• GBBA

The Arnhem Service

Updated: Sep 29, 2019


On Sunday 8th September, Cirencester Band performed at The Arnhem Service, which was held at The Rectory, Ampney Crucis in Cirencester to mark the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden. The village was home to RAF Down Ampney, and many service personnel left from this small Gloucestershire community to fight in the Battle of Arnhem and in Holland. Veterans still return each year for this service. Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was born in the village and he named the hymn tune to Come down, O love divine after the place of his birth. For the service, The Down Ampney March was composed in memory of those who served at RAF Down Ampney, and also for 47 Air Despatch Squadron, RLC.


The band's performance was well received by the attendees of the service; in particular, remarks from distinguished guests RAF Chaplain-in-Chief (who preached at the service), Group Captain Sanger-Davies (representing the Air Chief Marshall), the Bishop of Gloucester, and Brigadier Mark Christie of the Parachute Regiment, who said the march ‘sounded like the theme tune of a war film’.


Debbie Wiseman OBE (left in the photograph), is the composer in residence at Classic FM and has written for television and film, and is more than happy to receive requests from bands to perform the new piece as part of their repertoire, suitably in time for upcoming Remembrance Services that GBBA bands will perform at across Gloucestershire in November.


If you would like to request the piece, please contact Debbie Wiseman direct via email: dwiseman10@aol.com.

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