12:55PM, Friday 11 October 2013
Windsor's military wives have something to sing about - and not just because their men are coming home from Afghanistan for the last time.
As members of the Household Cavalry return to Combermere Barracks after their final tour of duty, their partners are getting ready for their first public appearance as Windsor Military Wives Choir.
The choir - which also includes wives of Coldstream Guards from Victoria Barracks - rehearse every Wednesday at the Community Centre in Broom Farm.
They first performed at the pre-deployment service at the Garrison Church in Claremont Road, just before their husbands set off for Afghanistan in March.
Now their men are coming back and they will fulfil their first public engagement with the Blues and Royals Band at Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch, in November.
Bandmaster Jason Griffiths was there to watch them rehearse this week as they serenaded him with his own song Remembrance.
One keen member is Emma Wale, 26. She said: "To me the choir means getting together, making friends, doing something we can call our own and be proud of. We sing everything from Adele to the Lion King.
"Inevitably people come and go as their husbands get new postings. But we are up to about 12 regulars now every week."
Emma, who is training to be a midwife, had to leave rehearsals early on Wednesday to welcome her husband John back from Afghanistan.
The Windsor choir was started in January by Colleen Garrett, whose husband Dennis is divisional secretary for the Windsor and Maidenhead branch of SAAFA - the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.
She said: "There were 80 military wives choirs, but none in Windsor, which did not seem right."
She teamed up with soldiers' wife Sophie Gaselee to launch the choir.
Military Wives Choirs rose in popularity after TV choirmaster Gareth Malone recorded a BBC series called The Choir: Military Wives.
His choir went on to score a Christmas number one and perform on a single specially written for Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee last year.
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