The Central Band of the Royal British Legion is a concert band associated with the Royal British Legion.
In 2004 it celebrated its Diamond Jubilee, marking sixty years of music making dating back to World War II. The Band’s origins stem from what is now affectionately known as Dad's Army, its founder members, many with First World War service, having all played in the Band of the 56th (Surrey) Battalion Home Guard based in Epsom. However, by 1944, with the possibility of a German invasion no longer a threat, the Home Guard was stood down bringing to an end four years of comradeship.
As with all organisations, the breaking up of a band is a traumatic experience, so much so that a group of musicians from the Dad’s Army Band resolved to keep the spirit alive by forming a new band under the aegis of the British Legion. Thus began 62 eventful years, which have seen the Band progress to its present proud status, enjoying the acclaim not only of audiences everywhere but also of its peers in the world of military music.
The Central Band is the Legion’s premier and 'Flagship' Band and as such, represents the Legion on high profile occasions as well as fulfilling a large number of varied engagements around the country. The Central Band is no stranger to high profile events, many of which are televised and include Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and BBC TV's Songs of Praise, seen by millions.
The current Director of Music is Captain David Cole MVO MMus ARAM RM.