Staff Bandmaster Gordon Edward ‘Ernie’ Ward RMBX2705

Ernie from Oxfordshire joined the Royal Naval School of Music at Burford in 1949 as a Flautist. After completion of training in 1953 he had a short spell with the Staff Band in Deal before joining the band on the aircraft carrier HMS Theseus under the leadership of Stan Glasspole and BSgt Ben Finney.

On returning to Deal in 1956 he married his wife Maureen and enjoyed a further eighteen months in Staff Band. BCpl Ward then joined the Portsmouth Group Band under Captain KA Maclean and a spent a further two years under Captain Paul Neville, where he visited many places around the world onboard The Royal Yacht.

On completion of the Bandmasters course in 1964, Ernie was drafted to HMS Terror in Singapore, as Bandmaster of the Commander in Chief Far East Fleet Band for a three year period. He then returned to the UK and to Staff Band as Bandmaster for 14 months.

Ernie became the Staff Bandmaster at the Britannia Royal Naval College in 1969 and spent two years at Dartmouth. Once again he returned to Deal in 1971 where he became Sgt Major of the Music Wing and Chief Instructor of both Higher and Junior Training. In 1978 Ernie, along with Drum Major Andy Crofts took the forty eight strong Junior Band on board HMS Hermes when it visited Copenhagen Denmark, the first occasion that the Training Band had ever performed outside the UK. He remained in the post until 1980.

Ernie was a well-known footballer during his first seventeen years’ service, playing for the Corps and Royal Navy, the highlight was when he was selected to play for Portsmouth FC in 1960.

Ernie retired from the RMBS after thirty one years’ service. Sadly illness affected him and he spent the last 5 years in a nursing home.

Bandmaster Ernie Ward passed away on 20th January 2019. His funeral service was held on 5th February at Barham Crematorium Kent and afterwards at the RMA Walmer.

Paul Foley

| Home |
Richard Valentine -
1996 - 2019 © - All rights reserved