Stan P Glasspole BEM 1923-1990
RMB/X 1080
Staff Bandmaster
Served 1937-1963
SoM 1963-1988

Stanley Philip Glasspole was born on Saturday 24th February 1923 in Portsmouth, on the same day 'The Flying Scotsman' entered service. He was raised at their home in Sydenham Terrace along with his older brother Harry and older sister Elaine and younger sister Iris. Their parents.. Florence was a dressmaker and Henry.. a CSgt in the Royal Marines and a veteran of World War I, who served on HMS’s Iron Duke and Renown.

Aged just fourteen, young Stanley joined the Royal Naval School of Music at Deal as a Band Boy on 3rd July 1937, he was a member of No. 61 Squad, under the instruction of Sgt Higgins, who was the very first MTI (Military Training Instructor). Stan auditioned on piano and was accepted as a flute and piano player. The boys under training at the outbreak of World War II were assigned with the chore of sandbagging East Barracks. Aside from learning music.. Stan recalled how the boys used to play tennis on the East Barracks parade ground and football in the old graveyard.

Musician Glasspole passed for duty in 1940.. and so, his list of ships began with HMS Furious, a carrier and veteran of the First World War, the ships task was to patrol the waters of the Mediterranean, whilst protecting the Malta Convoys. The ship suffered severe bomb damage and as a result, they had a period of R&R with runs ashore in Philadelphia. He then joined the cruiser HMS Sirius.. the band worked closely with the Greek Sacred Regiment who were involved in the Dodecanese campaign of World War II. It was an attempt by Allied forces to capture the Italian Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea following the Armistice with Italy in September 1943 and to use them as bases against the German-controlled Balkans. Stan was also listed at various times as a member of the bands onboard HM Ship’s Liverpool and Orion.

When WW2 hostilities were over, Stan joined the Royal Marines Band CinC Malta, before gaining promotion to BCpl at Burford in 1946 and a draft to the Royal Marines Band at HMS Excellent, it was there that he was selected for Royal Yacht duty and as a consequence, he formed a very good relationship with the Director of Music, Vivian Dunn.
Stan married Sheila Webster in Portsmouth in 1948.. It was also the year that the promotion wagon appeared again and a short time later, Sgt Glasspole was posted onboard the cruiser HMS Jamaica in the Far East. He enjoyed his first taste of pantomime while onboard in 1949.

Stan returned to the re-branded Royal Marines School of Music in 1951 as flute instructor, before he earned a place in the Bandmasters Class. Stan and Sheila became parents for the first time when their daughter Janet was born in August of that year. He was promoted to Bandmaster in 1952 and placed in charge of the Training Squadron Band onboard HMS Implacable then HMS Theseus, with Sgt Ben Finney as his support. The couple celebrated the arrival of a second daughter.. Margaret later in the year.

In 1955, Stan was assigned to the post of Quartermaster in the supply department at the School of Music, a role he occupied for seven years. In 1957, Stan’s involvement in the Sgts Mess Pantomimes began, firstly as an actor, before getting more involved with writing and the production side of things. The Globe Theatre was situated in North Barracks with a capacity audience of up to four-hundred people. The shows raised much needed funds for local charities and the Annual Children’s Christmas Party in the Sergeants' Mess. The Glasspole family was extended further in 1957 when their son Martyn came along. Stan developed a serious illness before retiring from the Royal Marines Band Service as Staff Bandmaster in 1963 and at the same time, he was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 1963 Birthday honours list in recognition of his charitable work. Following his retirement, Stan went on to spend another twenty-five years in the instrument repair shop, becoming the first civilian to occupy a role in the workshop. He was employed in East Barracks as a woodwind Instrument Repairer, with amongst others.. Joe Guest, Wally Walters and Pete Rose.

Grief fell upon Stan in the eighties.. firstly, his wife Sheila passed away from cancer in 1982 aged just 52 and two years later his son Martin passed away aged just 27. Stan married again in 1984 to Kathleen Lawrence.
He worked for another four years before finally retiring in February 1988. The occasion was marked with a presentation to Stan of Edinburgh crystal glass on behalf of all members of the Royal Marines Band Service. By now Stan had become Mr Pantomime, he had taken part in every Sgts Mess Pantomime since 1956 and went on to write and produce many more, counting over twenty-five pantos and other various productions at the Globe Theatre. Everyone had so much fun delivering his clever, imaginative and comical scripts… making it such a highlight of the year for those taking part…

1968 Treasure Island
1969 Babes in the Wood
1970 Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
1971 Puss in Boots
1972 Aladdin RM
1973 Scrooge
1974 Three & Half Musketeers
1975 Robin-Son of Crusoe RM
1976 Oliver Twit
1977 Humpty Jack & the Beanstalk
1978 Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
1982 Treasure Island
1983 Ali Baba & the 39 & Half Thieves
1984 Cinderella
1987 Aladdin
1988 Three & Half Musketeer
1989 A Christmas Carol

Ian Quirke took over from Stan for the 1990 production of Jock and the Beanstalk.. Stan did assist Ian.. it was only natural ! Stan also provided edited scripts for use by the CTC Sgts Mess where they performed at the Exmouth Pavilion and latterly at the Barnfield Theatre in Exeter. Stan was also the Stage Manager of the Depot Operatic Society. Stan did have his own pet charity close to his heart, ‘The Pilgrims Hospice’ in Canterbury.
Away from the theatre, Stan spent a few years as a member of Deal Town Council, and he enjoyed the love of his family, which now boasted four grandchildren Laura, Tanya, Marie, Shona and Edward, who incidentally shared a birthday with Stan.

Stanley Glasspole sadly passed away early on 5th June 1990 aged 67 as a result of a heart attack. His funeral service was held at the Depot Church of St Michael and All Angels in South Barracks and accompanied by music by the Royal Marines Band. Stan’s good friend and former WO2 Bandmaster Terry Williams paid tribute with the eulogy, before the cortège departed for a private ommittal at Barham Crematorium.

RIP Stan

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