Beating Retreat 2019

June 4, 2019

Thousands of spectators saw a film showcasing the transformational work of Veterans Aid when it was screened at The Household Division’s annual Beating Retreat.

This year’s spectacular evening pageant of music, military precision drill, horses, cannon and fireworks was themed Icons of a Nation

CEO of Veterans Aid Dr Hugh Milroy said:

“We were delighted when invited to participate and I had no hesitation in accepting. Not only is this a milestone event in the capital’s ceremonial calendar, it is an opportunity to bring together all members of the military family – past and present – as well as members of the general public and visitors to London.

All members of HM Armed Forces will one day be veterans and while we know that most will never need the help of Veterans Aid, we will be there for those who do. Ours is an operational charity that spends very little on publicity, so the opportunity to reach out in this way is invaluable.”

In 2018 Coldstream Guards Colour Sergeant Darren Hardy, then a serving musician, dedicated his poem The Armistice Ghost to Veterans Aid. It was performed in the Guards Chapel and can be heard on HERE.


Military Beating Retreat concerts have a long tradition dating back to the 1690s. Originally the beating of the drum was used to order troops to break off fighting and withdraw to the safety of camp as darkness fell, later it signalled the closing of the camp gates at the end of the day and called troops back to base for the night.

Today a Beating Retreat is an evening military concert with a marching display and usually marks the lowering of the Regimental flag at sunset.

Soldiers of the Household Division are instantly recognisable through their distinctive uniforms and headdress and have a history spanning over three centuries.

Invariably described as ‘truly spectacular’ and ‘London at its finest’ the Household Division Beating Retreat cannot be seen anywhere else in the world and is a not to be missed event.

© The Household Division – Beating Retreat