Veteran Bugler Nears 'Last Post' World Record

A veteran of the Light Infantry from Barnsley is on course to set a Guinness World Record for the longest unbroken run of bugling the Last Post.

Paul Goose live streams his garden performances on Facebook, dedicating them to those who have lost their lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as key workers.

Mr Goose began on 29 March – the day his regimental sergeant major passed away.

He decided to play the Last Post in his honour.

"I wanted to give him a little bit of something back, he was a good friend as well," he told Forces News.

Mr Goose says he will keep on playing at 8pm every evening until there are no more coronavirus-related deaths. 

With no one having done it previously, Mr Goose has set a new world record, which will be made official once he finishes his daily performances.

"It’s a slow tune, it does give you time to reflect, a lot of people shed a lot of tears to it, I’ve shed tears to it, while I’ve been playing at times," he added.

"When I’m live streaming on Facebook, I’ll get my phone, I’ll put it in position, make sure that I get the flags in the background, I actually blow down the valley and I hope the people in the valley can hear me playing.

"I love playing it, the tunes that you can do on it. It’s not the easiest of instruments to play.

"It’s all to do with your mouth and your tongue, whereas other instruments you do get aids to help you.

Side view of Barnsley bugler Paul Goose.
Mr Goose says he will keep on playing at 8pm every evening until there are no more coronavirus-related deaths.

"I can remember the first time that I played it, my older brother, he was in the Light Infantry First Battalion and he was a bugler.

"When I was a kid, he used to come home on leave, when he used to go out, I used to get his bugle out the bedroom window and start blowing it."

First published in the 1790s, the Last Post was just one of many bugle calls designed to regulate a soldier's day.

As wristwatches were not commonplace, the sound of the brass instrument told them when to rise, eat, go on parade and, in the case of the Last Post, when the duty officer had completed his inspection and the camp was secure for the night.

Around half a century later, the tune began to be played for soldiers who died overseas.

Military musicians were usually civilians and unlikely to be present when their regiment was deployed.

A musician would play the Last Post to accompany soldiers on their final journeys.

Since the beginning of the First World War, it has been sounded at soldiers’ funerals and has also been played for political leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

Mr Goose has raised over £7,000 for his local intensive care unit and donations continue to be made.