by Tom Lambert (Deceased)
First published by the Blue Band magazine
<<< Back

George Lloyd, highly traumatized, and close to death, as were other survivors of HMS Trinidad, was brought back to England and there sent to what may well have been a purpose built hospital close to Aberdeen in Scotland. During the voyage home, their original ship, HMS Trinidad was, sunk by orders of the Senior Naval Officer, as too badly damaged to warrant the danger of keeping any crew aboard her and it was only possible for her to move at the slowest speed making her a sitting target for the enemy who were in continuous evidence. When she finally went to the bottom she was flying the poignant message which read, ”I am sailing to the Westward” This was an allusion to a well known saying of the time, Going West, which meant that you were done with, finished, no use to anyone. Such is war, one of the most up to date cruisers, a fine fighting vessel, destroyed in its first few months at sea.

At Newmacher, as the hospital was called, George was considered to be irreparably damaged and that he would be institutionalised for the rest of his life. His wife, a doughty Swiss lady, thought otherwise, though she was horrified when first seeing him, by the condition he was in. His muscles had collapsed, he was a shapeless mess, and, though barely coherent, told his wife that she should not come again to see him as he could not bear it for her to see him as he was. After weeks of arguing with the authorities she was allowed to take him from the hospital, and return south where she set about restoring the balance of his body and mind to normality. After the war they spent a long time in Switzerland and a very therapeutic period in the South of England where they established a good business as a specialised Market Garden. It was a very long time before the noises in George's head dissipated sufficiently for him to begin composing again. That he did, and to such good effect, is illustrated by the 12 Symphonies 3 operas, 2 piano concertos and two violin concertos as well as a wide variety of music for military and brass band, piano music and song. He received a commission from the Festival of Britain authority for those celebrations. Other composers to receive similar commissions were Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten, both of whose operas have entered the repertoire. George’s work suffered greatly at the hands of the opera company chosen to perform it which was in a great deal of strife with leading singers, and generally in its administration and so never made anything like the impact of the others. At this time, George was not in good health and was unable to give it the attention that may have saved it. Both his piano concertos were given performances by two outstanding pianists, John Ogdon and Kathryn Stott; the violin concertos also have been given performances by internationally renowned players. At least one of the symphonies (the 6th,in 1981) has been performed at the Henry Wood Promenade concerts receiving rapturous applause.

George was a conductor of great flair and was really appreciated by the orchestras that appointed him. Maybe some of you will be lucky enough over the years to play in the Hong Kong Symphony, an internationally renowned orchestra for which George wrote special music and with whom George was a regular Guest Conductor. He also conducted regularly, the Albany Orchestra of New York, a first rate professional orchestra and one that has recorded much of George’s repertoire. All of his work is available on disc and the sheet music is available on hire from the email address provided at the end of this article.

Towards the end of his life he lived near Regents Park in London. He was one of the first on the scene when the dastardly IRA almost destroyed the Guards Band and wrote special music for their memorial service. It was subsequently played at the service in memory of our own musicians who lost their lives in a similarly cowardly attack by the IRA. George died at a great age and has been accorded the title of great man. He was too and it is my fond hope that you fine young musicians of today's Band Service will seek him out and make his music better known. It deserves to be.

[Read the Biography]



We shall be publishing more links to the music of George Lloyd in due course but meanwhile, you can hear luscious snippets of his remarkable music by visiting, and finding MP3 link followed by entering "George Lloyd" into the search box. Watch this space for further information
The George Lloyd Society.

Previous | Home | Next  1 - Photo  by Richard (Dickie) Valentine  1 - Photo  by Richard (Dickie) Valentine
Richard Valentine -1996 - 2013 © - All rights reserved