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Ilminster Minster and RN Volunteer Band
Volunteer Band
CSgt Sam Hairsine Band Master

HMS Heron Volunteer Band

Published: 10 Jul 2013

HMS Heron Royal Navy (RN) Volunteer Band performed a concert in Ilminster organised by the Royal British Legion.

Raising funds in particular for the Battle Back Centres which provide Adventure Training and sporting activities to help wounded soldiers return to normal life the band played a varied and interesting programme to a full Minster.

In keeping with Military tradition HMS Heron RN Volunteer Band played such favourites as ‘A Bridge Too Far’, ‘The Dambusters’ and led the audience in a sing-a-long of ‘Songs That Won The War’.

The beautiful surroundings of the Minster provided an apt setting for some reflection as the audience, comprising many veterans as well as members of the public, stood for the Naval Hymn and Sunset followed by a hearty rendition of Rule Britannia.

Following the concert the band’s leader Colour Sergeant (CSgt) Sam Hairsine RM said:

‘This has been a wonderful opportunity to support the Royal British Legion and to engage with our local audience. The band played very well and I’ve been really pleased to have been able to meet a lot of the audience and hear how much they enjoyed it!’ The band is looking forward to a busy end to its summer term, which includes competing in the RN Volunteer Band Festival in Portsmouth, playing for the base’s squadrons and a concert in Baltonsborough”.

Mr Freddie Greenop (92), an RNVR Officer who served during the Second World War, first proposed the idea of an Ilminster Royal British Legion Armed Forces Day concert. At the end of the evening, he said,

”The Heron Volunteer Band was outstanding. I’ve heard them play before in smaller venues but this time, with over 30 musicians and the acoustics of the Minster, the entertainment was first class. The programme of music was exciting and varied; it was performed beautifully by highly talented musicians and there were some truly exceptional solo performances. The Royal British Legion and the Heron Band provided us with an evening I shan’t forget and, fittingly, the proceeds will go to the Battle Back Centre that provides rehabilitation activities for members of all three Services.”


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