Reveille or Rouse
“Reveille” originated in medieval times, possibly around 1600, to wake the soldiers at dawn; “Rouse” was the signal for the soldier to arise. 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.
Today, the Rouse is associated with the last Post at all military funerals and services of Dedication and remembrance. It is played on the completion of one minute’s silence, after the Last Post has been sounded. It calls the soldier’s spirit to rise and prepare for another day.
The bugle call played after the ‘Silence’ during any ANZAC Day ceremony is as follows:
- ANZAC Day Dawn Service: ‘Reveille’.
- ANZAC Day services and Remembrance Day services at other times of the day: Rouse’.
Words to Reveille
Rev-eil-lee! Rev-eil-lee is sounding
The bugle calls you from your sleep; it is the break of day.
You’ve got to do your duty or you will get no pay.
Come, wake yourself, rouse yourself out of your sleep
And throw off the blankets and take a good peek at all
The bright signs of the break of day, so get up and do not delay.
Get Up! Or-der-ly officer is on his round!
And if you’re still a-bed he will send you to the guard
And then you’ll get a drill and that will be a bitter pill:
So be up when he comes, be up when he comes,
Like a soldier at his post, a soldier at his post, all ser-ene.
Words to Rouse
Get up at once, get up at once, the bugle’s sounding,
The day is here and never fear, old Sol is shining.
The Orderly Officer’s on his rounds.
The Last Post
In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day’s activities. It is also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest and at commemorative services such as ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.
The Last Post is one of a number of bugle calls in military tradition that mark the phases of the day. While Reveille signals the start of a soldier’s day, the Last Post signals its end.
The call is believed to have originally been part of a more elaborate routine, known in the British Army as “tattoo”, that began in the 17th century. In the evening, a duty officer had to do the rounds of his unit’s position, checking that the sentry posts were manned and rounding up the off-duty soldiers and packing them off to their beds or billets. The officer would be accompanied by one or more musicians. The “first post” was sounded when he started his rounds and, as the party went from post to post, a drum was played. The drum beats told off-duty soldiers it was time to rest; if the soldiers were in a town, the beats told them it was time to leave the pubs. (The word “tattoo” from the Dutch for “turn off the taps” of beer kegs; Americans call this”taps” or “drum taps”.) Another bugle call was sounded when the officer’s party completed its rounds, reaching the “last post” – this signalled that the night sentries were alert at their posts and gave one last warning to the other soldiers.
The Last Post was eventually incorporated into funeral and memorial services as a final farewell, and symbolises the duty of the dead is over and they can rest in peace.