Cornwall's Service & Volunteer Bands 
    
 
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A work in progress......

Compiled by John Brush - notes on the history of the bands of Cornwall from the earliest days to the end of the Second World War.

If you have any comments on this page, or further information you would like to submit, please email  gavin@ibew.co.uk.

If you wish to contact John Brush directly, please email:  ja.brush@virgin.net
Brass Bands Service & Volunteer Bands


Service & Volunteer Bands



Militia units have been operational in Cornwall for some considerable time, but in 1852, due to the ever present threat from France, they were reorganised. Then in 1859 the then Secretary of State for War issued instructions for the formation of volunteer units, and in the case of Cornwall this order resulted in infantry and artillery companies.

All of the major towns now had an infantry unit, except Truro who had two! Initially they were all numbered, that that changed in 1880 to a letter designation. Later, the overall administration became the responsibility of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. To the public the only change that was noticed was in the titles. Everything west of Truro became the 1st Battalion, and to the east, the 2nd Battalion (Truro itself was 1st Battalion). Also was added the words 'Volunteer Battalion.' The final change came about in 1908 when they were all designated 'Territorial Force', 1st Battalion became the 4th and the 2nd Battalion became the 5th. It could also be argued that the real final change came about in 1914.

Regarding the titles of the artillery units, this is far from straightforward. There does not appear to be an overall cohesive plan here. There must have been, of course, but if so, it is really difficult to understand. On top of this problem, today's Royal Artillery does not seem to have any real records of these units, so one is left with inaccurate newspaper reports.

There were a few other units, mainly Royal Engineers who in the main carried out the duties of laying mines in the waters around Cornwall and were hence labelled Submarine Miners. These duties were, in time, handed over to the Royal Navy, leaving Cornwall with only one RE unit.

Added to this list there was also the Territorial Army between the wars, and the Home Guard during WW2, but more of these later.

So what has this to do with bands? Simple. Every unit I mention had a band!


BODMIN
  1. No. 10 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles (1860);
    E Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles (1880);
    E Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (1907);
    E Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force) (1908)


    Not a lot is known about this band except that in 1873 their bandmaster was a Thomas Jago. That they existed is undoubted, as there are a number of engagements that have been noted.

  2. Royal Cornwall Rangers Militia: 3rd Battalion (Militia) Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry

    This band was certainly taking on engagements in 1840 but could not, obviously, be a brass band as we know one today (or even in 1850). They were a highly successful band that remained, throughout their life, in continuous operation. Some of their know Bandmasters are Mt McAllister (1853-64), Mr Horan (1864-67, Mr Mounter (1867-74), Robert Elford (1874-86) and, by now under the new title of 3rd Battalion, Mr Boorman (1905). In the 1860's they must have been outstanding, having amongst their players Robert Elford (cornet) who became their Bandmaster and changed the instrumentation to brass band, Philip Elford who joined the Royal Marines and became principal cornet of their Plymouth Band, as did William Ough. George Jago, a trombonist, took up a position with a London theatre orchestra and stayed there for many years. Then there was also William Jago who went on to become a much respected conductor of the St Austell Duke of Cornwall's Rifles band. Despite all this success, there is no record of them attending any contests.

  3. 13th Battalion Home Guard.
BUDE
  1. 4 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    L Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    L Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    L Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    The parent unit was formed in 1861 but it took quite a while for a band to be formed, probably sometime between 1872 and 1875. From 1898 to 1905 they were led by a J Hancock, a local tailor, who, according to the newspapers of the time, did appear to improve them but from what to what there is no way of telling as they carried out no contesting, at least in Cornwall.
CALLINGTON
  1. 5 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    B Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    B Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    E Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    There was a town band in existence when this volunteer unit was formed, yet at the enrolment parade if 1859 another village band was engaged and immediately afterwards this new volunteer company had a band, so it is a reasonable assumption that the Callington Town Band were among the potential recruits, sans instruments. Up to 1886 everything is musically clear in the town as the volunteer band was the only band present, carrying out things like cruises around the coast, Regattas, Sunday school tea treats and the like, when suddenly there appears a town band. Callington in those days could never have supported two bands and the impression gained is that it was one group of men wearing two uniforms, but each band having its own conductors. This happy (?) state of affairs carried on until 1905, after which no more mention can be discovered of the Volunteers Band. Whist wearing army uniform, no contests were undertaken, and the only recorded conductor was a certain R Rich.

