KOSOVO THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
AUTHOR CAPTAIN A P THORNHILL MMus LRSM
Ring, ring etc
"Hello, Andy speaking"
"Hello Andy, sorry to ring you at home, but I thought you
might like to know."
This is a familiar voice however not in familiar surroundings.
Now then who is this? Suddenly it dawns, the penny drops,
the light goes on. That's the voice of PDM!
At this point my mind is working at an incredible rate of
knots, desperately thinking of a valid reason for the PD to
ring me at home other than that of instant dismissal!
"Hello Sir, sorry I seemed a little vague but I was expecting
"I've just been on the phone to the appointer, and I'm
pleased to tell you that you will be taking over as the
Director of Music at BRNC Dartmouth on the 2nd of May, HOWEVER".
What an incredible effect on one's life the word however
can have! Back to the conversation;
"…however we have been tasked to provide a Band of 32 ranks
to work alongside Medical Squadron CLR RM for the duration
of 6 months in Kosovo, and you will be the DoM."
For some ridiculous reason, the only thing I could say was
thank you very much Sir, though to be perfectly honest I really
did not know what to think. An operational six month tour
of duty in a place that until now had only been featured in
the news about 2 years ago seemed an incongruous start to
my career as a Director of Music. However, the rest as they
say is history.
Building on the success of the recent Recruits Diary,
an evolving document following the progress of Troop 1/00
as they progressed through Basic Training, the Blue Band Magazine
on line now features a similar project. In August 2000 elements
of 3rd Commando Brigade RM mobilised to Kosovo in support
of KFOR. As usual they took a number of their assets with
them, one of these being Medical Squadron. As part of Med
Sqn a composite Royal Marines Band comprising 1 Officer (Director
of Music) and 29 Other Ranks, all volunteers, flew out with
them. The Band’s duties in Kosovo are widely varied. As a
band they are a source of valuable and much appreciated entertainment
and morale raising, both to the Multi National Force and the
indigenous people of the Country. However, as First Aid trained
personnel they are also used effectively in a Medical Support
role. Additionally, having undertaken Basic infantry training,
which all RM Band personnel, undergo as documented in the
Recruits Diary, they also provide a secondary Military resource
for the RM commander on the ground. Written by individual
members of the Band this then is a record of their activities