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2/18 Bugle

The Mystery of the 2/18th Bugle

On the 6th March, 2007, the webmaster of 2/18th web site was contacted with the following -


If you could be of assistance in this matter.
I am trying to locate a (Postal) mailing address for the above Association. 
I recently purchased a bugle on EBay with the Battalion Motto engraved on the bell, the bugle was in a broken and totally unusable state and I wish to find a little about it's background, it appears to have been a rubbish tip find by the seller.
The purpose of the mailing address is to allow me to forward what information I have (i.e. photos).
Kindest Regards,
Wayne Moore"

The response was -


Thanks for sending the pictures and info about the bugle. I’ve approached the Association president and he knows nothing about any bugle being presented but did speak about THE bugler while they were interred in the camps. His name was Pat McGrath, Bugler of HQ Coy. I’m hoping our volunteer research person can shed some light on Pat, but in the mean time if you could send me electronic copies of any pictures and as much info about the purchase, and what previous owner said (where they were from if you know, etc.) I’ve been authorized to put an article on our web site making so that we can see if we can find out anything more from the wider community of members and their families.

Looking forward to getting info back from you.

2007MR16 09:55"

To which Wayne responded on 17 Mar, 2007 -

"Greetings, Larry.

Sometimes the wheels turn a little faster than expected.

The seller informs me that he is selling off 30 years of collecting by his father, he believes this bugle goes back 30 years with the family.
It appears his father has no connection with this (2/18) Battalion and the items for sale are general collectables, i.e. badges, bayonets, buttons, medals, etc.
It also appears the seller doesn't have very much knowledge on any of the items he is selling (according to the descriptions given).
He says he knows nothing of the bugles past and is unable to help out any further with the background..........

The bugle was manufactured by BARNETT-SAMUEL & Son. (U.K.)
In 1911 they formed a Subsidiary Co. called "JOHN GREY & Son" (as a sales outlet) for the purpose of distributing selected instruments including bugles.
The interesting point about the bugle is that it was probably manufactured at some point before the War as these manufacturers were involved in producing munitions during the War.  And it would appear that the engraving and silver electro plating took place after the 2/18 Association was formed.

I hope this help , and the photos are acceptable.
For your information, the replacement end is called the "Lead Pipe", that in turn holds the "Mouthpiece" the end flared piece with the motto is called "The Bell".

Thanks For your help Larry.

Regards, Wayne Moore"

Here are the photos that Wayne has so kindly provided -

Bugle with
presentation inscription,
 dates & 2/18th motto.

"Back side" of bugle.

"Under side" of bugle.

So if you know or can suggest anything about this bugle, we'd love to hear from you via our Feedback page.

Subsequent to Wayne's contacting the Association, the following article was written and appears in other publications.  We reprint here, with permission.  In addition, Wayne and wife, Sue, joined us at the July 2007 Picnic in the park, and gave us a rendition on the bugle, unfortunately we couldn't capture sound, but have the picture to the right.

Wayne playing the bugle at Picnic in the Park, 2 July, 2007. Click to enlarge.
Wayne playing bugle
Picnic in the Pak, 2 July, 2007

 2/18 Battalion Presentation Bugle

Some of us have read 2/18th. History, can you help solve the 2/18 Presentation Bugle mystery?. Bugles of course have been an instrument of war ever since it was discovered that a buffalo horn could convey a signal over vast distances.

One of the simplest of all wind or brass instruments yet the bugle can take up to two years to master.

During W.W.1 the bugle generally became obsolete in the field owing to the introduction of electronic means of communication, however, today the "Bugle Call" tradition remains in place to regulate the soldiers routine in camp life and of course for Ceremonial purposes.

It's not unusual to find significant pieces of militaria including bugles ending up as presentation pieces within private collections and (or) museums.

A recent find on one of the many Internet Auctions turned up one of these militaria collectables in the form of an engraved, silver plate W.W.2 presentation bugle. This blackened and broken specimen purchased at the bottom end of the $ bracket failed to secure any other bids. The previous owner was selling off over 30 years of family collectables and has no knowledge of it's past history.

The British manufacturers label "John Grey" [as] on this particular item began to appear within the Commonwealth Military around 1911.

The true potential of this Ceremonial gem was realised following hours of repair work, also taking into account the preservation of accumulated historical character. The question is, why did this battered, valueless item become a valued 2/18th. Presentation piece. Can you help?.

Want more? visit, http://www.218battalion.org.au/history.htm

And here is more.  Thanks to Wayne's investigations we've found reference to both a similar bugle and former Bandmaster of the 2/18th Battalion, Sgt. N.H. Whittaker.  Sgt Whittaker is show with a bugle at Stadium camp Thailand (Bangkok).  We're not allowed to reproduce the picture with out paying an exorbitant fee, so we will post the links here for you to review.  Click on the following and a new page will open for each.

But wait there is even more!  Thanks to Wendy Wilcocks, the Association archivist, so history of a couple of bugles has been uncovered.  See the article "Extracts from early newsletters solve some of the mystery of the Bugle".

Page created 13 Apr, 2007.  Last Updated 25 Apr 2008 07:35:40 +1000  Hit Counter

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