Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Band

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Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Band

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Dates of existence

1919-1994

History

The Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry had two bands in WWI. The Edmonton Pipe Band joined as a unit in August 1914. Pipers played men over the top and then followed as stretcher-bearers. The core of the PPCLI Brass and Reed Band was formed when eligible members of The St. Mary’s Boys Brigade Band joined the 140th New Brunswick Battalion in January 1916. When the 140th was broken up in November 1917, the entire Band joined the PPCLI in the field. Bandmaster (Lance Sergeant) Charles H. Williams was wounded in the front lines near Tilloy, France 28 September 1918 and later died. His brother, Sergeant Harold H. (Pete) Williams took over as Bandmaster for the duration of the war. Both bands provided music during route marches, burials and rest periods. The PPCLI Band performed one of its last official duties on 27 February 1919 when they played at Princess Patricia’s wedding. When the Permanent Force was established in 1919, the PPCLI Military Band was reformed. Under the guidance of Captain Tommy James, it was stationed at Fort Osborne Barracks in Winnipeg during the 1920s and 30s. It played as many as 50 free concerts a year and was broadcast across Canada. In ca.1935 the PPCLI Bugle Band was formed and then a Dance Band was formed ca.1937. When Captain James retired in 1939, Warrant Officer I Al Streeter took over as Director of Music. After the outbreak of Second World War, 15 younger members of the PPCLI Military Band volunteered for active duty and it was disbanded late in 1939. Warrant Officer Streeter arrived in England in 1941 to lead the 1st Canadian Divisional Band, which was largely made up of former PPCLI Bandsmen. The PPCLI Band was reactivated after the war and was established at Wainwright, Alberta. Enlistment was slow and recruitment took place in England and Holland. Iin 1951, the Band numbered 20 members, but by late 1953 it reached its authorized strength of 55 musicians. It performed in marching formation for ceremonies, and also as a stage band. it recorded a number of commercial albums. Due to budget cuts in 1994, the Concert Band was officially disbanded and reduced to a Corps of Drums.

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ppcli

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