Band History

The Rats of Tobruk Memorial Pipes and Drums was formed in 1960 as a ‘Living Memorial’ to the Military Units involved in the Siege of Tobruk of World War II, April to December 1941.

The Band was initially equipped and outfitted by a donation from the Rats of Tobruk Association. Throughout the years the Band has maintained its strong ties to the Rats of Tobruk Association as well as military links and a close association with Tobruk Barracks in Puckapunyal.

The Band performs annually at the Anzac Day Parade and Remembrance Services and supports the Rats of Tobruk Association performing at its commemorative service on Tobruk Sunday, the Sunday closest to April 10th as the anniversary of the Siege of Tobruk.

Since 1986, the Band has put considerable effort into establishing links with overseas bands, notably the Pipes and Drums of the Scottish Regiments. The Band has performed seven times at the internationally-acclaimed Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland in 1988, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2012 as well as with the Tattoo when it came to Sydney in 2010 and Melbourne in 2016.

On its way to the 2001 Tattoo the Band travelled to El Alamein in Egypt for a memorial service to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the historic siege in Tobruk, the longest in British Military history.

In 2007 the Band performed at the Inaugural Moscow Kremlin Zoria on the famous Red Square. The backdrop for this auspicious event was the world-famous St Basil’s basilica and of course the red walls of the Kremlin.

In 2008 and in 2016 the Band performed with André Rieu on his concert tours in Melbourne.

In 2009 the Band took part in the Festival of Military Music in Libya. At the conclusion of this tour in September 2009 the Band travelled to Tobruk to hold a Memorial Service at the Tobruk War Cemetery.

The band was invited to appear at the Military Tattoo in Basel, Switzerland, in 2010 and in 2014, and will make a return again in 2018.