‘Pincher’ Martin joined the Royal Naval School of Music
as a saxophonist at Burford in 1946. He gave service in Eastney while
the Royal Yacht Band was away, returning to Burford in 1947. March 1948
saw Mike embark on both HMS Forth and HMS Newcastle, he spent a total
21 months on board, returning to Devonport in December 1949.
Pincher then joined the newly named Royal Marines School of Music at
Deal in 1950, following its move from Burford. He was only there for
a year, before moving to HMS Excellent. In September 1951 he was drafted
to New Zealand on a three year posting.
Pincher's first ten years in the Band Service were extremely eventful,
a return to RMSM in 1955 was quickly followed by a posting to the Home
Fleet, serving on HMS’ Ark Royal, Apollo, Tyne, Glasgow and others...visiting
USA, Russia and most European countries. He returned to Deal in 1957.
Mike was drafted to RM Band Britannia Royal Naval College in January
1958, he enjoyed a full two years at the College before being drafted
to the Med for a two year stretch with the Band of HMS Phoenicia.
Back to Dartmouth it was in 1962, this time for three years, until packing
his kit once again and heading for HMS St Vincent. It was then back
to RMSM where he had the pleasure of a three-month tour of America,
before returning to the West Country with HMS Raleigh. Pincher returned
to BRNC in 1968, where he received his Long Service Good Conduct medal
from Captain Tait in 1972 and to complete the remainder of his service,
along with his faithful dog Skipper... Mike was all set to remain single
for the rest of his life until he succumbed to local lass Bet, they
married in 1975.
He was just about to end his time in the Band Service when he was granted
a sixth-five, which was a rarity in those days, and would take him up
to 1980. Pincher had a two week spell at FOP Band in 1977, when BRNC
Band went to Berlin, he exchanged with Kelvin Smith from Raleigh. He
was the third longest ever serving member of Dartmouth Band, behind
Les Sheppard and John Lusher with a total of 17 years in three different
spells. Twelve years being his longest stretch.
Pincher ran the Coffee/Loan Boat, he was the King of cards...especially
Euchre and was also a dab hand at crosswords. He was an institution,
and will always retain legendary status among those that served alongside
him. Pincher retired from the Royal Marines Band Service in 1980 after
34 years to work at the Post Office.
Pincher Martin sadly died on Friday 6th May 1983, his funeral at St
Saviours Church was on Wednesday 11th May. A small orchestra played
at the service and four his colleagues from the Band acted as pall bearers.
The Buglers sounded the Last Post. The church was almost full as ex
Bandies from all over the country came to pay their respects.