The competition is held by the Director of Infantry annually to identify the young Regular drummer or bugler substantive Corporal or Lance Corporal who has individually contributed most during the calendar year.
He must have shown unusual and exemplary ability and initiative as a drums/bugles musician while performing to the highest standards as an infantry non-commissioned officer. Originally devised to inspire and bring on potential senior Drum Majors in the Foot Guards and English and Welsh Line, the competition was extended to bring in the Light Division and Bugle Majors of the future as well.
Entry is by Commanding Officer's citation called for in the spring in respect of the previous year. The winner is chosen in the early summer and he receives his prize, a Drummers Sword (Gilt Fittings) or a Buglers Sword (polished Nickel fittings) as appropriate in November.
The sword is uniquely engraved with the winner's name, Regiment and the date, and is thus of some value. The presentation takes place during the Lord Mayor's Show outside the Mansion House in the City of London and the sword generously provided each year by the Worshipful Company of Cutlers, is presented in person by the new Lord Mayor.