Andrew J G Thomson 1974-2008
John Gaw Thomson was born in Gravesend Kent on Sunday 3rd March 1974,
spending the first sixteen years of his life at Cliffe, a village just
was during his time in the Boys Brigade that Andy developed his love
of many sports, playing football for the company as well as proving
a successful swimmer, winning many races in annual galas.
At thirteen, Andy announced that he wished to join the Navy, which naturally led to a successful audition for the Royal Marines Band Service (RMBS), joining Training Company in 1990. Throughout his time at Deal, Andy proved to be a good all round recruit of Troop 2/90, passing out for adult service in 1993. It was also during this period that the RMBS began to recruit female musicians and Andy met his future wife Catherine, indeed both of them enduring the embarrassment of having shore leave revoked after being caught ignoring the ‘No Touch’ rule one particular evening!
Following training at the Royal Marines School of Music, Andy found himself undertaking the unfamiliar journey to the Royal Marines Band Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth where he cut his teeth on many a cold Devon morning on the parade, ending up playing first horn. He also developed a passion for rugby union, a surprise choice as it involved getting muddy and dirty; however, Andy joined Dartmouth RFC where he began his fledgling rugby career.
1999 he found himself moving up the Devon Expressway to the Royal Marines
Band Commando Training Centre (CTC), under the direction of Captain
Paul Weston. It was also in this year that Catherine and Andy married,
choosing to set up the family home in Torpoint where Andy soon becoming
an integral part of the community.
eventually managed a draft to Royal Marines Band Plymouth and gave up
the early mornings on the A38. Whilst in this draft, Andy developed
his organisation skills by becoming the Band Librarian, but found a
true niche in organising adventure training packages for the band, including
many trips to the annual RN/RM Skiing Championships. On one such trip,
his enthusiasm to sort out the accommodation ended with Andy leaving
his ski boots on the bus while the other members of the trip settled
into their chalet! He was also an accomplished diver, attending many
expeds, including the RMBS trip to the Red Sea.
was during a follow-up to an operation four years ago that Andy needed
a operation to remove some cancerous cells in his neck, which was carried
out in November 2007. Unfortunately, this led to more operations before
Andy was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. He underwent aggressive
courses of both chemo and radiotherapy. Unfortunately this had little
success and Andy was admitted to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
before being moved to St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth a week before
his death on Wednesday July 23rd, aged 34.