Band of HM Scots Guards

The Band of H.M. Scots Guards recorded extensively (around 350 sides) for Columbia and its associated Rena and Regal labels from about 1910 to 1916, always under its bandmaster F W Wood. The record given below was made several years later for the Edison Bell company.

Frederick William Wood, M.V.O., born in Colchester in the third quarter of 1864 was bandmaster of the Scots Guards from 1900 until his retirement in 1929. Wood trained at Kneller Hall and took the 40 strong band to Canada in 1912 to perform at the Toronto Exhibition and in adjoining towns.

During the Great War the band performed its tour of duty with the Brigade of Guards in France and Belgium – at Ypres and the Somme in 1916, at Ypres again in 1917 and at Cologne in 1918 – returning to London with the Brigade in 1919. In 1916 it was the only British band at the review of the Allied International Troops held in Paris on 14 July, playing with the Regiment’s pipers. It formed part of the massed bands of the Brigade of Guards who played in Paris in 1917, and the following year the string band was chosen to play at the reception given by King George V at the British Embassy in Paris. In 1918 too it went to Italy with the massed bands, playing in Rome and Milan.

Bandmaster Wood was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1919 and appointed senior director of music, the Brigade of Guards in 1921. The following year the Band visited Canada, playing in most of the principal towns of the Dominion, from Quebec to Victoria. In all, 56 concerts were given in 28 towns.

In 1927 Lt Wood was promoted to Captain and was decorated by King George V with the Royal Victorian Order the following year.

I have not yet determined a date of death for Wood – possible options appear to be 1932 in the Wirral, 1944 in Bristol or 1954 in Hastings.

Of the 2 sides recorded here, the Ride of the Valkyries is a somewhat curious arrangement, particularly at the start, but soon gets into its stride.

Wagner – The Rhinegold – Entry of the Gods into Valhalla
Wagner – The Valkyries – Ride of the Valkyries
Band of H.M. Scots Guards, Frederick W Wood

Edison Bell Velvet Face 522 (12″)
Matrices X1158A-2, X1157D-1
Recorded c1921

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