“A Life on the Ocean Wave” – The Regimental Quick March
Officially authorised as the Regimental Quick March in 1882, the original arrangement was by J A Kappey, then the Bandmaster of the Chatham Division. The version in use today dates from 1944 and is by Major F J Ricketts, the Director of Music of the Plymouth Division, better known as the march composer Kenneth J Alford.
“The Preobrajensky March” – The Regimental Slow March
The score of ‘The Preobrajensky March’ was presented to the Corps in the Tercentenary Year 1964, by Earl Mountbatten of Burma, whose uncle, the Grand Duke Sergius, at one time commanded the Russian Preobrajensky Guards. Lord Mountbatten was a Colonel Commandant of the Royal Marines from 1965 until his assassination in 1979. The official arrangement of the march was made by Lieutenant Colonel Sir F Vivian Dunn.
Salute: The first eight bars of ‘The Preobrajensky March’ are played in quick time as a salute for Royal Marines General Officers.
“Sarie Marais” – Commando March
In addition to the Regimental Quick March, Commando Units may use ‘Sarie Marais’, an old South African trekking song much used by the Boer Commandos. During World War II it was often sung on the march by the Commandos and was particularly popular with the officers of the Union of South Africa Defence Force seconded to the Royal Marines. Captain F Vivian Dunn had made an arrangement of it for military band in 1937, but it was not officially adopted by the Corps until 1952. The Afrikaans translation is:
O take me back to the Old Transvaal
That’s where I long to be,
I left my little Sarie where the mealies grow
Just by the green thorn tree.
And there I’ll be to meet her where
I loved her so.
Down by the green thorn tree.-
“The Globe & Laurel” – Inspection Music
‘The Globe & Laurel’ was the Regimental Slow March until 1964. It is an arrangement by F Vivian Dunn of the traditional old English air, ‘Early one Morning’ which he composed in 1935 for ceremonial use when the Royal Marines first carried out Public Duties in London.
Much of the Regimental Music of the Royal Marines has been composed by F Vivian Dunn who, in 1931 had the unique distinction of being appointed Director of Music of the Portsmouth Division, direct from civilian life, the last military musician to do so. In 1953 he became the first Principal Director of Music of the Royal Marines and retired in 1968 as Lieutenant Colonel Sir F Vivian Dunn KCVO OBE FRAM RM having been the only Director of Music in any service to be knighted. He died in 1995.