Army Musician’s Long Service Recognised

Nearly 50 years of service to music in the British Army by one man, as both a musician and administrator, has been celebrated.

Bob Raynor joined the Army in 1963 as a junior musician and served until 2002, when he joined The Band of The Parachute Regiment as band secretary. To mark his 10th anniversary of working with the Colchester-based band and long association with Army music, Mr Raynor was presented with the pennant from a fanfare trumpet.

Across his career Mr Raynor has served as band sergeant major for The Band of The King’s Own Royal Border Regiment for 10 years and, as personnel selection officer at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall for 13 years, auditioned hundreds of budding Army musicians.

Mr Raynor, a trumpeter, keyboard player and singer, said: “Army music has given me a wonderfully varied and interesting career and it is very touching to receive recognition.”

During a total of 25 years playing with the KORBR Band, Mr Raynor went on operational tours of Aden, Cyprus and Northern Ireland, as well as being based in the Falkland Islands and Berlin at the height of the Cold War.

The father-of-three said: “Wherever the regiment went the band would go with as well, so we went all over the world. Our primary job was to help build regimental spirit and identity and keep up morale, which remains the key role of military bands today.”

While working at Kneller Hall, among the musicians that Mr Raynor auditioned was Capt Evin Frost, who is now Director of Music at the PARA Band.

Capt Frost said: “It is only right that we recognise Bob’s contribution and achievements. As the band secretary we all rely on his organisational skills, but there is so much more he has done to nurture the careers of several generations of Army musicians. Bob auditioned me many years ago and it is great to be able to work alongside him.”

The presentation to Mr Raynor was made during a visit to the band by Lt Col Martyn Wills, Regimental Lt Col of The Parachute Regiment. Lt Col Wills said: “We embrace the band as part of The Parachute Regiment. I am always amazed by the standard of your musicianship and I thank you for the professionalism and dedication you display when representing the Parachute Regiment in public.”

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