Buglers to honour naval tradition in tribute to Duke's war service

A war war warning is given by buglers at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Action stations – which sound on naval warships to signal that all hands must go to combat stations – are played at the express request of Prince Philip.

The warning is a tradition sometimes associated with burials at sea, and the move will honor Philip’s active service in the Royal Navy during World War II.

In addition, the last post is played to indicate that “a soldier has taken his last rest”.

A senior palace official said, “Action stations are a naval tradition and it is an announcement to be made on a naval warship to signify that all hands, anyone serving on that warship, should go to combat stations.”

The Duke wanted the call for the great St. George’s Chapel from the 15th century to ring out when his family gathered on Saturday for his solemn royal farewell.

A palace spokesman said, “I think it just shows how detailed the Duke was at his own memorial service.

“It is a fitting testimony to remind many that the Duke saw active service aboard a Royal Navy ship during World War II.”

The official added: “The signal call” Last Post “means the end of the day’s activities or, on that occasion, that a soldier has taken his last rest.”

The Duke, who died on Friday at the age of 99, was mentioned in dispatches for his service during the war.

He was a midshipman aboard the HMS Valiant off the south coast of Greece when he received his honorary quote.

The then young naval officer was praised for his actions in the decisive battle of Cape Matapan against the Italian fleet in March 1941.

The future Duke of Edinburgh had been in control of the searchlights when the ship was fighting an Italian cruiser when he saw an unexpected second enemy ship nearby.

At 21, Philip was one of the youngest officers in the Royal Navy to be appointed first lieutenant and deputy to a ship, the destroyer escort HMS Wallace of the Rosyth Escort Force.

In July 1943, the destroyer was sent into the Mediterranean and covered the Canadian bridgehead of the Allied landings in Sicily.

Philip also served as first lieutenant for destroyer HMS Whelp in the Pacific and helped rescue two airmen in 1945.

If the Duke had not married Princess Elizabeth, some claim he would have been First Sea Lord, the professional chief of the Royal Navy.

In a rare interview in 1998, on the occasion of his 50 years as trustee of the National Maritime Museum, he spoke of his fascination for the sea.

He called it an “extraordinary master or lover” and said, “It has such extraordinary moods that sometimes you feel like this is the only kind of life and 10 minutes later you pray for death.”

Action stations are triggered towards the end of the service.

The Dean of Windsor will give the commendation when the coffin is lowered into the royal vault under the Quire by a mechanical motor.

This is followed by the main gun king of the garter, who proclaims Philip’s styles and titles from the sanctuary.

A suit is then played by a pipe major from the Royal Regiment of Scotland before the final post of Buglers of the Royal Marines rings out at the west end of the nave.

After a period of silence, the reveille, with which the military is woken up at dawn, is played by the state trumpeters of the household cavalry at the western end of the nave.

The Buglers of the Royal Marines will have only the four choir members sounding action stations before the Archbishop of Canterbury’s blessing and the singing of the national anthem.


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