OBITUARY – HEDLEY LOCK
It was with considerable sadness that the untimely death of Hedley Lock (Musn, RMB 3452), the RMA Concert Band’s euphonium player and one of the band’s key personalities was announced on April 6th 2009. He was just 67.
Hedley was a devoted husband, loving father, grandfather, trusted friend and a person who made a lasting impression on everyone who met him including his many friends and acquaintances. He will not be forgotten, neither will his musical gifts, all of his abilities, his enthusiasm for life, his dry wit and sense of humour, his awful jokes and of course the many genuine friendships he built over his lifetime.
Hedley joined the Band Service in 1955 and learned to play the euphonium and cello to a very high standard. He served on HMS Hermes 1958-61 during which time his talent was widely recognised and later rewarded by his appointment to the Royal Yacht band.
One delightful story during Hedley’s time on board the yacht was his special first name terms relationship with HRH the Duke of Edinburgh! The reason for this was that whenever (HRH) had the occasion to speak with Hedley, he always addressed him by his Christian name! For reasons unknown, the Duke had always mistakenly considered that “Hedley” was his surname! Naturally Hedley, (always the practical joker!), never once corrected him – much to everyone else’s amusement!
“Good morning Sir” – “Good morning to you too Hedley” the Duke would reply!Hedley the man & always a joker!
On leaving the Band Service in 1970 Hedley took over the Country House pub in Portsmouth’s Commercial Road following which he moved to the Plough and Harrow at Alfriston where he honed his skills on Seaford Head’s golf course. He was especially well known at the annual Royal Marines Golf Championships which he attended for the last fifteen years and later developed his third career with his own business Classic Pens.
Music was never far away however and he continued to play in the Solent Symphony Orchestra and once each year performed with the Royal Marines All Stars Band at Margate. He went on to join the RMA Concert Band as a founding member in 2006.
We bade farewell to Hedley on 15th April at Eastbourne. The thanksgiving service, conducted by the Rt. Revd. Dr J Barry Shucksmith MA, was packed and Alan ‘Hooky’ Walker paid a moving personal tribute. The music – Abide with Me, Eternal Father and Some Enchanted Evening – was provided by a brass quintet from the RMACB band led by Jon Yates and the poignant Last Post and Reveille was sounded by a bugler from the Royal Marines School of Music.
Hedley3 On 22nd May the RMA Concert Band gave a concert in the Royal Marines Museum and played Borodin’s Prince Igor, a particular favourite of Hedley’s, as a special tribute to him.
Hedley is still hugely missed and our thoughts are still with his widow Jennifer, and their children Andrew, Kate, Peter and Victoria, not forgetting their six grandchildren.
OBITUARY – ERIC JOHN MANN
Jimmy Mann was born at Alvaston, Derbyshire on 25th May 1937 and he enlisted as a 14 years old band boy on 4th March 1952. During 15 years distinguished service as a solo cornet player Jimmy travelled the world beginning with a draft to HMS Terror in the Far East. Subsequently he served in HMS Victory, Excellent and Ariel, and also at RMSM Deal and RMB Eastney ‘showing the flag and beating retreat!’ Cartoon Jimmy Mann
Shortly before he died Jimmy made a point of telling everyone how happy his life had been in so many ways, in particular for his 44 years of marriage to Diane, and for the gift of their two sons Steven and Anthony. He always enjoyed his career in the RMB, including 6 years serving on HMY Britannia during which time he became the Royal Yacht Band librarian. This was a job he clearly relished but an appointment which evidently reflected his efficiency, diligence and real character. The genuine trust and esteem in which he was held by his superiors and colleagues is now legendary.
Fast forward now to 2006, Jimmy was one of the founding members of the RMA Concert Band when it formed at HMS Excellent Barracks Portsmouth. As his playing days were now over he volunteered without hesitation to become its librarian. This was an especially demanding task for the formation of a new band involving gathering together all the Band’s sheet music requirements from scratch. However, Jimmy soon grasped the challenge using all of his previous experience in this area and thereby made every bit as significant a contribution to the Band as all the playing members. He declared that he wanted to “put something back into the Band Service for all the pleasure, happiness and skill that the RMB had given to him.” The library therefore flourished and in gratitude for his work our dedicated library room at Eastney is named ‘The Jimmy Mann Music Library’ as a lasting tribute to his memory. Jimmy Mann by Drums RMM
The esteem and affection in which Jimmy was held was evident at his funeral in Portchester where it became standing room only ! Bishop Barry Shucksmith, (also a boy musician contemporary of Jimmy’s in the Junior Wing at the RMSM Deal), conducted a superb service and delivered a moving tribute address recalling Jimmy’s many achievements and the warmth of his personality.
Jon Yates led a brass quintet from the Band for the two hymns and for the retiring music, Vaughan Williams’ ‘Sea Songs’, a most appropriate selection.
Tributes were received from Capt Ted Whealing, (then the Band’s Director of Music) who valued Jimmy’s singular contribution to the Band both as librarian and committee member, and recalled his unique sense of humour, the permanent glint in his eye and his ‘can-do’ approach. Admiral Sir Jock Slater GCB LVO DL, the Band’s President, wrote: “I am very sad to hear about Jimmy’s death. He deserves so much credit for his sterling work behind and in front of the scenes in the early days of our Band.” (Jimmy is seen here meeting with Sir Jock with Ted Whealing by his side. ) Jimmy Mann meeting Sir Jock
To Diane his widow, and Steven and Anthony, his sons, we extended our deepest sympathy on the passing of a devoted husband, loving father, dear grandfather and very real friend to many. Jimmy is and always will be hugely missed by us all.