Musician Mark Timothy Petch P036893W

Mark was born in Ramsgate, Kent on 24th April 1963. He was a pupil at Deal Secondary School, where he was partly taught by the legendary Roy Kaighin, helping Mark on the way to grade 5 on flute. He joined the Royal Marines Band Service as part of 3/79 troop on 11 September 1979, where he studied as a flute, piccolo & tenor saxophone player.

On completion of training, Mark’s first draft was to the Band of HM Royal Marines Flag Officer Naval Air Command, at Yeovilton in 1982. He wasn’t there very long though as FONAC Band played its final gig at the Pebble Mill at One studios, before being disbanded on 25th February 1983. The Band members were dispersed around other bands and Mark was one of eight ranks that joined Royal Marines Band Flag Officer Plymouth. This draft was cut short even more, he’d only been at Raleigh for one day before being admitted to Royal Naval Hospital Haslar.

Mark eventually found his way back to the Royal Marines School of Music Staff Band. He had great knowledge in computer games and a passion for tropical fish. He also made a name for himself in the local community at Deal, teaching gymnastics to various groups and found time to pass on his musical abilities to music groups at Dover Grammar School and The Duke of York’s Military School.

Mark went on temporary draft to the Britannia Royal Naval College in 1988 from Staff Band, where he travelled with the Band for the week long trip to Hamburg staying on HMS Invincible throughout her visit. He was also in the group which enjoyed the nine day long trip to Poland accompanying the visit of HMS Bristol in June 1989.

Mark was only at Dartmouth for a few short months as he wanted to be back home in Deal, where he lived with his wife Cathy in their married quarters, he returned to Staff Band shortly after the trip.

Sadly, Mark Petch aged only 26 was one of the eleven members of Staff Band who’s lives and careers were needlessly cut short when they were murdered in the RMSM bombing on 22nd September 1989. Mark’s funeral service with full military honours was held on 4th October at St Michael's and All Angels Church in South Barracks, he was later buried in Hamilton Road Cemetery in Deal, adjacent to Dean Pavey.

The Mark Petch Memorial Trust Trophy is awarded each year as part of the Cassel Prize competition.

aul Foley

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