Bugle used to sound the ‘advance’ at Tel-El-Kebir
Bugles have been used by the military at many times
throughout history. This one belonged to Drummer John Alcorn of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. He would have been crucial during times of conflict, helping with communication and to unite the troops to act together.
Despite being a very simple brass instrument, the pitch of the bugle could be controlled using the mouth (instead of valves). As well as traditionally marking out parts of the day and daily routines, bugles were useful for signalling orders in battle before other methods of field communication were developed.
Using this bugle, John Alcorn sounded the ‘Advance’ for the Highland Brigade to charge during the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir in 1882. It was during this conflict that British forces intervened in Egyptian affairs in what is now interpreted as an attempt to secure British interest in the Suez Canal.
To the regiment, this instrument may be a symbol of
military success but to Egyptian people it is more likely to signify loss of independence and the start of a 71-year period of colonisation.