The Drums, Crown Forces 1812, formed in 2000 from fifers and drummers gathered together from various War of 1812 re-enactment units within the Crown Forces, North America. The following year, they began to function regularly as a group, and were initially known as the “Battalion Corps of Drums”. In 2002 the group became more formally established, adopting a standard uniform for all members, and its goal of commemorating the service of all British and Canadian field musicians during the War of 1812. Other musicians not part of the corps continued to join the corps at events.
Throughout this early period the corps was fortunate to receive the support and resources of the Military Re-enactment Society of Canada, allowing its membership and performances to grow. During 2004 the group formally incorporated as its own independent unit, and was recognized as the “Corps of Drums, Crown Forces, North America.” The year 2006 saw the adoption of its present title, “The Drums, Crown Forces 1812,” as well as its current, distinctive uniform.
As the corps’ size and musical skill increased, it received requests to perform outside of regular War of 1812 re-enactments. The group’s first significant performance occurred in 2003, when it participated in the Sunset Ceremony at Fort Henry, in Kingston.Having long received the support and encouragement of Colonial Williamsburg’s music program, the corps was pleased to make its first appearance in the site’s annual “Drummer’s Call” muster in 2007. The Drums also performed in the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 2009, honouring the country’s past and present military veterans. In between, the corps has participated in numerous fife and drum musters and commemorative ceremonies over the years.
From a disparate group of individual musicians the group has grown into a distinct fife and drum corps with a proud history of commemorating the War of 1812. This evolution has not been easy or without setbacks, but has helped the members forge a tight-knit group who strive to fulfill our motto: “Difficulties Be Damned!”