Beating Retreat Anzac Day Performance

22 April 2015

The public is invited to attend a military display called the Ceremony of Beating Retreat, which will be performed on Anzac Square at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park this Anzac Day.

Beating Retreat is a historical military tradition dating back to the 16th Century. It signals the end of the fighting for the day when both sides would collect their dead and wounded, and withdraw into their respective camps.

Director of Music for Anzac Week, Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Simon Brew is enthusiastic about the event, which brings together Royal New Zealand Air Force Band members, drummers and pipers from the First Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles and the Voices New Zealand choir.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be able to perform the Ceremony of Beating Retreat on the hundredth anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. We are looking forward to providing an hour of musical entertainment that will appeal to a wide range of people,” said FLTLT Brew.

Beating Retreat will start with the Gurkha Pipes and Drums followed by the Air Force Band performing 1914 March, Wellington March and Scipio. The choir will perform Now is the Hour and Hymn to the Fallen.

The guard (firing party) will be dressed in replica First World War uniforms and will fire 24 rifle volleys using Lee Enfield rifles. Acting Chief of Defence Force Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short will inspect the guard before the Evening Hymn is played.

The first daily Last Post will conclude the ceremony.  The Ode accompanying the Last Post will be recited by Willie Apiata VC and Army Warrant Officer Class 1 Dawn Boxer.

The event commences at 5.30pm and will finish by 6.30pm. The Ceremony of Beating Retreat will be followed by the WWI Remembered: A Light and Sound Show run by the Wellington City Council.

A daily Last Post ceremony will be conducted every evening until November 2018 by the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.


For more information contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980

This page was last reviewed on 22 April 2015.