Anthony Evans was born in Hednesford, Staffordshire on Saturday 30th
August 1958. He was raised along with his young sister Carol by parents
Barry and Lily. His first taste of playing music was when he learned
how to play the cornet in his local Salvation Army Brass Band, he also
enjoyed receiving piano and vocal lessons which provided him with a
good insight into a possible musical career. In October 1973 he became
friendly with young Liz Tate who he met at the band, they were both
his successful audition, seventeen-year-old Paul joined the Royal Marines
Band Service on 12th January 1976 as a cornet & violin player, becoming
a prominent figure of 1/76 Troop. He was part of the Junior Band that
was lucky enough to board HMS Hermes for a trip to Copenhagen in 1978,
the first time that young trainees had ventured overseas.
Paul prospered under the musical guidance of Professor Walter Hargreaves
and his instructor BCSgt Ken Glentworth. He excelled throughout his
training at the School of Music and was deservedly rewarded with the
position of Neptune House Captain, then the ultimate position for any
trainee.. Wing Captain.
To mark the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the appointment of HRH
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as the Captain General of the Royal
Marines and in recognition of the service provided to him by the Royal
Marines Band Service, it was announced that the best all-round Musician
or Bugler from each annual intake should be awarded the ‘The Prince's
Badge', further to this, it was directed that the emblem should be worn
throughout the man’s service in the Royal Marines in every rank
and uniform. The award carried with it six months accelerated advancement
to Musician or Bugler 1st Class and the recipient eligible for an award
of back-dated seniority as a candidate for promotion. Paul Evans was
the worthy recipient of the inaugural Princes Badge on 10th August 1978,
presented by the Captain General Royal Marines Prince Philip at the
Commando Training Centre.
completion of training in October 1978, Paul was drafted to the Royal
Marines Band Flag Officer Scotland & Northern Ireland (FOSNI) based
at HMS Cochrane Rosyth, under the exceptional leadership of Lt Ron Kempton,
it was only a short stay of six-months before he joined the Royal Marines
Band CinC Naval Home Command at Eastney in April 1979. Shortly afterwards,
in August and following six years of courtship... Paul married his childhood
sweetheart Elizabeth at their Salvation Army Citadel in Staffordshire,
Paul’s best man was fellow Royal Marines Musician John Durant.
A few weeks later the Massed Bands including Portsmouth Band gathered
on 5th September 1979 to take part in the funeral of Admiral of the
Fleet, The Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
was selected for duty onboard Her Majesty’s Royal Yacht Britannia
in 1980, his first taste of life at sea under the watchful eyes of Captain
Graham Hoskins was the annual Western Isles trip in August, closely
followed by the deployment and state visits to Italy, Morocco, Tunisia
The couple were blessed with their first child when Liz gave birth to
Claire in December 1980. Paul was away quite a bit for the first few
years of Claire's life, serving with the Royal Yacht Band, which was
now under the baton of Captain Peter Heming. Paul travelled the world
including the Australian visit in 1982 for the XII Commonwealth Games
in September. On her way she called at Gibraltar, Columbo and Singapore
before arriving in her first Australian port of Darwin. Following the
games in Brisbane, the return voyage included stops in Fiji and Western
Samoa, amongst others.
In 1983, the Royal destination was Mexico, USA and Canada, this was
followed by a period on dry land for the Yacht Band as the ship had
to undergo a six-month refit. The Evans family was extended further
with the arrival of Katherine in July 1984... right in the midst of
Paul’s involvement in the Royal Tournament. Due to family commitments,
Paul was spared travelling on the following tour of Canada.
Royal Yacht was regarded as critically important when Her Majesty and
Prince Philip embarked on their Caribbean tour in October/November 1985.
