Steve Biddle 1967-2021
Served 1983-1994

Stephen Terrence Biddle was born in Dover on Thursday 13th April 1967, a first child to parents Terry and Jenny (Hudson). He was raised along with his three younger brothers.. Andrew, Kevin and Mark… all of them were usually referred to the shortened name.. Bids!
Steve’s early years were spent in Singapore due to his father being based there with the Royal Marines Band Far East Fleet, as a cornet and violin player, before returning to the UK with a draft to Deal. Young Steve attended the Methodist and Warden House Primary Schools in Deal, before progressing on to Deal Secondary School. As a young boy aged eight.. Steve began to play the cornet at the local Salvation Army in Deal, he excelled with the instrument, going on to play in the school band and also winning some talent competitions on family holidays. During his school years.. Steve was usually seen walking around with a brief case in one hand, his cornet in the other and wearing his treasured leather jacket!

At the age of sixteen, Steve followed in the footsteps of his father and joined the Royal Marines Band Service at Deal. He joined as a member of 2/83 New Entry Troop on 5th September 1983.. also as a cornet and violin player. He wasn’t long into his musical training at the school of music when Steve began to struggle with the violin, he was given the option and changed over to the Buglers Branch where he studied to be a drummer and bugler. Steve represented both the Corps and the Navy at cross country during his time in the wing, culminating with the award of the Sportsman Trophy in 1985.. awarded to the Junior Sportsman of the Year.

In 1986 Bugler Biddle joined the Royal Marines Band Commander in Chief Fleet based at RAF Northolt, under the direction of Captain Ted Whealing. He was with Fleet for around twelve months before returning to Deal with the Staff Band of the Royal Marines School of Music. Amongst his highlights was the 1988 trip to Australia for the Royal Sydney Easter Show.
Steve found himself in a relationship with Lisa Feeney, with whom he had two daughters.. Gemma in 1988 and a year later Hayley… his girlfriend, for whatever reason, left Steve and the babies and didn’t appear again, leaving Steve’s mother to bring his daughters up.
On 22nd September 1989, the tragic day of the Deal Bombing.. Steve like others in the vicinity were hands-on with the initial rescue operation, a distressing time for everyone, which Steve struggled to overcome throughout the years. Bids along with Stu (Spidey) Burgess were the two buglers tasked to play the Last Post and Reveille at the scene following the atrocity.

Bids.. being an avid football fan had a memorable moment.. “I'll never forget that FA Cup Final in 1991, whilst I was in the Wembley stadium tunnel waiting with my Royal Marines Band mates, I left my pith helmet on the top of my drum and Paul Gascoigne (Gazza) picked it up and put it on his head and started saluting everyone ! My Drum Major chased Gazza to the Tottenham dressing room and asked Gazza to put his autograph on my pith helmet on the top front under side”.

Bids travelled with the band on another Australia tour in 1991, the trip began with a flight to Perth, then a coach trip across the outback. On arrival following a flight to Tasmania.. the tour was cut short due to lack of funds and the band returned home. Steve was usually one of the first to be selected for herald trumpet gigs and it was his honour to be one of six trumpeters that was chosen to dedicate the Memorial Bandstand in May 1993. Bids was an extremely good bugler and earnt the nickname ‘Rent a Bugler’ within the branch, because he was frequently selected to travel to all parts of the country playing at funerals. His time in the Royal Marines Band were his happiest times, during which he travelled far and wide, he played before royalty on lots of occasions and played the Last Post many times at the Annual Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, and as a member of Staff Band, he was involved in virtually all of the massed bands engagements. Steve was a keen sportsman, he represented the Royal Marines and Royal Navy at running and fishing, winning several awards along the way, including being presented with his Royal Navy fishing colours in the Globe Theatre which generated the much talked about Laurel & Hardy like saluting shenanigans!

Due to the ‘Options for Change’ defence cuts.. Steve volunteered for redundancy and was discharged from the Royal Marines Band Service in 1994. Steve married for the first time to Petra Gladwish in the same year and the couple made their home in Delane Road in Deal. Now a civilian.. Bids took up an opportunity with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer in nearby Sandwich, where he worked for a number of years, before once again being made redundant. The couple went on to have another three children: Jess, Sam and Tyler. Steve had a great love for Mini Cooper‘s, he bought and restored them, a passion which seemingly stemmed from his love of the iconic film ‘The Italian Job’. Steve then tried his hand at a few different things following his redundancy, he bought a bouncy castle and had a conservatory cleaning business, along with driving a taxi, he set to work juggling the three businesses, it soon became apparent that two of the lines of work were only viable in the summer months, so they didn’t last long, and he stuck to his taxi driving which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Steve and Petra separated in 2013.

Steve met and married Dawn in 2017 and gained two stepchildren: Cameron and Chelsea, he also moved from Deal to Minnis Bay near Margate. Unfortunately, Steve’s health began to deteriorate around 2019, which ultimately prevented him from working. He had been long since diagnosed with Huntington's disease.. a condition usually inherited from a person's parents.. in Steve’s case, it was passed down from his father’s side and caused by a faulty gene that results in parts of the brain becoming gradually damaged over time. To keep himself busy.. he began walking and bike riding, he also had a drum kit, much to the annoyance to his neighbours.. he would practice whenever he got the chance. Steve was a very quiet and private man but had a very good sense of humour, his main passions in life were his love of music, drumming, sea fishing and supporting his beloved Chelsea FC.

Tragically, Steve Biddle felt the need to take his own life on 14th May 2021. Bids had recently been diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a few months before.. he was spotted walking into the sea by a passer-by who raised the alarm and alerted the emergency services. His body was recovered from the sea at Grenham Bay in Birchington, just five minutes from his home.
Steve’s funeral service was held on 9th June at Barham Crematorium. Bids said his farewell as the hearse drove past the Memorial Bandstand and the RMA at Deal, before heading off to the Crematorium. Former Royal Marines Buglers.. Dave Kerr, Andy Travis and Steve Way were amongst the pallbearers and the service began with the music of Phil Collins.. Steve’s favourite. Two Royal Marines Buglers paid tribute with the Last Post & Reveille.
On completion, the RMA Deal hosted a wake for family and a limited number of friends.

RIP Steve (Bids)

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