For one night only, on Saturday 30th June at 7:30 pm, a special ‘Last Night of the Proms’ performance in St Petroc’s Church will see Lostwithiel Town Band once again assuming its old role as the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry T.A. Band. The museum is also delighted to announce that the soloist for the concert is Karen Hurn, a well-known singer alongside a successful career in Barclays corporate banking. Karen is a dedicated charity fundraiser and thanks to her, Barclays has very kindly pledged £1,000 towards to concert’s fundraising effort.
The role of a regimental band in the military has always been an important one. In 1956, an approach was made to Lostwithiel Town Band to ask if, in addition to their role as Town Band, they would consider becoming the Band of the 4/5th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (DCLI) T.A. They agreed, and the band came across with twenty-two members and four Band boys. Their first Bandmaster was a Mr Chapman, who had been the Bandmaster to the Lahore Police Band in the Punjab and was trained at Kneller Hall, the Royal Military School of Music, the establishment where musicians are trained for the British Army. This made him an ideal candidate to fulfil this appointment.
Just 11 years after becoming the DCLI TA band, The Territorial Army underwent a massive reorganisation and sadly there was no longer on the establishment a Band for the DCLI T.A. In 1967 the band once again reverted to playing solely as Lostwithiel Town Band, and continues to play today (visit the Lostwithiel Town Band website, here).
There are only around five original members of the band surviving today, however those gentlemen remember their time with great affection, remarking how Colonel ‘Toots’ Williams joked that they were the richest band in Cornwall – as their service in the Territorial Army was paid!
Remarkably, two brothers who were original members of the T.A Band right from its beginnings still play in Lostwithiel Town Band to this day. Bernard and Malcolm Hicks have the honour of playing in the band’s revival concert, sixty-two years since the last time the band played under the title, in this very special concert at St Petroc’s Church. This concert will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the historic band of the famous Cornish Regiment, featuring two of its original members.
Tickets are £10, available from Cornwall’s Regimental Museum in advance, or can be purchased on the door. There is free parking in Priory Car Park after 6pm.
The concert is kindly being held to raise funds for the Museum, which is housed in Bodmin Keep, the historic home of the DCLI. The museum is a local registered charity (no. 1174375), and every penny raised on behalf of the museum will go towards securing the future of the museum, caring for the collections and telling our soldiers’ stories. Find out more about our charitable causes here.
St Petroc’s Church in Bodmin, with all its ties and close connections to this famous old Regiment, is a very special venue. The largest church in Cornwall (only outdone by Truro Cathedral!), St Petroc’s is also home to the regimental chapel of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, which was dedicated in 1933 and houses regimental standards dating to the time of Waterloo. St Petroc’s is also home of the St Petroc’s Sessions, a series of live music events organised by IntoBodmin. Find out more on the St Petroc’s Church website.
Lostwithiel Town Band has been an important part of the ancient Cornish stannary town of Lostwithiel since around 1885. Lostwithiel Town Band aspires to greatness but with a strong conviction that banding should be a hobby to be thoroughly enjoyed. The band always welcomes new players, young and old. Visit the Lostwithiel Town Band website.