Last Post for Norwich trumpeter after 50 years’ service

The Last Post not only signalled the two-minute silence at Norwich's Remembrance Day ceremony last weekend, but also the final time David Woodrow will play the trumpet call at the poignant service after 50 years.

The grandfather, who first joined the Salvation Army when he was just nine years old, first started to play the traditional refrain at the civic services in 1961 after he had come out of the Band of Her Majesty's Irish Guards.

When he first started, he would sound in the two-minute silence from the top of the Guildhall, but later would play from an open doorway at City Hall.

Together with the rest of the Norwich Citadel Band, he would then help lead the parade, made up of members of the Royal British Legion, voluntary organisations and personnel from RAF Marham, as well as Army, Navy and Airforce Cadets, to Norwich Cathedra,l where again he would play the Last Post before a two- minute silence.

Mr Woodrow, 76, who lives in Sprowston, and worked in the printing trade until he retired 10 years ago, said: 'I've decided to call it a day. I've done it for 50 years and I'm 76 years old now, so I thought it was about time to give it up and give one of the youngsters a chance.

'It's been an incredible privilege and honour and it's good that people have kept asking for me.

'It's quite a responsibility to get it right and to get all the notes right, but it comes with experience. It's been an honour to do it.'

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Mr Woodrow, who is married to Beryl and has a son and a daughter and four grandchildren who are all in the Salvation Army, said he will continue to play in the Norwich Citadel Band, which he first joined when he was 16. And he has changed instruments from playing the cornet to the flugelhorn.

'It was the right time to make the decision,' said Mr Woodrow, who has played at Battle of Britain services at Norwich Cathedral for 20 years.

'I've not retired completely – I will still be available for people on an occasional basis. You could say this is the last Last Post for me!'

John Gibson, former band master at the Norwich Citadel Band, said: 'David could still do it for another 25 years, he's a wonderful player.

'He is absolutely faultless, everyone says how wonderfully he performs that job. He has been doing it for so many years, he deserves an accolade.'

Last week's ceremony was held at Norwich's war memorial, which was turned round last year to face City Hall as part of the revamp of the Memorial Gardens.

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