CAMBORNE
  1. 2 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    B Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    B Company 1st Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    B Company 4th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    Formed on 17th October 1859, this unit had an immediate, fully functional, band. There had been a band of some description in Camborne at this time, so it would seem that the brass players of that band enlisted. The known conductors were E Dunn, later William Trudgeon, followed by William Uren, than a Mr Andrewartha, and finally Gabriel Pascoe. Whilst under the bandmastership of William Uren in 1896, the whole band, including the conductor, were dismissed the service for disobeying orders issued by the Commanding Officer for the second time. This group immediately formed the Camborne Town Band, and yet the volunteers appear to have experienced no difficulty in forming a replacement band. Between 1863 and 1902 the volunteer band entered at least 14 contests.
CAMELFORD
  1. 19 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    H Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    H Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    H Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    The unit was formed in 1860 and by July 1861 had a viable brass band. We have only one name recorded as conductor - a certain John Males who certainly did have a musical degree of some sort and managed to lead an eventful life for a few years at least. 1904-05 he conducted Redruth Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band and took on, at the same time the Royal Engineers Submarine Miners Band at Falmouth, then almost immediately moved house to East Cornwall (still in 1905) and took over the St Blazey Artillery Band, packed that in and moved to this Camelford Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band where he managed to stay put until 1908-09 and thence on to Wadebridge Duke of Cornwall's Rifles. It is most fortunate that there was no cavalry band in the county!
CHARLESTOWN
  1. No. 4 Battery, 1st Duke of Cornwall's Royal Garrison Artillery

    The unit was formed in 1860 as part of the artillery defences that was meant to cover the English Channel and in particular, St Austell Bay. They had a band of sufficient numbers and expertise to play at the Charlestown Regatta in 1863. They became a popular band and much in demand. Known conductors are William Tamidyn (1886), FJ Brooks (1889), Samuel Rowe (1891-97 and WJ Tethered (1903-06). Contests were attended, the best result being a first at Newquay in 1886.
CONSTANTINE
  1. 18 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    I Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    I Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    I Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    The first newspaper report of a Constantine Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band was in 1889, but since that date they do seem to have been kept busy, especially with Sunday school treats. The Bandmaster in 1889 was a Mr Waters, and then during 1902-14 Charles Reynolds had the baton. This man, in 1913, also took on board the civilian Gweek Band. Constantine Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band did not contest. It is noted that, strangely, this band carried on with UK engagements as late as 1915. Perhaps their unit was now a training establishment during WW1.
FALMOUTH
  1. 3 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    C Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    C Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    C Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    The company was formed in 1859 and by 1862 their band was described as 'excellent', and within a year they began contesting. They were a very popular band carrying out not only the usual run of 19th century engagements but also an unusual amount of open-air concerts. Conductors - HC Shaw (1863), C Fenning (1973), GH Hallett (1881-88), J McKenzie (1900-02) and Philip Millington (1902-03).

  2. Duke of Cornwall's Artillery Volunteers
    10 Company (Falmouth Artillery Volunteers
    Royal Garrison Artillery (Territorial Army) Falmouth


    The town of Falmouth seem to have been able to keep two service bands fully occupied from their inception to demise. This artillery band was in operation before 1854. They could take on any type of civilian engagements on top of their military duties, so much so that one does wonder, because they were part-timers, where they found the time. In 1854 they were led by Mr Allen, in 1886 by TG Kelway, then in 1887 by Mr Teague. 1895-1900 was WJ Ogden, 1900_03 J Hosking and finally in 1916 Mr Dowrick. It would appear, by this last mentioned Bandmaster, that this unit may well have become a training establishment for WW1 gunners, as there is no doubt that the band continued just as busily as in peace time.

  3. Cornwall Royal Miners Militia
    A Company of Falmouth Division Volunteer Submarine Miners, Royal Engineers


    The unit was formed in 1889, but almost nothing is known about the band. John Males (conductor) is the only information that can be found, and even this is for 1905 only (see also Camelford Duke of Cornwall's Rifles). This unit, and its band, could not have lasted very long as its mine laying duties were handed over to the Royal Navy.

  4. 7th Battalion Home Guard
FOWEY
  1. No. 2 Works Company, Cornwall Fortress, Royal Engineers, Territorial Army

    This band had a very on/off existence. First functioning in 1861, it disappeared in the 1860's, reappeared about 1888, disappeared again in 1903 and was reorganised 1908-09. They continued into WW1, and there is a photo of 1916 showing a Brass & Reed combination, overburdened with senior NCO's indicating that it is now a more makeshift band of a training establishment. Even so, it is a well balanced instrumentation. Known conductors were in 1902-06 S Sweet and in 1909-10 was FG Isbell.

