Stansell’s Bandsmen #12: The Bugle

The 12th in a series on some of the roles of British army bandsmen as illustrated by Frederick Stansell c.1900 in the book “Bands of the British Army” by W.J. Gordon.

No.12: The Bugle – Highland Light Infantry

“The bugle, which is in B flat, gives eight notes, but only five of them – C.G.C.E.G. – are used for calls. It is now adopted for what are known as military commands in all branches of the service, as well as in the navy by way of the Royal Marines… The calls are the same on both bugle and trumpet, those of the trumpet being lower. Many of these have been syllabised with some ingenuity, as the few following will show:

  • Drummers and buglers: “Drummers tall, buglers small, don’t you hear the bugle call?”
  • Guard: “Come and do your piquet, boys, come and do your guard”
  • Fall in: “Bugles sound, take your ground, fall in, fall in, don’t look around”
  • First Dinner Call: “Oh, come to the cookhouse door, boys, come to the cookhouse door”
  • Second Dinner Call: “Oh, pick’em up, pick’em up, hot potatoes, hot potatoes, pick’em up, pick’em up, hot potatoes. oh!”

W.J. Gordon


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