Beating Retreat is a military ceremony dating to 17th-century England. Originally it was known as watch setting and was initiated at sunset by the firing of a single round from the evening gun. An order from the army of James VII of Scotland dated to 18 June 1690 had his drums beating an order for his troops to retreat.
About Beating retreat in brief
Beating Retreat is a military ceremony dating to 17th-century England. It was first used to recall nearby patrolling units to their castle. Originally it was known as watch setting and was initiated at sunset by the firing of a single round from the evening gun. An order from the army of James VII of Scotland dated to 18 June 1690 had his drums beating an order for his troops to retreat. These days, most armed forces in the Commonwealth perform some ceremonial form of the retreat and it is often used as a proving test for new band members as well as a practice for difficult drill moves such as the Spin Wheel. The London version takes place on Horse Guards Parade. Each year, on the Wednesday and Thursday evenings preceding Trooping the Colour, the Massed Bands, Pipes and Drums and Corps of Drums of the Household Division, supported by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and visiting military bands from other services around the world perform a sunset concert involving precision drill, horses, cannons and fireworks in time with the music. Historically, on at least one evening, a senior member of the British Royal Family has attended and taken the salute. The latest event was slated for a May 2018 date, marking the 65th anniversary of the 1953 Coronation of HM the Queen and will be followed by another in 2022. The Royal Marines ceremony should not be confused with that of the Army which takes place every year, also in June. The reason is that that bugles are used in the ceremony in sounding Sunset, given the origins of the former British infantry branch the Rifles and the Buglers.
The first performance of Tchaikovsky’s Overture was held at the Beating Retreating ceremony in 1993 and the creation of the Sounding Retreat since 1993. The British Army’s version of the ceremony was handed down from the British Army to the Australian Defence Force before the creation in 1968 of the LD Force. The Massed. Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, numbering some two hundred, perform their Beating. Retreat ceremony every two years in celebration of the birthday of their Captain General, Prince Harry. Because of its popularity, it is generally over three nights. The ceremony’s charity partner is the RNRMC. The most recent events were in June 2012 in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, in June 2014 in honour. of the RM’s 350 years of service to the nation and also the first to feature a guard of honour company from 40 Commando Brigade and bands from the United States Marine Corps and the Netherlands Marine Corps. The 3rd time this occurred was in June 2015, when the BR that year honoured the bicentennial jubilee of the Battle of Waterloo, with the Staff Band of the Bundeswehr taking part. The 2nd time this happened was during the June 2014 edition honouring the 70th year since D-Day, with two bands from French Armed Forces and including the Royal Yeomanry and the Honourable Artillery Company.