Paul R T Smith

Paul RT Smith RMB 3528 was born in 1942 and hailed from East Grinstead in Sussex. He joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1956 as a euphonium and cello player.

Evidently Paul was a great admirer of the Cellist Pablo Casals and as a result.. given the nickname Pablo. He was good friends with Willi Watson.. they would visit each other’s homes when on leave, usually to listen to their latest LPs of the great works.. often with the score. They also shared the same room in Neptune house.. and Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.. always reminds Willi (with a lump in his throat).. of his long lost friend.

Paul was around 6ft and also a black belt in Judo.. he used to practice in the Recreation Room in the Neptune House corridor... he managed to break one of Willi’s toes in the process.. Harry Prescott was also in the same Neptune house room as Paul (Smudge) and Dave Mullan who was the Corporal... He was rated in April 1960 as part of No 31 CG Squad, which also included the likes of Mervyn Durrant, Willi, Bernard Pierce, Mike Goss and Phil Hughes.

Musician Paul RT Smith was tragically killed in a car accident on the extremely sharp bend at The Sportsman’s Arms which is just outside Dartmouth at Hemborough Post on the Halwell Road. The sad event occurred between January and June of 1966, he was only twenty-four years old.. the dangerous turn which is situated amongst the beautiful rolling Devonshire countryside of the South Hams has sadly claimed many lives over the years.

He had recently been drafted from Britannia Royal Naval College to the Royal Marines Band at HMS Drake in Plymouth and had driven back to Dartmouth for a run ashore.. (it’s possible that two men may have been involved).. The lads were socialising in the Market Tavern in the centre of the town, also out with Paul Smith that fateful night in the Tavern were lads from BRNC Band: Paul Roberts, John Fawcett, Onge Morris and Eggy Hobbs.

Paul was making his way back to Plymouth when the accident happened, there’s is a very sharp bend at the pub which wasn't taken and resulted in the car going straight into the pub wall, with tragic consequences.

The BRNC band all attended his funeral which was held at the church in HMS Drake.

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