  2. No. 5 Fowey & Par Volunteer Artillery
    No. 3 1st Duke of Cornwall's Artillery Volunteers (Fowey)


    Another unit formed for National Defence in 1860 and their band did not appear to be overly busy up to WW1. In 1889, the local reporter, for some reason, did not like the band. He wanted to know why, on a church parade, the band did not go into church and instead “dropped off and strolled around in variously directions.” On another occasion comparing them with another local band, he “wished our band here would work and play in harmony, and not so often fall out.” (both quotations from the St Austell Star on 1889). Known conductors were James Vivian in 1869 and W Hawkes in 1892.
HAYLE
  1. 5 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    G Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    G Company 1st Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    G Company 4th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    Not overly active, the Hayle Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band, during its lifetime, ranged from 7 to 18 players, and the only known conductor was a Mr Retallack in 1903. They did attend at least two contests, not achieving very much at all. Amos Blight conducted them on the 1893 contest, but whether he was their resident conductor or brought in for the event is not known, but he was certainly also involved with the Helston Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band..

  2. No. 6 Battery Artillery Volunteers, Hayle

    This band was operating in 1863 and from then on up to WW1 they were very busy indeed (is this why their Duke of Cornwall's Rifles friends were not so busy?), and were travelling all over Cornwall. In 1864 S Stevens was Bandmaster. 1891-1902 and M.A.C. Trebilcock waved the baton. There were two known contests entered for, the results of both would not have pleased the members very much.

  3. Hayle Royal Defence Corps Band

    During WW1 there seems to have been many army units set up, most being training establishments, but there were “Defence Units”, which, one supposes, the title explains their role. Of the few that were in existence, only this one had a band and even for this only one reference can be found referring to an appearance in 1916 in Constantine, under the baton of Harry Robins.

  4. 14th Battalion Home Guard.
HELSTON
  1. 7 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    D Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    D Company 1st Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    D Company 4th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    There is on record an army volunteer band of some description in Helston as early as 1852. It must have been more than a bugle band because it was engaged to play at the opening of the West Cornwall Railway at Penzance Station. Whoever these people were, they were more than likely involved in the formation of this new 7 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles, as this unit had a functional band at their disposal on their very first unit inspection in 1860. Like most of the volunteer bands, the Helston group were kept very busy with many civilian engagements on top of their military commitments. Their first known conductor was a J Cope in 1863. 1888-94 and Amos Blight was leading them. He was back in harness again during the 1914-18 war when he took charge of the Hayle Military Band. The last known conductor was WA Harris (1901-1909) who can be found later, in 1927, conducting the Helston Town Band. The strength of the Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band ranged from 10 to 14 players, and they are known to have taken part in at least 7 contests.

  2. 8th Battalion Home Guard

LAUNCESTON
  1. 6 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    C Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    C Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    C Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    There was a popular and highly motivated band in Launceston before the volunteers set up shop, but strangely, once 6 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles were operational (which was immediately!) from then on up to WW1 the dates of engagements for 6 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles and the Town Band never coincided! Each band did appear to have their own conductors. The Volunteer Band was quite strong (averaging 18 players) for those days. The first Bandmaster was Gordon Higgs. In 1866 he was followed by G Clifford who stayed until 1891. 1905 was a Mr Wicks in charge. No contests were entered for in Cornwall.
LISKEARD
  1. 4 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    A Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    A Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    A Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    Another Volunteer Band that, whilst not overly busy, quietly got on with their musical life. 1887 to 1903 seems to have been their most popular period. For this time the conductor was John Phillips. He was succeeded by James Mitchell, and finally RJ Honey took them from 1912 to 1914. They were down to 12 players in 1912 and one must wonder if this poor turn-out had anything to do with the fact that the Town Band started contesting and that the conductor of both bands was our already mentioned Mr Honey. It is also probable that the company's Commanding Officer would not allow them to compete, a not unusual attitude.
LOOE
  1. No. 2 Battery, Duke of Cornwall's Artillery Volunteers

