Paul Holford 1963-2012
Served 1979-1986

Paul Holford was born in Leicester on Tuesday 27th August 1963. His parents are listed as Keith Holford and Margaret (Keen), but it’s safe to say Paul had a difficult childhood and life was very hard in a family of nine children that included siblings: Michael, Jane, Diane, Darren, Kaye, Debra, and Lee. At a tender age, Paul was placed in an orphanage and this was followed by accommodation at various foster homes.
As a teenager, he played with two world renowned brass bands, Black Dyke of the oldest and best-known brass bands in the world and Desford Colliery brass band a bit closer to home in Leicestershire, where he he was portrayed on the cover of one of their 1980’s recordings.

Paul enlisted into the Royal Marines Band Service in 1979 as a cornet & violin player of 3/79 Troop, it seemed a very good idea for he was a talented musician. While he was in training he struck up a friendship with the PDM’s youngest daughter Sara Hoskins. Paul was a founding member of ‘F Troop’ in the wing and was very funny too.. he had the whole of training wing in hysterics with his superb impressions.. especially the one of WO2 Bandmaster Mick Jones.

Following training, ‘Harry’ as he was nicknamed then spent time with Staff Band... Ambling past Corps Drum Majors office one morning: Drum Major Dawson banged on his window and called him in.. looking glaringly at his boots.. “You got any polish Holford”.. “Yes Drum Major”.. “Why don’t you Bloody use it then”... “It’s brown Drum Major!

At the beginning of 1986 Paul was drafted to the Royal Marines Band FOF3 but he only stayed for a short while, HMS Invincible’s three month trip to the Caribbean and Florida being his only deployment. Paul never fully settled into service life, he served for seven years before leaving in the latter part of 1986 to join the British Transport Police. Paul also went on to play cornet for the Copenhagen Soldiers Association MS.

Paul had his demons and it was a shock to all those who knew him when it was announced that he’d sadly passed away on Tuesday 28th August 2012. In the end Paul couldn’t find peace in this world and he took his own life on a railway line in Denmark, the day after his 49th birthday.

RIP Paul

Paul Foley

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