THERE will be a chance to see one of the oldest traditions in the armed forces at this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival.

The East Overcliff will be home to performances of Beat Retreat at 6.30pm on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the show, which runs from August 28-31.

It is the chance to see some of the pomp and ceremony of the Royal Navy as the HM Royal Marines Band perform.

In case you were wondering, it has nothing to do with running away from the enemy.

Beating Retreat has its origins in the early years of organised warfare when the beating of drums and the parading of Post Guards heralded the closing of camp gates and the lowering of flags at the end of the day.

In his first year as director of music is Captain Huw Williams, while one of the buglers, Damian Challis, is a Bournemouth man and looking forward to taking part.

Damian, who has been in the Royal Marines for 10 years, spent three-and-a-half months in Afghanistan as music and specialised medical back up, as well as a driver.

He said: “I’m really pleased to be performing at the air festival; it’s my first outing as a Royal Marines bugler in Bournemouth and I can’t wait for my family and friends to watch the Beat Retreat.”

n The air festival brochure is now on sale and is available from Daily Echo offices, shops around the area and the Bournemouth Tourism Information Centre in advance and around the festival site over the event, between August 28-31.

The Daily Echo’s book celebrating the first five years of the festival is also still on sale. Visit and follow the links, or call the subscriptions department on 01305 830924 to order by credit or debit card.

Read lots more in our air festival section online at or, if using a mobile device, visit