    There was an artillery band in 1864 when the corps was being inspected on their gunnery expertise. The band carried on without a lot to do until, in 1912, the 'Cornish Times' regretted that a recent church parade was carried out without a band. The reporter's inference was that Looe no longer had neither volunteer nor town band.
LOSTWITHIEL
  1. 10 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    R Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    R Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    E Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    Lostwithiel Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band was a sub-unit (or detachment) of the Bodmin company. They seemed to have many administrative problems. The local press appeared to have little idea of who they were reporting on, giving the band many different titles, possibly because of the reported disreputable appearance of the band. The name of Nathaniel Prideaux is mentioned in 1885 as the bandmaster, but again because of inept reporters, even that can not be taken as an absolute. The local council tried to help financially and also tried to poach the players to form Lostwithiel Borough Band! A “band” of sorts continued until 1914, but they must have been a sad lot.
MARAZION
  1. 12th Duke of Cornwall's Royal Garrison Artillery - Marazion

    The unit was formed as a result of the Government order of 1859. As early as 1860, the Marazion Artillery Volunteer Band marched through Marazion (“to excellent music”) in their new uniforms. Their musical life was not much different to others of the same period - processions (Sunday school, Temperance Societies, etc.,) Regattas, concerts and army training camps. In 1892 the Bandmaster was one RJ Williams who was uncle to EJ Williams, a very active band trainer in the first half of the 20th century, who in turn was the father of EJ Williams (yes, same initials) - playing for Camborne Town, Brighouse & Rastrick and finishing up as conductor to St Dennis Band. There was an unsuccessful attempt at contesting in 1877.
NEWQUAY
  1. K Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    K Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    Here was a strange set-up. The first recorded engagement of the Newquay K Company Band was in 1904. This carried on from then, with good reviews, until 1908 when they must have been running short of equipment and men. For a short while they received assistance from town band players, but in 1909, probably because of an impending Royal Visit, all town band personnel enlisted, no doubt thinking 'nice uniform', 'nice rehearsal facilities', 'on the whole much better than things were'. Unfortunately in 1909 they did not see 1914 just around the corner. 1902 to 1908 was conducted by Tom Nankervis, and from 1908 to 1914 was W Morgan. Like most volunteer bands, contests were not a high priority to them.
PADSTOW
  1. No. 1 Company, Royal Garrison Artillery

    Another unit formed in 1859, the band made its debut appearance on 18 July 1860, and it consisted of “ten Sax instruments and a drum.” The strength of the band varied between 9 players in 1891 to 18 players in 1907. Mr Franklin was the first Bandmaster, he being relieved in 1862 by Mr Courtney. 1870 finds Joseph Tonkin in charge. A Mr Pascoe ran things in 1888, and finally, from 1902, Edgar Tonkin was conductor.
PAR
  1. No. 5 Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery

    The Par Artillery Band never travelled far from its base, and whilst it was most popular in Tywardreath and St Blazey, it was a band that kept itself busy. 1905 saw Mr Owl as conductor and in 1906 it was S Vile.
PENDEEN
  1. J Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles

    This unit was an offshoot of the St Just company. They had a band for at least four years and it was led by Thomas Andrewartha. It is certain that this band became the Pendeen Silver Band. The date that this occurred is not known for certain, but it was definitely out of army hands by 1903.
PENRYN
  1. 21 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    K Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    K Company 1st Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    K Company 4th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    The band's strength between 1868 and 1881 fluctuated between 10 and 14 players. It was fully functional by 1869 with the recorded Bandmasters of 1888-89 J Greenslade, 1896-99 GH Hallett (who had previously conducted Falmouth Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band), and 1900 to 1903 a W Beard. The band is on record as having attended two contests, achieving a 2nd and a 3rd placing.
PENZANCE
  1. 1st Admin Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    A Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    A Company 1st Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    A Company 4th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    Less than twelve months after the formation of the Volunteers, a full parade inspection was held for all 1st Battalion units, at which the Penzance Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band provided the music. It is most likely that this instant band was recruited from the Penzance Sax Horn Band who was in operation right up to 1860. Nothing can be found of any engagements for the Volunteer Band after 1890, perhaps because there had always been an “Independent” town band. The names of three volunteer Bandmasters are known - F May (1860's), Mr Wigg (1880's) and a Mr Wolf (1888). Three Cornish contests were attended, achieving a 1st at Penzance and a 2nd at Truro.

