Alan J 'Bomber' Mills, 1957-2016
Cpl Bugler
Served 1972-1994

Alan John Mills was born on Wednesday 12th June 1957 in Southampton. He was to become without question a legendary character of the Buglers Branch and the Royal Marines Band Service, having enlisted with the Royal Marines as a Junior Bugler on 22nd August 1972. Young Bomber was a member of 2/72 New Entry Troop and in 1974, he was presented with the Star Trophy.. awarded to the best Junior Bugler of the year.

Bombers’ first draft from training was to the Royal Marines Band Flag Officer Naval Air Command based at HMS Daedalus, where he served until the Summer of 1974, before he was posted to the RM Commando Forces Band at Stonehouse.. remaining in Plymouth until the end of 1978.

Bomber was rewarded with a dream draft along with fellow Buglers Pete Bradfield and Mick Saywell to the newly formed globetrotting Royal Marines Band Flag Officer Third Flotilla, which assembled at Deal in January 1979. During the first twelve months.. the band travelled extensively throughout the Mediterranean and the United States onboard HMS’s Hermes and Bulwark.

The Royal Marines Band Flag Officer Plymouth at Raleigh was Bombers next stop, where he served in the early 1980’s, alongside Drum Major Pete Pritchard, Fred Knell, Alan Roberts, Al Blackshaw and Bronco Lane. He was then drafted north of the border to the Royal Marines Band Flag Officer Scotland & Northern Ireland -1985-. Cpl Bugler Mills was then afforded the role of Corps of Drums Instructor at the Royal Marines School of Music, a position he held until 1994, when he volunteered for redundancy, following the Options for Change strategy implemented the previous year.

Bomber worked for Eurotunnel between 2007-2010. He began as an agency worker on freight until a full time position as Customer Service Agent came along, which he successfully applied for. Employed as a Crew member… Bomber’s time at Eurotunnel could be described as ‘eventful’. His demise was on the crew bus when a crew leader told him to put his seat belt on.. In the strongest possible terms.. Bomber told him to ‘Go Away!!

In 2010, Bomber gained employed with the British Heart Foundation and was pleased to be rewarded with the Managers’ role at their charity shop in Deal. Bomber was devastated by the passing of his beloved Annie on 24th June 2013.

Bomber became heavily involved in the running of the Sergeants Mess Pantomime held at the Astor Theatre in Deal, he was a participant for many years and in addition he was the catalyst for the formation of the Deal Carnival Corps of Drums of which he proved himself to be an excellent and totally unique Drum Major.. The COD has since progressed into a small marching band. Bomber was a massive fan of his hometown football club Southampton and a real dog lover.. having two of his own in Poppie & Charlie.

The whole of the Band Service was shocked at the sudden passing of Bomber who sadly died at home on 27th April 2016 aged 58, due to heart related problems. His Funeral Service was held on Friday 20th May at Barham Crematorium and afterwards in the Deal RMA. Bomber is the father of two loving daughters Lauren & Aimee, stepfather to James and a doting grandad.

RIP Bomber


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