Lt Col Richard A Waterer RMB 4002. OBE MVO Hon, FLCM LRAM RM

Richard Waterer, who made it to the very top of his profession as Lieutenant Colonel, Commandant of the Royal Marines School of Music and Principal Director of Music Royal Marines, was one of the most distinguished military musicians of his generation.

His march Royal Salute, which was written to commemorate HRH Duke of Edinburgh’s 25 years as Captain General has entered the repertoire of all three armed service bands plus brass bands ever since. As well as composing and playing trombone, he was a skilful organiser for such events as the Edinburgh Tattoo, the last Royal Tournament, the Queen Mother's 100th Birthday Pageant and the Queen's Golden Jubilee at Portsmouth.
The son of a golf club secretary, Richard Alan Waterer was born in Shepton Mallet, Somerset on July 26th 1949, and grew up a Beatles fan while playing soprano cornet in town band.

In 1964 he trained as a trombonist in the Royal Marines Band Service. He excelled in training under the watchful eye of Jack Dacombe and received the Parker Cup as best brass instrumentalist of the year 1966. He was then awarded the top accolade, the Commandant General's Certificate of Merit as the best all-round musician.
Richard had brief spells in the Portsmouth Group Band and the Staff Band during which he climbed the first rung of the promotion ladder by making it to BCpl.

Richard was drafted to RM Band HMS Ark Royal in 1974. He became the band's librarian and was Band Sergeant when it featured in the BBC television documentary Sailor. He returned to RMSM following his time at sea and was selected to attend the Warrant Officer's bandmaster course, he became a licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music. Furthermore he was promoted to BCSgt in 1979 and subsequently appointed WO2 Bandmaster of the Staff Band in 1980 when he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Richard was commissioned in 1982 and appointed Director of Music to the Band of HM Royal Marines, Commando Training Centre. After a short first marriage, Richard, married Sue in 1982, and gained two stepchildren Simon & Jane.
Two years later Waterer studied for twelve months at Goldsmith's College and became assistant to the principal director of music, Royal Marines. He next became Director of Music at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth between 1988-90 presiding over trips to Poland and France.

Following a two-year stint as Director of Music training at the Royal Marines School of Music, Richard was appointed Director of Music to the Commander in Chief Fleet Band in 1992, the final ever boss of the disbanded band at RAF Northolt. In January 1994 he spent a six-month sabbatical on secondment to the Presidents Own United States Marine Corps in Washington DC, and appointed Commandant of Cadets at Valley Forge Military Academy at Wayne, Pennsylvania. In July of that year he was appointed as the sixth Principal Director of Music Royal Marines, succeeding Lt Col John Ware. Lt Col Waterer inherited a Band Service under threat and the cost of keeping the School of Music at Deal was extremely high, he was responsible for finally moving the Royal Marines school music from Deal to Portsmouth in 1996. At Portsmouth he fostered a partnership with Portsmouth University, realigned military music training to recognise civilian qualifications, and built strong links with Russian and Scandinavian bands.

Richard composed seven marches during his career, notably Royal Salute, Gibraltar and HMS Ocean. He was awarded with an OBE in 1999 and MVO in 2002. On 29th June 2002, Richard was ceremoniously escorted from HMS Nelson retiring from the Royal Marines Band Service after 38 years.

It was complete shock and sadness when it was announced that Richard had died aged 56, on January 10th 2006, at the Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania where he was Commandant of Cadets. Richard's Funeral Service was held in Portsmouth Cathedral with over six hundred attending the reception at the Royal Marines Museum. A great tribute to a real life Officer and a Gentleman.

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