thanks to Acting Pilot Officer Matt Smith and the members of 2288 (Montrose) Squadron ATC who assisted on the day. Also, thanks go to Lt Col Geraint Davies and his station staff officer Norrie Donald for allowing the use of the facilities at Gordon Barracks.

Click HERE to view a gallery of images from the event.