Congratulations on the new format, I have been "off the air" for a while, a fair bit of the year in Australia with the family and then problems with the PC (as we do!) All sorted now, and I have just received an e-mail from Bert Bower regarding the photo taken outside room 79 at Howstrake.
The photo was taken in April 1946, and featured are ;
Back row left to right]
RMBx2352 Ivan Vickers (Cornet and Violin)
Ken Smith (The rooms "old soldier") (Oboe)
Archie Marshall (Alto Sax and Violin)
RMBx2349 Ray Watts (known as RG) (Clarinet and Viola)
RMBx2350 Gordon Silcox (Solo Cornet)
Peter Halliwell (Percussion)
RMBx2353 Jim Mason (Solo Clarinet)
John (Gunner) Hargreaves (Section Leader) Euph and Cello)
RMBx 2345 Bert (Al) Bower (Flute and Piano)
RMBx 2351 Ray (Bash) Byard (Clarinet and Violin
I had a ship with Ken Smith in later years and had a few memorable runs ashore with him. Al Bower and Ivan Vickers were my first "run ashore" companions in the Isle of Man. (Herb Beer at 1 penny a pint - life was exciting!) Al Bower and myself were the only two in the squad old enough to qualify for a cigarette ration card! As I did not smoke, this gave me a lot of bargaining power!
At the time of last years re-union we were in Egypt visiting friends there and it rather looks as if we may be in Italy/Sicily at the time of the next one, but if plans change, I will certainly attend.
A point of interest in the photograph - at that time new entries were issued with a lot of second hand kit! My uniform shirts were blue and white striped cotton and had been handed in by a musician who had been discharged in 1945! None had been issued new since 1936! Shirts did not have collars!