Infantry Battalion Regimental Marches

19 March 2009 by Theresa Cronk

What do a concert pianist, an Indian bandmaster and an Australian militia bandmaster have in common? Each of these individuals composed a march that would eventually be adopted as the regimental march of an Australian Imperial Force infantry battalion during the First World War. Many were popular songs of the period.

The 23rd Battalion March was composed during the First World War by Miss Una Bourne at the request of Mrs Doris Carter. Una Bourne was a concert pianist and composer who toured as an associate artist with Dame Nellie Melba during her Australian visits. Una remained in England during the war years and performed for hospitals and the Red Cross.

23rd Battalion March

The tune that became the 13th Battalion Regimental March was compiled by an Indian bandmaster for the Crown Prince of Germany's visit to India in 1911. Following the First Battle of Bullecourt, the 13th Battalion Bandmaster, Richo Copp, ordered this march to be played outside Brigade Headquarters as the remaining 700 soldiers marched back to billets. General C H Brand heard this march during both events and announced that this was the battalion's regimental march following the latter performance in 1917.

13th Battalion Regimental March

Many of the members of the 30th Battalion Band were involved in the Manly Municipal Band prior to the war. The regimental march of this battalion was titled Association and was also written by Manly resident Sam Thompson.

Other regimental marches known to have been adopted by infantry battalions are:


Title of march


Other information

2nd Battalion The National Emblem Edwin Eugene Bagley  
3rd Battalion Come on Third and In the evening down the Wambeke   First was sung to the tune of Loading up the Mandy Lee. Second song was sung to the tune of In the evening by the moonlight.
9th Battalion Veni, vidi, vici   Translates as: I came, I saw, I conquered
11th Battalion

El Ebinaco

Way down upon the Swanee River

Sons of the Brave


Stephen Foster

12th Battalion When the Empire calls Hugh Macdonald and Alfred Hill  
14th Battalion The Swanee River Stephen Foster  
15th Battalion The Durham's    
22nd Battalion

22nd Battalion Song

Moonlight Bay

Little Grey Home in the West


Percy Wenrich & Edward Madden

Hermann Frederick Lohr & D Eardley-Wilmot

34th Battalion Wairoa    
37th Battalion No title    
49th Battalion The great little army Kenneth Alford  
54th Battalion The National Emblem Edwin Eugene Bagley  
57th Battalion The Voice of the guns Kenneth Alford  
58th Battalion Steadfast and true    
59th Battalion The Invincible Volunteers    
60th Battalion The Great Little Army Kenneth Alford  

Further reading:

Australian Dictionary of Biography

13th Battalion Band Master. Reveille, 1 April 1940, p.50.

AWM27 122/1 Nicknames, regimental marches, bugle calls, crests and mottoes of A.I.F units