Corps Bugle Major Andrew C Crofts MBE RM

Born in Crick, Northamptonshire in 1943, Andy joined the Royal Marines Band Service as a Junior Bugler on 22nd April 1958. Following training, which included at the time seamanship training in HMS Vanguard, he was drafted to Portsmouth Group Band, which included time onboard his first ship HMS Bermuda.

In 1960, Andy departed for Chatham for a short time before being sent to 42 Commando when hostilities broke out in Malaysia. Andy also saw active service in Brunei and Borneo, for his efforts he was awarded the Naval General Service Medal in Brunei, plus the General Service Medal for Borneo.

Andy took part in the Band's 1965 tour of USA. It was during that tour that he met Karen from Highland Illinois, who was a medical student in Chicago. 1966 saw more active service in Aden with 45 Commando, that earned him an Aden clasp for his GSM. Andy married Karen in Andy’s home town of Crick in 1968.

As a Cpl Bugler, Britannia Royal Naval College was the next stop for Andy in 1968 where he enjoyed a three year stint at Dartmouth. Sport was an important part of life at BRNC Band during that era, Andy was one of seven members of the Band that turned out for Dartmouth Cricket Club during that time, he even scaled the lofty heights of Vice Chairman. He was also a member of the Band football team for the Montague Cup games.. keeping goal.

Andy was flying up the promotion ladder by now, his time in the West Country was up as he was appointed Drum Major of Chatham Band in 1971. Under the leadership of Captain Pete Sumner, the Director of Music and the new Drum Major began to form an extremely good working relationship.

During his time at Chatham, he fronted the Band on a very entertaining and hospitable trip to Wilhelmshaven in Germany, where they enjoyed the company of the very sociable German Navy Band.

He returned to Deal in 1974 to become Drum Major of the Royal Marines School of Music Junior Band. Andy remained at RMSM for the remainder of his career.

He became a Freeman of the City of London in 1976. He was Promoted to WO2 in 1979 and appointed Corps Bugle Major in 1980. The following year Andy became the first ever member of the Buglers Branch to be promoted to WO1.

WO1 A C Crofts RM was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list of 1983, for his outstanding service to the Royal Marines, before his retirement from the Royal Marines Band Service on 1st September 1983. Andy and Karen remained in Worth near Sandwich, Kent, with their three sons. He also studied for an Open University degree course in History.

Andy Crofts sadly passed away on 15th February 2014. His Funeral service was held at Worth Village Church on 28th February.

P
aul Foley

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