Lt Col Paul J Neville OBE MVO FRAM

“The loss of Paul Neville is significant. His tenure in the RMBS is notable for many reasons. As a young musician (violin/clarinet/saxophone) he stood out from his colleagues as he honed a natural musical talent. Recognised and appreciated in his very early twenties by Vivian Dunn he was nurtured to the point where he could succeed him as the Principal Director of Music. This was over a prolonged period as FVD tirelessly worked from 1950 to make the amalgamation of the Divisional Bands with the Royal Naval School of Music into an organisation deserving the world wide recognition it enjoys today.

Paul took over as PDM on the retirement of FVD and immediately gave extra encouragement to orchestral performance recognising that in doing so he was raising the standards of all other aspects of music making. String players enjoyed the enhanced challenge of their days and Deal became a hub of professional enthusiasm with the Staff Band being paramount. Then, on his own retirement from the Corps, Paul Neville became Director of Music at the Prestigious King’s School attached to Canterbury Cathedral. Whilst in that role he formed the Kent Concert Orchestra from local professional musicians which became hugely successful.

For many years he cared for his wife Ann who was confined to her bed following unsuccessful surgery to her back. They moved from Kent to be closer to their daughter in Oswestry but Ann died shortly after the move. Her ashes were brought back to Kent where they are interred in the Kingsdown village churchyard near those of Paul’s father. A quiet place for gentle contemplation. Today’s uniformed Band Service colleagues should know that Paul Neville’s name must live on alongside that of Sir Vivian Dunn for without those two we wouldn’t have a Band Service to be so proud of”.

Graham Hoskins.

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