Whitgift’s Corps of Drums is the oldest in Britain. Founded in 1905 with the motto ‘By the boys, for the boys’, it is the only student-run organisation in the School. Composed of students from the Upper First to the Sixth Form, the Corps of Drums is led by a Senior Drum Major, who is assisted by a Lead Side Drummer, and Lead Flautist, as head of their respective sections. Currently composed of around 30 members, pupils are not required to have had previous musical experience when joining, as they are taught a range of instruments by senior members, as well as the military drill, required to provide the ceremonial enrichment for the CCF.
The Corps have attended an impressive range of high-profile events, including the British Military Tournament in Earls Court, where they paraded in front of the School’s Patron, HRH Prince Andrew, KG, HRH The Princess Royal, and HM Queen Elizabeth II. The School’s Annual General Inspection has seen the Corps perform for General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff, and public parades, such as the Holborn Remembrance Parade, where the Corps perform alongside the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. This gives members an invaluable chance to meet serving military personnel.
Joining the Corps of Drums teaches students a range of skills including leadership, teamwork, and discipline. Being a member of the Corps of Drums can be used as a section in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.