|The Combined Bands of the Royal
The Corps of
Royal Engineers was formed in 1856, when two organisations were
brought together: the Royal Engineers, comprising entirely of
officers, and the Royal Sappers and Miners, being the other
From 1880 a full RE Symphony Orchestra began
to emerge. It became so popular that in 1887, at Queen
Victoria's command they performed at Buckingham Palace for a
State banquet on the occasion of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.
During the First World War in 1916 and 1917 the Band toured
the forward areas in France and Belgium, giving some 175
concerts to the troops and travelling over 1800 miles. Following
the cessation of hostilities, the Band made a further tour of
the war areas.
In 1936 the Corps Band played at the
funeral of King George V. With their scarlet tunics and
bearskins, they were unfortunately mistaken for a Guards Band,
and to avoid such confusion in the future it was decreed that
busbies would be substituted for the bearskins, in time for the
Coronation of King George VI in 1937.
During the war
years the Band toured continually playing to the British and
allied troops in the United Kingdom. Following the cessation of
hostilities in 1945, the band returned to its home in Chatham.
In 1952 the Band played at the funeral of King George VI,
also the Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Engineers Band has appeared at numerous state occasions, Royal
Tournaments, Edinburgh Military Tattoos and national sporting
events. It has also played for the opening of some of this
country's greatest engineering achievements; including The
Channel Tunnel and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. It continually
achieves wide public recognition through its many broadcasts,
recordings and concert performances.
In recent years the
Band has travelled extensively throughout Europe, Australia, The
Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, The Middle East, Uzbekistan, South
Korea, Canada and Dominican Republic.