Anthony Taylor was born on Monday 13th July 1964 to parents Tony and
Barbara, sharing his childhood in Somerby Road Leicester with his sister
Steph. He was a pupil at Fernvale Primary School, just a short walk
from home on the same road before moving on to Manor High in Oadby Leicester
where he graduated in 1980.
musical knowhow came from Mr Ted Bottle... his music teacher at Manor
High, it was he who inspired young Jeff to take up the trumpet... managing
to achieve a grade 3 on the cornet.
Both Jeff and his father took up music at the same time, Tony had little
musical knowledge and it was his son that ultimately inspired him to
take up playing the trombone.
Tony Taylor formed the 95th St Chads Scout Band in 1975, Jeff became
a trumpet player in the band and along the way proved to be a great
support to his father in the organisation.
Jeff suffered following an unfortunate accident on a bike, he lost his
front teeth and as a result he had to have crowns fitted. He was informed
on his audition at the Royal Marines School of Music at Deal that his
embouchure was no longer suitable and would probably not meet the high
standards required for a cornet player... as an alternative he was offered
a place on saxophone and violin.
Having just turned sixteen, Jeff travelled to Deal, the home of the
Royal Marines Band Service on 8th September 1980, he was allocated a
place in Neptune House and became the youngest Junior Musician of 3/80
Troop... passing out of the initial six-week training period before
inspecting officer Lt Col James Mason on Friday 17th October 1980 in
the presence of his parents and other families who had travelled to
Deal for the parade.
He then spent the next two and a half years in East Barracks studying
sax and violin under the instruction of BCSgt Frank ‘Wiggy’
Bennett... during those couple of years he undoubtedly and mischievously
became one of the biggest characters in the troop, he was an absolute
fanatic of Madness.. a top group of the eighties, he would usually accompany
their songs with his air saxophone.
One particular element of Royal Marines training was the thoroughly
enjoyable thirteen-hour coach trip enroute to Loch Ewe in the Highlands
for the troop holiday (outward bound course...) labelled as ‘character-building
In February 1983 Jeff was on the brink of completing his training when
he was selected as part of Junior Band that took to the stage for the
Mountbatten Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, he also paraded on Horseguards
for the Burma Star Association Parade. However, the above engagements
became his highlights of a short stay in the Band Service... he’d
completed over seven terms of training... unfortunately though he did
not pass his M3’s (final exam)... two very new instruments was
probably the reason for his disappointing exit... especially his attempts
at mastering the violin... Junior Musician Jeff Taylor was released
from the Royal Marines Band Service in 1983.
he’d left the Corps... Jeff along with his Dad and friend Richard
managed to find a place in the Royal Navy Reserve Band... that appeared
at the Royal Tournament at Earls Court, he was full of ‘bright-ideas’
and this proved to be another one of Jeff’s escapades!..
He didn’t lose touch with his scout group either.. by the time
Jeff had departed to join the Royal Marines, the Scout Band had established
itself as a brass band instead of the traditional drum and bugle band.
Jeff inspired & encouraged many of those in the band.. passing on
much of his valuable knowledge that he’d gained from his training
with the marines and because of the way the band developed it also attracted
a boy of the same age who became a lifelong friend to the Taylor family..
he is still serving in the Royal Australian Navy following his retirement
from the Royal Navy. Jeff also played with two brass bands in Leicestershire,
‘The Foresters Brass’ in Coalville and ‘Unity Brass’
in nearby Markfield.
went through some turbulent times in the eighties following his departure
from the Royal Marines, he set up his own gardening business, before
taking up employment as a door-to-door salesman selling fire extinguishers,
he certainly found plenty to occupy his time... He also married for
the first time.
He then gained employment in 1992 with Tuffnells Parcels Express, remaining
with ‘The Big Green Parcel Machine’ for three years.
He also took up playing rugby and turned out for a local club side called
‘Aylestone St James’... known as ‘Jimmies’...
they had a group of musicians called ‘Jimmie’s Rhythm’...
Jeff joined the band and they proved to be a popular group in the local
pubs. At that time, a local farmer staged concerts at ‘The Barn’,
‘Jimmie’s Rhythm’ played as support group for various
bands such as Leicester group Showaddywaddy and American rock singer
Suzi Quatro amongst the more notable... so his musical career continued.
became a father for the first time to Anna, who is now happily married
and living in Australia.. . she has since presented Jeff with two grandchildren
Charlie and Lily. He then became a father to son Jacob who was born
in 1998... the product of another relationship.
new employment opportunity arose for Jeff when he secured a position
as a procurement administrator with Honeywell (formerly Intermec Technologies),
a global high-tech company associated with the production of barcode
scanners & readers, mobile computers etc... Jeff had finally found
his right career path and with a company that everyone knew him for...
he ultimately progressed in the company to the role of Sales Director
Transport & Logistics.
fair to say that Jeff struggled to make his mark in the Royal Marines
Band Service, but he did make his mark with his fellow 3/80 Troop members...
In September 2000, Troop 3/80 decided to commemorate their 20th anniversary
year by holding a reunion in the RMA which was attended by twenty-three
ranks. The get together was partially instigated by Jeff who from then
on was always at the helm of any troop reunion organising committee.
A comment made by Jeff who was attempting to convince another troop
member to attend... “Sometimes there are more important things
in life than work... 3/80 Troop is bigger than a mere job”.
in his late thirties... Jeff it would appear had finally decided to
settle down... he made his home in Radcliffe on Trent on the outskirts
of Nottingham with Claire Tudor... they were married in 2002 and together
they produced a daughter Libby Mae born in 2003 and a son Finn MacKenzie
Jeff became a devoted family man, always putting Claire and his kids
first above everything else, including jetting off on many family holidays...
though when he found time, he loved a round of golf and he was a passionate
May 2016.. Jeff and his family’s world was turned upside down
when he was informed he’d developed cancer and that it had spread
to a few places. He’d had a biopsy and following his prognosis
which stated that his chances of survival were not good, he underwent
treatments including chemotherapy.
Jeff and his family and friends embarked on an enjoyable barge trip
during the latter days of his illness.. he was extremely poorly and
in tremendous pain, but he gritted his teeth and was up on deck steering
the barge as much as he could, he was up and about when the kids were
opening the locks and on more than one occasion he had to jump off his
sick bed to sort them out when they got themselves in some tricky situations.
Taylor sadly passed away on 1st September 2016 aged 52, the cancer had
finally taken him, he did everything he possibly could to fight it and
battled to the very end.
Jeff’s funeral service was held on 16th September at Wilford Hill
Crematorium, followed by a social gathering at Ruddington Grange Golf
The chapel was full, with many stood at the rear, attended by family,
friends, work colleagues and five members of his beloved 3/80 Troop.
Donations of nearly £2,200 were raised in memory of Jeff for Ochre,
a charity that was formed to promote awareness of oesophageal cancer.
A fund was also set up for Libby and Finn’s future to enable them
the best possible chance to fulfil their hopes and dreams that would
have made their daddy proud. Jeff’s mother sadly passed away six