The Navy performed the dramatic Beat Retreat ceremony at Windsor Reserve over the weekend. Unfortunately, The Devonport Speculator wasn’t there to take photos, but the Navy very kindly sent some of its own.
Originally the ceremony was known as watch setting and was initiated at sunset by the firing of a single round from the evening gun.
An order from the army of James II (England), otherwise James VII of Scotland dated to 18 June 1690 had his drums beating an order for his troops to retreat and a later order, from William III in 1694 read “The Drum Major and Drummers of the Regiment which gives a Captain of the Main Guard are to beat the Retreat through the large street, or as may be ordered. They are to be answered by all the Drummers of the guards, and by four Drummers of each Regiment in their respective Quarters”.