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Service Bands

Volume 76: debated on Wednesday 3 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the number of engagements of each service band in 1984 together with the number which were (i) essential for reasons of state, (ii) reasonably necessary for strictly military duties, (iii) for public entertainment and (iv) for private entertainment, including performance at mess and on other service occasions;(2) whether he will publish in the

Official Report a list of the service bands together with the total number of bandsmen and the total number of military and other persons employed directly or indirectly in training, provisioning, transporting, housing and paying them, including the contingent liability to pension payment.

The following table lists all service bands and the personnel in each. Figures showing their engagements are not kept centrally in the form requested, but the number which were fee-paying are listed.The number of individuals employed in training service bands is as follows:

RAFFull time: 6
Part time: 8
Royal MarinesFull time: 40
Part time: 16
* Training also takes place at junior musician training units; those that can be accounted for in training bandsmen cannot be separately identified.
The number of individuals employed in provisioning, transporting, housing and paying bands personnel cannot be separately identified from those employed on these tasks for the benefit of service men as a whole in the units which they serve.

Royal Marines

Title of Band

Number of Band Personnel

Number of Fee-Paying (public) Engagements 1983–84

1. Royal Marine School of Music Band6658
2. Band of Commander-in-Chief, Fleet6640
3. Band of Commander-in-Chief, Naval Home Command6645
4. Band of Hag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland422
5. Band of Flag Officer Plymouth4216
6. Band of Commando Forces Royal Marines (disbanded 1 April 1985)4224
7. Band of Commando Training Centre Royal Marines4231
8. Britannia Royal Naval College3412
9. Band of Flag Officer, Third Flotilla (disbands 1 April 1987)22


* The band spend most of its time embarked and apart from engagements during deployments undertakes very few engagements.


Title of band

Number of band personnel

Number of fee-paying (public) engagements 1983–84

1. Life Guards3514
2. Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons3530
3. Grenadier Guards5033
4. Coldstream Guards5050
5. Scots Guards5050
6. Irish Guards5077
7. Welsh Guards5065
8. Royal Artillery (Woolwich)5021
9. Royal Artillery (Alanbrooke)3531
10. Royal Engineers (Chatham)5012
11. Royal Signals5015
12. Royal Tank Regiment (Alamein)2216
13. Royal Tank Regiment (Cambrai)2219
14. Royal Tank Regiment (Rhine)228
15. Brigade of Gurkhas5016
16. Royal Corps of Transport3527
17. Royal Army Ordnance Corps3510
18. Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers3512
19. Womens Royal Army Corps358
20. Queen's Dragoon Guards228
21. Royal Scots Dragoon Guards229
22. 4/7th Dragoon Guards222
23. 5th Royal Inniskillin Dragoon Guards225
24. Queens Own Hussars2220
25. Queens Royal Irish Hussars228
26. 9/12th Royal Lancers2214
27. Royal Hussars2212
28. 13th/18th Royal Hussars2212
29. 14th/20th Kings Hussars229
30. 15th/19th Kings Hussars223
31. 16th/5th Royal Lancers2222
32. 17th/21st Royal Lancers224
33. The Royal Scots223
34. Royal Highland Fusiliers224
35. Kings Own Scottish Borderers229
36. Black Watch2211
37. Queens Own Highlanders228
38. Gordons225
39. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders2213
40. Queens Regiment—Albuhera Band3510
41. Queens Regiment—Quebec Band359

Title of band

Number of band personnel

Number of fee-paying (public) engage ments 1983–84

42. Royal Regiment of Fusiliers—St. Georges Band351
43. Royal Regiment of Fusiliers—Duke of Kents Band358
44. 1st Royal Anglian Regiment2223
45. 2nd Royal Anglian Regiment2220
46. 3rd Royal Anglian Regiment2213
47. Kings Own Border2211
48. Kings Regiment2216
49. Prince of Wales Own227
50. Green Howards227
51. 1st Royal Irish Rangers223
52. 2nd Royal Irish Rangers222
53. Queens Lancashire Regiment229
54. Duke of Wellington's Regiment2211
55. The Devonshire & Dorset Regiment222
56. 22nd Cheshire Regiment225
57. Royal Welch Fusiliers228
58. Royal Regiment of Wales225
59. 1st Battalion Glosters226
60. Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters2218
61. Royal Hampshire Regiment225
62. Staffordshire Regiment2213
63. Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment226
64. Light Infantry Corunna Band352
65. Light Infantry Salamanca Band359
66. Normandy Band Royal Green Jackets358
67. Peninsula Band Royal Green Jackets3512
68. Regimental Band 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment3510
69. Regimental Band of the Parachute Regiment3527


Title of band

Number of band personnel

Number of fee-paying (public) engagements 1983–84

1. Central Band7930
2. RAF College Band4220
3. RAF Regiment Band4210
4. Western Band428
5. RAF Germany Band4249
6. Salon Orchestra783

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the total direct and indirect costs of retaining service bands including the costs of accommodation, transportation, training, recruitment, victualling, pay and all allowances of any kind, and contingent pension cost; and how much of this cost is incurred overseas.

Costs are not available in the detailed format requested as many of the sub categories identified cannot readily be separated from amongst the overall costs of units of which the bands form but a part. However, the current costs for all service bands, in the following broad categories, can be estimated—primarily on the basis of present capitation rates—as follows:

£ million
Personnel Costs (including Pay, ERNIC and Personal Allowances)25·5

£ million

Support Costs (including movements, basic training and office support costs)5·3

Contingent pension costs are estimated at £5·2 million.