Apollo Big Band

Based in Stockcross, Berkshire, UK

Mr. Basil King

Was a member of our trumpet section, Basil King has made quite a splash recently. He appeared in the  BBC TV documentary about Winston Churchill's Funeral and was also interviewed on BBC Points West local TV news. Back in 1965 Bas was a young Sergeant Trumpeter in the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars based in Germany. He and a fellow trumpeter were called back to the UK. As Bas tells it "I had to go and see the Colonel who said that nothing goes outside this room ok? You have been called back to play at St Paul's Cathedral in London at the funeral of Winston Churchill". To which Bas replied "What? He's not dead yet." 

Well of course Winnie did die and on the day of he funeral Bas and his fellow trumpeter were stationed high in the dome of the Cathedral. At the end of the service the Last Post was to be played followed by Reveille. Bas; "We both wanted to play the Last Post so we tossed for it and I lost. Ah well."

This was a very special occasion with Royalty and senior leaders and politicians attending from all over the world. Bas again: "My pal played the last post perfectly, then it was my turn. It's easy to crack a note on a cavalry  trumpet so I concentrated on a spot on the wall and went for it and fortunately it went very well."

The photo above shows Bas in silhouette on TV on 30th Jan 1965.  He remains very modest about this event even though it's fair to assume that these two young trumpeters were the best in the army at that time.

Bas has also been invited as a guest of honour at the V.E. Day 70th and Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary Concert & Dance on Saturday 5th September, 7:30pm at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum.