Drums and Colours

Call the troops to order

‘The Drum is the Voice of Command’.  The drums are used by the officers to control the troops and to relay messages to them on the battlefield. There are a number of ‘drum calls’ such as the Troop, the Battalia, and (almost never for us) the Retreat, and a soldier hearing these would know what he was required to do.

If you have a sense of rhythm, being a drummer is a good way to be right in the middle of the action without taking an active part in the fighting.

The Regimental Colours

‘Colours’ is the name given to the flags representing different regiments or their component parts. Historically, they acted as a rallying point in the heat and smoke of battle, so that soldiers could easily spot their unit by its Colours, and the same is true during a reenactment battle. Colours embody the honour of the regiment, and are carried by an Ensign, a junior officer, who must defend them from capture at all odds. Losing the Colours to the enemy was the greatest disgrace for a regiment as it symbolised complete defeat.

Ensign and colour