‘First Post’ was sounded as the orderly officer, the orderly
sergeant and a drummer (with a bugle) started the Tattoo.
They then marched from post to post
with the drummer beating his drum. Upon reaching the final post the
drummer would sound the Last Post. (This is why drummers carry a bugle.)
The Last Post was really the end of the day (a hard day’s fighting and
a hard night’s drinking).
This bugle call has been passed down
through the centuries in many countries of the world as an accompaniment
to the impressive rites of a soldier’s farewell - the closing bars
wail out their sad valediction to the departing warrior.
Reveille or The Rouse
The custom of waking soldiers to a
bugle call dates back to the Roman Legions when the rank and file were
raised by horns playing Diana’s Hymn. To this day the French term for
Reveille is ‘La Diana’.
When bugle calls were officially
introduced into the British System by George III, a special call was
written for the waking of troops. This was known as Reveille meaning
‘to wake again’, from the old French. Joseph Hayden is generally
regarded as the composer of the calls which exist substantially
On ANZAC Day, Reveille or The
Rouse breaks the silence that follows the playing of the Last Post,
symbolising the awakening of the dead in the next and better world. (The Rouse is the bugle call more commonly used in
conjunction with the Last Post and to the layman is often incorrectly
called Reveille. Although associated with the Last Post, Reveille is
rarely used because of its length.)