Time-Beater 1925

It may seem confusing that this bandsman beats a drum and is not a drummer in the Corps of Drums, nevertheless he is a member of the band of the Grenadier Guards, and recruited as a military musician for the band, not as a guardsman. His tunic is almost unique in that it is basically a Grenadier bandsman's tunic but has gold lace on the sleeves and on the back seams. But there have been changes to the lace over the period from 1880 to 1925. The Seccombe cartoon of 1881 depicts the drum-beaters' sleeves as having chevrons like this, from shoulder to cuff, but the drum-beaters in the photo of the Band in 1904 have vertical gold lace lines on the upper part. The difference, however between the Seccombe sleeve and this one is the inside of the elbows which have dark blue areas edged in gold lace. Comparing this tunic with the one worn by the bandsman of 1914, you will notice that the collar and shoulder wings are now more economical with the gold decoration. There is no gold lace edge to the collar and the grenade badge is now cloth like the guardsmen, not silver wire. The badge on the shoulder has shrunk and the gold fringe has disappeared.

There is no drum carriage or apron on this time-beater. The only item, apart from the drum and drumsticks is the sword which is still carried by the band and Corps of Drums at this time. His medals show that he is a veteran of World War One, and the long service stripes on his left forearm show at least six years of good-conduct. They are placed point down to avoid being lost in the sleeve decoration.

Regimental details | Band


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by Stephen Luscombe