Paul A Evans 1958-1999
Served 1976-1999

Paul Anthony Evans was born in Hednesford, Staffordshire on Saturday 30th August 1958. He was raised along with his young sister Carol by parents Barry and Lily. His first taste of playing music was when he learned how to play the cornet in his local Salvation Army Brass Band, he also enjoyed receiving piano and vocal lessons which provided him with a good insight into a possible musical career. In October 1973 he became friendly with young Liz Tate who he met at the band, they were both aged fifteen..

Following his successful audition, seventeen-year-old Paul joined the Royal Marines Band Service on 12th January 1976 as a cornet & violin player, becoming a prominent figure of 1/76 Troop. He was part of the Junior Band that was lucky enough to board HMS Hermes for a trip to Copenhagen in 1978, the first time that young trainees had ventured overseas.
Paul prospered under the musical guidance of Professor Walter Hargreaves and his instructor BCSgt Ken Glentworth. He excelled throughout his training at the School of Music and was deservedly rewarded with the position of Neptune House Captain, then the ultimate position for any trainee.. Wing Captain.
To mark the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the appointment of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as the Captain General of the Royal Marines and in recognition of the service provided to him by the Royal Marines Band Service, it was announced that the best all-round Musician or Bugler from each annual intake should be awarded the ‘The Prince's Badge', further to this, it was directed that the emblem should be worn throughout the man’s service in the Royal Marines in every rank and uniform. The award carried with it six months accelerated advancement to Musician or Bugler 1st Class and the recipient eligible for an award of back-dated seniority as a candidate for promotion. Paul Evans was the worthy recipient of the inaugural Princes Badge on 10th August 1978, presented by the Captain General Royal Marines Prince Philip at the Commando Training Centre.

On completion of training in October 1978, Paul was drafted to the Royal Marines Band Flag Officer Scotland & Northern Ireland (FOSNI) based at HMS Cochrane Rosyth, under the exceptional leadership of Lt Ron Kempton, it was only a short stay of six-months before he joined the Royal Marines Band CinC Naval Home Command at Eastney in April 1979. Shortly afterwards, in August and following six years of courtship... Paul married his childhood sweetheart Elizabeth at their Salvation Army Citadel in Staffordshire, Paul’s best man was fellow Royal Marines Musician John Durant.
A few weeks later the Massed Bands including Portsmouth Band gathered on 5th September 1979 to take part in the funeral of Admiral of the Fleet, The Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

Paul was selected for duty onboard Her Majesty’s Royal Yacht Britannia in 1980, his first taste of life at sea under the watchful eyes of Captain Graham Hoskins was the annual Western Isles trip in August, closely followed by the deployment and state visits to Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.
The couple were blessed with their first child when Liz gave birth to Claire in December 1980. Paul was away quite a bit for the first few years of Claire's life, serving with the Royal Yacht Band, which was now under the baton of Captain Peter Heming. Paul travelled the world including the Australian visit in 1982 for the XII Commonwealth Games in September. On her way she called at Gibraltar, Columbo and Singapore before arriving in her first Australian port of Darwin. Following the games in Brisbane, the return voyage included stops in Fiji and Western Samoa, amongst others.
In 1983, the Royal destination was Mexico, USA and Canada, this was followed by a period on dry land for the Yacht Band as the ship had to undergo a six-month refit. The Evans family was extended further with the arrival of Katherine in July 1984... right in the midst of Paul’s involvement in the Royal Tournament. Due to family commitments, Paul was spared travelling on the following tour of Canada.

