David McMillan 1963-1989
David ‘Mac’ McMillan was born on Monday 4th February 1963 in Edgware North London, Middlesex. David was the only beloved child of Margaret McMillan and for twenty-six precious years. The Prime Minister at the time was Harold Macmillan (No relation)!
David’s love for music started at a young age, when he became a member of the local battalion of the Boys Brigade. He was a pupil at Kenmore Park Middle School and Cannons High School in Edgware, before progressing to Harrow School, which specialised in music and where he was initially taught how to play the tuba by teacher John Malcolm. Harrow on the Hill is a locality and an affluent historic village in the borough of Harrow. The name refers to the four-hundred foot Harrow Hill and is located some half a mile south of the modern town. Dave was always proud that he lived in Harrow prior to joining up, but he would clarify this by always saying he lived at the bottom of the hill !
David passed his audition at the Royal Marines School of Music (RMSM) in Deal to become a tuba and string bass player. He travelled from his home to join the Band Service as a Junior Musician on 10th September 1979, becoming a member of the sixty-three strong 3/79 Troop and the largest intake of recent times. His ability on Double Bass was finely tuned with the guidance of Professor Bill Hoare.
On completion of training in April 1982, Musician McMillan was drafted to the Band of HM Royal Marines Flag Officer Naval Air Command, based at HMS Heron in Yeovilton. He wasn’t there for long before moving on to a similar spell with the Band of HM Royal Marines Commander in Chief Naval Home Command at Eastney. He soon returned back to Deal with the Staff Band of the Royal Marines School of Music. Having settled in back at Deal, Dave took the opportunity of moving ashore and found a property to rent along with Ian Quirke, Simon Morgan and fellow trooper Paul Weston in St George’s Road at the other side of town. Highlights for Dave with Staff Band included his selection as a member of the fanfare team for the North America tour in 1985. The Staff Band of the Royal Marines School of Music, accompanied by the Pipes and Drums of the Argyll and Sutherland Islanders, began their grand tour of the United States in September, visiting a total of 78 towns and cities. Dave also enjoyed London Duties at Buckingham Palace and in July 1986, he was selected for the fanfare team at the royal wedding of Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York in Westminster Abbey.
Aside from his talent as a musician.. Dave was a keen all round sportsman, representing the Staff Band at athletics, football and rugby. In February 1987, Dave lifted the Montague Cup as captain of the Staff Band football team, following their 2-0 defeat of Portsmouth Band. He also represented the RMSM in the Tunney Cup. However.. it was on the rugby pitch that he excelled.. turning out for the Band, RM Deal and in the position of flanker for local team Deal Wanderers, alongside fellow musicians Bob Simmonds and Richard Jones.. it was a commitment they all made until their passing.
was married to freelance hairstylist Mandy Lee on 6th June 1987, at
St Michaels and all Angels church Deal, their best man was Ian Quirke.
The happy couple made their home in Hamilton Road, Deal.. It always
amused some of 3/79 Troop, that he met and married the daughter of one
of their PTI’s.. Tansy Lee.. Dave was a brave man! Mandy was also
in her spare time the Chairman of the Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown Regatta
David McMillan’s life was tragically cut short when he was one
of the eleven musicians killed in the bombing of Deal Barracks on Friday
22nd September 1989.. he was just 26. Ten Royal Marines were killed
instantly and another.. Chris Nolan, passed away thirty-six days later
as a direct result of the wounds he suffered in the blast.
January 1990, The Harrow School for young musicians held a memorial
concert, the proceeds of which raised enough money to purchase a tuba
that was inscribed with Dave’s name and is still in use today
in his memory.
Mandy continued and found herself fortunate to have an amazing relationship with Dave’s mum. She met and married Dave knowing there was another lady in his life. She knew exactly how Dave felt about his mum and in his absence, Mandy did all the right things by him for her. Sadly, Margaret passed away in 2018, Mandy misses her every single day, she was the only little bit of Dave that she still had left and now takes comfort knowing she is reunited with her beloved son.