'˜Speechless' Northamptonshire soldier reveals delight after being crowned British Army's best bugler

A Northamptonshire soldier as won the title of the British Army's best bugler.

Thursday, 21st April 2016, 11:20 am
Updated Thursday, 21st April 2016, 12:30 pm
Picture: British Army / CPL Jonathan Lee van Zyl

Corporal Gary Freeland, from Brackley, has lifted the coveted crown as the Regiments Bugler at a competition held at Army Training Regiment, Winchester.

Rifleman from far and wide take part in the annual event, where candidates are marked on their presentation, marching skills and of course bugling ability.

The Band and Bugles of The Rifles are based at Sir John Moore Barracks in Winchester, Hampshire, and is part of the Corps of Army Music. The band maintains traditions dating back over 200 years, including the use of the silver bugle and the distinctly fast marching speed - 140 paces per minute.

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Picture: British Army / CPL Jonathan Lee van Zyl

Cpl Freeland will now take up the role of Bugler to Colonel in Chief for the next 12 months, a role that is much sought after.

He said: “I am just speechless. This is part of what we do but you never think for a second you are going to be the winner of such a prestigious competition.

“The talent and dedication of all the buglers makes them all winners but to know you are the best in the regiment is just out of this world.

“There will now be plenty of opportunities for me to represent the Regiment as I take up my role as bugler to Colonel in Chief.”

Picture: British Army / CPL Jonathan Lee van Zyl

The bugle was essential to all military communication until its displacement by electronics. The primary bugler was assigned to the headquarters staff, and kept close to the commander at the front. Soldiers were quick to learn the calls of the bugle, and on a routine day at least four, and as many as ten, were made.