  2. 13th Duke of Cornwall's Artillery Volunteers
    No. 2 Battery Duke of Cornwall's Royal Garrison Artillery


    Like Falmouth, Penzance had an Artillery unit in situ before the government re-organisation of 1859. Their band was certainly active in 1858. In 1883 their conductor was a Mr Olver, and then in 1888 William Nankervis ran the show. During this period the band strength averaged 19 players. Unlike their Duke of Cornwall's Rifles counterparts, they did no contesting.
PERRANPORTH
  1. L Company, Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    L Company 1st Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    L Company 4th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    The Perranporth Volunteer Band was formed later than most other volunteer bands, but was in action from 1885 up to WW1. The only name that can be found as Bandmaster is a Harry Robins, a much respected local musician who later went on to conduct St Agnes Town Band. He had control of this volunteer band from 1903 to 1911. The band did not seem to be rushed off their feet with work but they did attend a contest in 1904 in Chacewater where they were placed third.
REDRUTH
  1. 17 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    H Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    H Company 1st Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    H Company 4th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    There was a brass band belonging to a service unit in 1857, but this Duke of Cornwall's Rifles unit was formed in 1860 and very quickly had a viable band, recorded as accepting civilian engagements as early as 1862. They soon became a very successful outfit, finding themselves leading a busy life right up to WW1. There was a temporary hiccup late 1881 when, for reasons not too plain to see, they disbanded, reforming early 1882. The first conductor was W Sims, and in 1881, when the little pause took place, they were in the hands of William Gribble. How long he had been with the band is not exactly known but upon the band's reconstruction in 1882 he was thanked “for his valuable services for many years past in connection with the band……” Robert H Heath took over the new band. He was a much respected musician and stayed with the band until 1894 when he immigrated to South Africa. R Wills took over until 1900 when he was relieved by James Williams. John Males had a turn in 1904 and James Williams came back in 1909. Despite the undoubted success of this band, they do appear to have entered very few contests.

  2. 9th Battalion Home Guard

SALTASH
  1. 22 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    B Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    B Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    B Company 5th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    It is not known if this unit had a band in their early (1860's) days, but there was certainly one helping with the celebrations of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1888. Readers may have noticed that all information discovered in these pages refer to Cornwall only. Saltash, being situated on the River Tamar, the band must have carried out a lot of their functions on the Devon side of the River. They carried on until 1914 and for the last five or six years were conducted E.O. Gregory, who also took them to two Cornish contests, St Austell in 1909 and Liskeard in 1914 where they gained a 1st in the second section.
ST AUSTELL
  1. 9 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    D Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    D Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    D Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    In 1859 there was a brass band in St Austell which will have helped considerably, when the volunteers were formed in 1860, in achieving an immediate and competent band. From 1879 to 1914 they had only two Bandmasters - William Jago and RJ Bennetts, both of whom encouraged their men to enter at least twelve contests, this despite opposition from the civilian bands against volunteers taking part. St Austell was one of the very few Cornish volunteer bands who engaged professional conductors for some of their contest appearances. In 1919, this group of men were, in the main, the new St Austell Town Band.
ST BLAZEY
  1. 5th Duke of Cornwall's Artillery Volunteers

    St Austell Bay must have been considered most important to the military planners of the mid 19th century as it had no less than thee artillery units (Charlestown, Par and St Blazey) defending its waters. Added to these was the Submarine Miners unit at Fowey. Formidable defences indeed. Can the same be said about their bands? St Blazey Artillery Band came into existence in 1860 under a Mr Pascoe. John Males, in his wanderings around the county, took them in 1905. No contests were participated in, and all engagements were at a comfortable distance from home.
ST BURYAN
  1. 10th Battalion (St Buryan) 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery Volunteers

    Very little happened with this band. Only one engagement could be discovered, and that in the village of St Buryan, under a Bandmaster Prowse, in 1888.
ST COLUMB
  1. 16 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    G Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    G Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    G Company 5th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    The ladies of the town (no, not those kind of ladies!) decided that their new Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Volunteers should have a band, so they embarked on money making activities. Amongst other things, they organised a fete in 1860 at which “Capt. Vyvyan, of her Majesty's Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, contributed a splendid cornet-a-piston, inscribed 'Presented to the St Columb 16th Cornwall Volunteer Rifle Corps on the formation of the band, by R.H.S. Vyvyan, Esq., of Trewan, August 1860'.” I wonder what became of it? One of the first engagements was the St Columb Rifle Corps Fete in 1861. They were soon caught up in the hurly burly of band life - tea treats, fetes, concerts, dances and processions, on top of their army musical duties. Their first conductor was, from 1881, a Mr Webber. From 1897 to 1910, the Bandmaster was B Colliver. They are known to have attended at least one contest.
ST IVES
  1. 11 Corps Duke of Cornwall's Artillery Volunteers
    13 Corps Duke of Cornwall's Artillery Volunteers
    5 Company Cornwall Royal Garrison Artillery


