Windsor District RMA


A Life on the Ocean Wave

The Regimental Quick March

Arranged by Warrant Officer Mac McDermott 

This famous march is based on a 19th century song of the same name with a short section from another song called 'The Sea', inserted in the middle.  The original version of 'A Life on the Ocean Wave' was written by Henry Russell to accompany the song of the same name by Epes Sargent, whilst 'The Sea' was written by Sigismund Neukomm.  The combination of these two sections provide the march that we now know, which was adopted by the Royal Marines as their regimental march in 1882.

A Life on the Ocean Wave,
A home on the rolling deep,
Where the scattered waters rave
And the winds their revels keep

A Life on the Ocean Wave,
A home on the rolling deep,
Where the scattered waters rave
And the winds their revels keep
Like an eagle caged I pine
On this dull unchanging shore,
Oh give me the flashing brine
The spray and the tempest's roar

Once more on the deck I stand
Of my own swift gliding craft
Set sail farewell to the land
The gale follows fair abaft
We shoot through the sparkling foam
Like an ocean bird set free
Like an ocean bird, our home
We'll find far out on the sea

The land is no longer in view
The clouds have begun to frown
but with a stout vessel and crew
We'll say let the storm come down
And the song of our hearts shall be
While the wind and waters rave
A life on the heaving sea
A home on the bounding wave






The Regimental Slow March

Presented to the Royal Marines by Admiral of the Fleet The Earl Mountbatten of Burma on 10th June 1964 and first performed as the Regimental Slow March of the Royal Marines on Horse Guards Parade that night to mark the tercentenary of the Royal Marines.  The march was composed by the Russian composer Donajowsky for the Russian Tzar's Preobrajensky Guard, the senior regiment of the Imperial Russian Foot Guards.  Lord Mountbatten's great uncle, HIH Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia was one of the last colonels of the Preobrajensky Guards.  Ironically Aleandrovich was assassinated by a terrorist bomb in 1905, whilst Lord Mountbatten suffered the same fate in 1979.


Sarie Marais

The Commando March

Arranged Sir Vivian Dunn

This march was adopted by the Royal Marines in 1953 as the official march of the Royal Marines Commandos and is played after the Regimental March on ceremonial occasions. The song was introduced to the Corps by South Africans serving in the Royal Marines during World War II, and originates from the trekking song of the Boer Commandos.  It is sometimes called the Commando March as it is played by the Royal Marines Band for the Pass Out Parade of the Kings Squad, this recording is taken from one such occasion and commences with that famous order;  "Royal Marines, to your duties... quick march"

The words of the Africans chorus translated to:

    Oh take me back to the old Transvaal
    That’s where I long to be,
    I left my little Sarie where the malies grow
    Just by the green-thorn tree.
    And there I’ll be to meet her where
    I loved her so,
    Down by the green-thorn tree.



Bugle Calls

 The bugle with its relatively simple design was the primary means of communication within the Royal Marines for many years as it could transcend distance and distraction.  Below are a few of the more famous calls.



This is the first call of the day and ensures that everybody knows that it is time to get up.



This bugle call was originally played to indicate that all troops should return to the camp and that hostilities were complete for the day.  Today it is played in units to indicate the end of the day, in particular as part of the Royal Navy Colours ceremony.


Last Post

The origin of this call relates to the completion of rounds by the duty officer, so he had inspected all sentry posts and this call marked the successful inspection of the last post and therefore completion of rounds and the military day.  This call is now known as the tune played at funerals and remembrance services.