The sound of war drums can be an incredibly stirring experience, which creates atmosphere on the battlefield and produces a real spectacle for the public.

Drummers were a vital part of a 17th Century army - because battlefields are noisy places they signalled a commander’s orders to the army by using different drum beats. They also helped intimidate the enemy and stir troops into action.

The idea of a ‘drummer boy’ is a relatively modern one - 17th Century drummers would have been strong, experienced and high ranking officers who could be entrusted with such an important role.

Frequently asked questions

So do I have to buy my own drum?

No, we have spare drums that you can use for your first season.

It looks a bit dangerous

The great thing about being a drummer is that you can be in the thick of it but not have to take part in the battle itself.

The drums are the ideal role for someone who wants to get involved but doesn’t want to fight.

What kit will I need?

On top of your normal kit of jacket, breeches and hose, you will need:

  • gloves
  • a sturdy pair of shoes
  • a hat

Drummers use their own drums but new drummers can usually borrow a drum to start with. You don’t have to be musical, just willing to learn the beats and to practice.

Your basic uniform can often be borrowed from the regiment for your first few musters.

So What Does a Drummer Do

Drums are used to help the regiment keep time when marching and to motivate the soldiers.

Although drummers don’t ‘fight’ as such, they are in the thick of the action, meaning you can experience the thrill of battle without having to pick up a weapon.

Manchester’s has a very experienced and well-respected group of drummers.

When we march, the drummers are placed at the front alongside the flag and lead the regiment through towns and across battlefields, beating out rhythms that stir the blood and give a real thrill for the public.

They also lead the way when the regiment sings, and the mournful, almost funereal beat of the drums for our regimental song, O Thou Man, will cause the hairs of your neck to stand up.

To be a drummer you do not need to be musical - the beats are easy to learn, and full training is given.

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Regimental Drum Major

Wendy France Wendy France:

"Being a drummer is great fun because I like to make lots of noise. The sound of the drums en-mass can be pretty awesome and gives a great thrill."

"Keeping time and keeping up the morale on a long march gives me a great sense of satisfaction, which keeps me coming back for more."

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