A March for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force

Some 5 or 6 years ago, the Foundation Trustees debated as to whether the Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF) had its own march. None of the Trustees could recall having heard of one and, inasmuch, thought no more of it. Coincidentally and independently, the RAuxAF Deputy Inspector, Wg Cdr Stuart Talton, pondered the same question and asked RAF Musical Services and the head  of the RAuxAF Band, Sqn Ldr Chris Weldon, if they were aware of a RAuxAF march. The answer from both was no. He then  posed the question to the Foundation unaware that the organisation had already considered the matter and put it to one side. However, this prod from the Deputy Inspector re-kindled the Foundation’s interest, and further investigations revealed that a march played at a Dinner commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Force might indeed have been the RAuxAF march. However, it transpired that the piece had been written for the Army and was nothing to do with the RAuxAF. Following further fruitless research, the Foundation and Wing Commander Talton concluded that there had never been a RAuxAF march.  Accordingly, and with the support of the Inspectorate, the Foundation offered to commission one.

The Foundation felt that as it was to be a RAuxAF march, it would be appropriate  to approach Squadron Leader Weldon to ascertain whether anyone on the RAuxAF Band would be prepared to take on the task of composing one. He enthusiastically accepted the challenge as did his successor, Sqn Ldr Ted Sellers. It was considered that if more than one musician on the Band elected to compose the march, then the Foundation would sponsor a competition with an award for the winner. In the event, there was only one taker, Squadron Leader Sellers himself, who composed a march which was  played for the first time to great acclaim by the RAuxAF Band at the RAuxAF Centenary Dinner held at RAF Cranwell on 28 February 2024.

On 12 March 2024, the Foundation’s Chairman, Gp  Capt (Retd)  Richard Mighall and Wg Cdr Talton were invited to the Force’s Band-room at RAF Cranwell to learn about the process of composing the march and also to witness its first formal recording.

Sqn Ldr Ted Sellers, Director of Music Band of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force presents Gp Capt (Retd) Richard Mighall of the RAuxAF Foundation with a presentation copy of the manuscript

The RAF News release can be seen here

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