Remembrance Day: Bugler tells of his pride at service roles


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The Last Post, more than any other piece of music, has become synonymous with Remembrance Sunday and honouring those who gave their lives for this country.

Bugler Jonathan Sheppard, 21, first played the piece at a memorial service seven years ago and, since then, has played the historic bugle call approximately 20 times.

Despite having performed at a number of different Remembrance ceremonies, the emotion of the occasion ensures he still gets nervous.

Jonathan said: “The notes aren’t hard, but everyone knows it so you have to get it right!

“There’s the added pressure of playing in a cold church after not playing for an hour, which makes it even more unpredictable.”

There is also the responsibility of playing to honour all those men and woman who have died in service. Earlier this year, while playing at a commemoration for veterans in Birmingham, Jonathan experienced that pressure more than ever before.

“I could see the reaction of people in the crowd who had lost their friends in action,” he said.

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“One man broke down while I was playing and that was definitely the hardest thing I’ve had to watch.”

With expectant eyes and ears fully focused on him, Jonathan, of Lake Rise, Romford, sees the bugle call as a way to personally pay his respects.

“It’s always in the back of your mind that you can’t make a mistake.

“But when I’m playing the song, I’m concentrating like mad to achieve a performance that doesn’t have any mistakes in it to make the ceremony more special for me and everyone else.”