    The 11 Corps Band, in 1852, was engaged to play at the opening of the West Cornwall Railway at Penzance Station. 13 Corps was the new title adopted under the reorganisation in 1859 and they had their band by 1862. The complete unit was disbanded in 1878 then reconstructed in 1900 under the new title 5 Company. At this point, St Ives Town Band enlisted en bloc, whilst continuing with their town band activities, which, as the next few years passed grew less and less, until 1909 when the town acquired a new town band of their own. From then on the artillery band stuck to its own side of the fence. Known conductors were Gordon Steer who served from 1900 to 1909, he being superseded by A Spray. No records can be found of contesting.
ST JUST
  1. Royal Garrison Artillery Volunteers - St Just

    This artillery unit was in operation long before the 1859 reorganisation, and their band was involved with the St Ives, Truro and Helston Volunteer Bands at the opening of the West Cornwall Railway in 1852. They kept up with their busy life until 1911 when, remarkably, there are no more records of them, but coincidently (?) up pops two town bands, St Just Boys Band and St Just Old Town Band. The artillery conductors were, in 1888, T Williams, and 1904 to 1909, James Williams. Their contesting history seems limited to two appearances, both with disheartening results.

  2. 20 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    J Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    J Company 1st Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    J Company 4th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    This volunteer band was in public operation as early as July 1861 and were kept musically busy up to about 1905, when no more is heard of it. In 1863 the Bandmaster was HC Smith, then 1891-1903 it was N Andrews (this man, in 1871, was the best shot in the St Just Company). Contests were carried out between 1863 and 1881; the best result being a 2nd place.
ST STEPHEN
  1. 9 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    D Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    D Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    D Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    This was a detachment of the St Austell Company, hence the same title, but it did, for a while, have its own independent band. It was another of these unit bands that carried on in the dual role of volunteer and town band. We know that the band was functioning in 1900, and we also know that WH Jenkin conducted them from 1903 to 1912, but that really is the extent of out knowledge about this group.
TRURO

(In the 1860 set-up, Truro was given two companies - 11 Company and 12 Company. Each, from a very early date, had a band and from the very beginning they often joined forces for some engagements whilst still maintaining their independence. In time (1876) they amalgamated officially and adopted one title - Truro 1st Volunteer Battalion [or whatever wording the local reporters favoured])
  1. 11 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles

    This band had GT White as their conductor who took them to at least two contests, their first, in Redruth, netted the 1st prize in a one section only contest.

  2. 12 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles

    12 Company's Bandmaster, for most of the time, was R Pascoe, who entered the band in two local contests, the results of which were not as good as 11 Company.

  3. Truro Volunteer Battalion Band (1st Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry)
    4th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    1876 is the official date of this amalgamation and from that moment on they were a force to be reckoned with, considered by most to be, for a long time, the leading band in Cornwall. It is mainly because of this band that the civilian entrants complained about this superior competition and managed to persuade most promoters to ban volunteer bands. Well, I suppose that is one way of dealing with the opposition! Conductors were Samuel Traise (1876-1902), W Mollard (1904) and Harry Phillips from 1909.

  4. 10 Company, 1st Duke of Cornwall's Royal Garrison Artillery Volunteers
    12 Company, 1st Duke of Cornwall's Royal Garrison Artillery Volunteers


    The first engagement found for this band was taking part in what today would be called a military tattoo, the main difference being that there was no band marching display, massed or otherwise. Just house-band duties. The band, in 1904, was under R Rogers, and as a musical unit continued until 1914. It has been noted that all of these Truro bands were well served with the amount of concerts they were asked to undertake at the many and various venues in the city.

  5. B Company 4/5/Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (TA)

    This Company was serving Cornwall between the wars and the only reason that it is known there was a band is that in 1922, Territorial Orders were published in the West Briton, in which it is stated that band practices were on Mondays and Fridays. The local press did seem to ignore this band - if it ever did anything.

  6. 10th Battalion Home Guard
WADEBRIDGE
  1. 13 Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    F Company Duke of Cornwall's Rifles
    F Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    F Company 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Territorial Force)


    Wadebridge Duke of Cornwall's Rifles Band made its first appearance in 1900 under their first Bandmaster, Robert Elford, who stayed with them until relieved by John Males. The band was not a contesting group but did continue to give good service up to WW1.