December 9 2013 Latest news:
by Safira Ali, Senior reporter
Friday, August 23, 2013
Tributes have poured in for the founder of Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps, who died last week.
Richard (Dick) Bouchard MBE, 87, died at Chaseview residential home, in Dagenham Road, Rush Green, Romford.
He started the band in 1957 with a few battered instruments, 12 members and a loan of £100.
And through his dedication the band grew and played around the country, internationally and in front of the Queen.
Before he started the military-style band he was a member of the Essex Army Cadet Force during the Second World War. He later joined the Royal Navy and was awarded the Burma Star.
After leaving the Navy in 1946 he rejoined the Army Cadet Force. When he left in 1950 he held the King’s Commission as captain in the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers.
In the same year he and Peter Richardson founded the Romford Royal British Legion Boys Band, and later the Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps (RDTC).
Dick, who was also known as Mr B, was the founding member of the Traditional Youth Marching Band Association and in 1999 was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list when he was made an MBE for his services to music for youth.
In his later years, he took a step back from training, but was still the band’s director of music.
His niece, Susan Dewhurst, said in a tribute on the RDTC’s Facebook page: “My cousins and I were sorting through some of his things to take to his new home.
“We had just finished when we had the phone call.
“Dick was our favourite uncle, he was so lovely, and he has seven nephews and nieces, four of whom were very early band members.
“We know that Dick was married to the band; we accepted that years ago, but he was greatly loved by us, and he will be greatly missed.”
Chairman of RDTC, Steve Evans, met Dick when his daughter Kerrie joined the band in 1986.
He got involved mainly because of Dick’s “enthusiasm and charisma”.
He said that Dick was an “inspirational leader”.
Mr Evans added: “I’ll always be grateful to him for making my own children better people, giving them a disciplined, confident outlook, a sense of purpose, team players and long lasting friendships.
“This also goes for the thousands of young people who have passed through the band, many of whom have gone on to join the services.”
Band secretary Kerrie Binder said: “The band was his life and they were his main focus. Without him we wouldn’t be here.
“He was the figurehead of our organisation and will continue to be.
“He was known as the music man and was very good at what he did.”
Dick’s funeral will take place on Monday, September 2, at St Edward’s Church, Market Place, Romford, at 1.30pm.
There will be a procession by the 60 members of the corps from Angel Way to Market Place.
A cremation service will be follow at Forest Park Crematorium, Forest Road, Hainault at 3pm.
After the service there will a reception at the Romford United Services Club (Rusc), in Mawney Road, Romford.
Floral tributes can be sent to West & Co Funeral Directors at 620-626 Rainham Road South, Dagenham, RM10 8YP. Alternatively donations can be sent to c/o 60 Wallenger Avenue, Romford, RM2 6ER, made payable to the Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps.
Representatives from other bands or organisations are welcome to attend in uniform.
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