The Royal Yacht was regarded as critically important when Her Majesty and Prince Philip embarked on their Caribbean tour in October/November 1985. They began their tour in The Bahamas followed by calls at St Kitts and Trinidad.
Paul had by now travelled many thousands of miles over the previous six years and on many deployments.. His final trip with the Yacht Band was the historic State Visit to the People’s Republic of China in 1986 by The Queen and Prince Philip. Leaving Portsmouth on 1st September, the band enjoyed stops at Gibraltar, Port Said, Aden, Colombo, Singapore and Hong Kong, before berthing in Shanghai on 11th October. The visit proved to be an important milestone in the improving relationship between the two nations. It was also the first time that a reigning British Monarch had travelled to China. The Yacht with the band onboard on its return through the Middle East then provided Royal Duties for the Prince and Princess of Wales visit to Muscat Oman. The long trip ended with a stop in Cyprus before a well-earned Christmas Leave.

Paul’s fabulous eight years in Portsmouth came to an end in May 1987 with a draft to the Staff Band at the Royal Marines School of Music, he enjoyed the next two-years there and was amongst the travelling party that made the trip to Sydney Australia in 1988.
In the summer of 1989, shortly before the atrocity at Deal, Band Sergeant Evans was drafted for a second time to FOSNI Band. The 1990 recording of the FOSNI CD ‘Celebration’, coincided with the celebrations of the Forth Rail Bridge centenary, the front cover features Paul as part of the fanfare team with the bridge as the backdrop. Paul made the long journey with the band south to the Falklands for commemorations in 1989 to mark the seventh anniversary of the war. A trip to the Faroe Islands was slotted in before the birth of their son David, in Dunfermline in October 1990. Paul was also amongst the ranks for the annual pilgrimage to Iceland in November to celebrate the United States Marine Corps birthday.

Paul received his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1991. He was based north of the border for two and half years before he was selected to return to Deal in January 1992, taking his place at the Royal Marines School of Music as the cornet and violin instructor, in addition he was assigned with the role of Gloucester House SNCO. Paul was the instructor that the juniors turned to with their problems at the School of Music, he was a lovely caring man, a father figure who would go to any lengths to help any of his students. In addition to his musical talents, he possessed an exceptional ability in the squash court, winning the unit veterans championship in 1993.
It was announced that the barracks at Deal was to close in March 1996. The School of Music transferred to Portsmouth... so did the Evans family. He was heavily involved in the transition of the trainees to their new facility and their settling in at the new school.. the old detention quarters in Pompey, he was also credited for running the Section Commanders Courses in the late nineties. Paul would have made a very good bandmaster, but he decided not to take up the option of attending the course.. stating that he wanted to continue to play as opposed to conduct. He gave another three years’ service as an Instructor at RMSM before promotion to BCSgt and at the same time.. selection for the position as Royal Naval Volunteer Band Instructor in April 1999 at nearby HMS Collingwood.

The Royal Marines Band Service was left shocked and deeply saddened when Paul sadly felt the need to take his own life on 28th April 1999 aged just 40. His body was found in his car on a country track, the cause of his death was carbon monoxide poisoning. Through all the years of travelling, performing, Instructing and applying a brave face since the tragedy at the Royal Marines School of Music, he’d been suffering with depression. Paul had been drafted back to FOSNI from Staff Band just a month before the blast on 22nd September 1989 and amongst the victims that fateful day was Paul’s replacement Richard Fice... he felt extreme guilt about those circumstances and many felt that even after ten years had passed... Paul had become the terrorists twelfth victim.
The Royal Marines gave Paul a magnificent send off, his funeral was held in St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth on 7th May 1999 with full military honours, he wasn’t a Roman Catholic, but a large church was required due to the amount of people who wished to attend, the turnout was overwhelming, with many travelling from afar, the band marched in front of the hearse, the orchestra played in the church and the buglers sounded the Last Post & Reveille at Paul’s final resting place.. Milton Cemetery in Portsmouth. His wake was held in the Victory Bar in HMS Nelson.
The ‘Paul Evans Memorial Trophy’ is presented annually at the Royal Marines School of Music for the Best concert performance.
There is no doubting Liz’s love for Paul, and despite all the heartache, she found happiness once again.. marrying for a second time on 19th July 2008 to former Royal Marines Bugler Roy ‘George’ O’Connor.

RIP Paul

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