They began their tour in The Bahamas followed by calls at St Kitts and
Paul had by now travelled many thousands of miles over the previous
six years and on many deployments.. His final trip with the Yacht Band
was the historic State Visit to the People’s Republic of China
in 1986 by The Queen and Prince Philip. Leaving Portsmouth on 1st September,
the band enjoyed stops at Gibraltar, Port Said, Aden, Colombo, Singapore
and Hong Kong, before berthing in Shanghai on 11th October. The visit
proved to be an important milestone in the improving relationship between
the two nations. It was also the first time that a reigning British
Monarch had travelled to China. The Yacht with the band onboard on its
return through the Middle East then provided Royal Duties for the Prince
and Princess of Wales visit to Muscat Oman. The long trip ended with
a stop in Cyprus before a well-earned Christmas Leave.
fabulous eight years in Portsmouth came to an end in May 1987 with a
draft to the Staff Band at the Royal Marines School of Music, he enjoyed
the next two-years there and was amongst the travelling party that made
the trip to Sydney Australia in 1988.
In the summer of 1989, shortly before the atrocity at Deal, Band Sergeant
Evans was drafted for a second time to FOSNI Band. The 1990 recording
of the FOSNI CD ‘Celebration’, coincided with the celebrations
of the Forth Rail Bridge centenary, the front cover features Paul as
part of the fanfare team with the bridge as the backdrop. Paul made
the long journey with the band south to the Falklands for commemorations
in 1989 to mark the seventh anniversary of the war. A trip to the Faroe
Islands was slotted in before the birth of their son David, in Dunfermline
in October 1990. Paul was also amongst the ranks for the annual pilgrimage
to Iceland in November to celebrate the United States Marine Corps birthday.
received his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1991. He was based
north of the border for two and half years before he was selected to
return to Deal in January 1992, taking his place at the Royal Marines
School of Music as the cornet and violin instructor, in addition he
was assigned with the role of Gloucester House SNCO. Paul was the instructor
that the juniors turned to with their problems at the School of Music,
he was a lovely caring man, a father figure who would go to any lengths
to help any of his students. In addition to his musical talents, he
possessed an exceptional ability in the squash court, winning the unit
veterans championship in 1993.
It was announced that the barracks at Deal was to close in March 1996.
The School of Music transferred to Portsmouth... so did the Evans family.
He was heavily involved in the transition of the trainees to their new
facility and their settling in at the new school.. the old detention
quarters in Pompey, he was also credited for running the Section Commanders
Courses in the late nineties. Paul would have made a very good bandmaster,
but he decided not to take up the option of attending the course.. stating
that he wanted to continue to play as opposed to conduct. He gave another
three years’ service as an Instructor at RMSM before promotion
to BCSgt and at the same time.. selection for the position as Royal
Naval Volunteer Band Instructor in April 1999 at nearby HMS Collingwood.
Royal Marines Band Service was left shocked and deeply saddened when
Paul sadly felt the need to take his own life on 28th April 1999 aged
just 40. His body was found in his car on a country track, the cause
of his death was carbon monoxide poisoning. Through all the years of
travelling, performing, Instructing and applying a brave face since
the tragedy at the Royal Marines School of Music, he’d been suffering
with depression. Paul had been drafted back to FOSNI from Staff Band
just a month before the blast on 22nd September 1989 and amongst the
victims that fateful day was Paul’s replacement Richard Fice...
he felt extreme guilt about those circumstances and many felt that even
after ten years had passed... Paul had become the terrorists twelfth
The Royal Marines gave Paul a magnificent send off, his funeral was
held in St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth on 7th May 1999 with full military
honours, he wasn’t a Roman Catholic, but a large church was required
due to the amount of people who wished to attend, the turnout was overwhelming,
with many travelling from afar, the band marched in front of the hearse,
the orchestra played in the church and the buglers sounded the Last
Post & Reveille at Paul’s final resting place.. Milton Cemetery
in Portsmouth. His wake was held in the Victory Bar in HMS Nelson.
The ‘Paul Evans Memorial Trophy’ is presented annually at
the Royal Marines School of Music for the Best concert performance.
There is no doubting Liz’s love for Paul, and despite all the
heartache, she found happiness once again.. marrying for a second time
on 19th July 2008 to former Royal Marines Bugler Roy ‘George’