Born in Crick, Northamptonshire in 1943, Andy joined the Royal Marines
Band Service as a Junior Bugler on 22nd April 1958. Following training,
which included at the time seamanship training in HMS Vanguard, he was
drafted to Portsmouth Group Band, which included time onboard his first
ship HMS Bermuda.
In 1960, Andy departed for Chatham for a short time before being sent
to 42 Commando when hostilities broke out in Malaysia. Andy also saw
active service in Brunei and Borneo, for his efforts he was awarded
the Naval General Service Medal in Brunei, plus the General Service
Medal for Borneo.
Andy took part in the Band's 1965 tour of USA. It was during that tour
that he met Karen from Highland Illinois, who was a medical student
in Chicago. 1966 saw more active service in Aden with 45 Commando, that
earned him an Aden clasp for his GSM. Andy married Karen in Andy’s
home town of Crick in 1968.
As a Cpl Bugler, Britannia Royal Naval College was the next stop for
Andy in 1968 where he enjoyed a three year stint at Dartmouth. Sport
was an important part of life at BRNC Band during that era, Andy was
one of seven members of the Band that turned out for Dartmouth Cricket
Club during that time, he even scaled the lofty heights of Vice Chairman.
He was also a member of the Band football team for the Montagu Cup games..
Andy was flying up the promotion ladder by now, his time in the West
Country was up as he was appointed Drum Major of Chatham Band in 1971.
Under the leadership of Captain Pete Sumner, the Director of Music and
the new Drum Major began to form an extremely good working relationship.
During his time at Chatham, he fronted the Band on a very entertaining
and hospitable trip to Wilhelmshaven in Germany, where they enjoyed
the company of the very sociable German Navy Band.
He returned to Deal in 1974 to become Drum Major of the Royal Marines
School of Music Junior Band. Andy remained at RMSM for the remainder
of his career.
He became a Freeman of the City of London in 1976. He was Promoted to
WO2 in 1979 and appointed Corps Bugle Major in 1980. The following year
Andy became the first ever member of the Buglers Branch to be promoted
WO1 A C Crofts RM was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday
honours list of 1983, for his outstanding service to the Royal Marines,
before his retirement from the Royal Marines Band Service on 1st September
1983. Andy and Karen remained in Worth near Sandwich, Kent, with their
three sons. He also studied for an Open University degree course in
Andy Crofts sadly passed away on 15th February 2014. His Funeral service
was held at Worth Village Church on 28th February.