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LOCAL man Jack Lewis recently completed his training to become an official member of the Royal Marines Royal Band.
Jack, 19, passed his Royal Marines training this month and has now started work as a bass trombonist in the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Portsmouth.
An ex-student of Melksham Oak School and member of the air cadets, Jack visited the marines for work experience a number of years ago and the rest, he says, is history.
“I always knew I wanted to be in the military but wasn’t sure which branch,” Jack said. “After doing my school work experience with the marines I was called back in to the careers office and the recruitment process just went from there!”
Jack was offered a place after auditioning and has spent the past three years training with the Royal Marines Band Service at Portsmouth Naval Base. His passing out ceremony was on Friday 7th August.
Jack said, “We auditioned on a number of different instruments and were judged on our potential; the audition was the first time I’d picked up a trombone! I’ve always enjoyed music and I love being in the band; it’s more like a hobby than a job. Every day is different and I get to spend a lot of time working on my musicianship and doing what I love, which is a great feeling.
“I’m on summer leave at the moment but I can’t wait to go back. There’s a big social aspect to the job because we all live together, and I’ve met some fantastic like-minded people.”
There are 70 members in the royal band, which regularly takes part in parades and concerts. Although unlikely to be called upon in peacetime, band members also have secondary roles as field medics, drivers and gunners, and all complete commando training before focusing on music.
Jack’s first official engagement will be part of the Royal Marines School of Music concert season. He will be playing at St. Mary’s Church, Fratton Road, Portsmouth on Thursday 17th September.