Tributes to former musical director of the Royal British Legion Band Romford

The former musical director of the Royal British Legion Band Romford has been described as a ‘great chap’

Students and colleagues are set to bid a final farewell to Max McWilliam at St Andrew’s Church in Hornchurch tomorrow Thursday August 30 after his death aged 78 on August 19.

Tracy Warren, Max’s daughter said: “We have received hundreds of cards and reading through them they all say how he helped to change their lives by teaching them music.

“Someone has even said that he helped him to decide that he wanted to pursue a career in music.”

Max, who lived in Randall Drive in Hornchurch, joined the band in 1973, after he got in touch with them during his time in the army.

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He also became a music teacher and worked in a number of schools in Havering.

In 1992, the grandfather of two became the band’s director of music until he retired on the band’s 50th anniversary in 2002.

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Frank Yeoman, the quarter master of the band said: “Max was a very kind man, he was always really jovial and lovable.

“He was a excellent music teacher and was a great chap.”

Tracy says that his love of music came from growing up in Hutton Poplars Children’s home in Brentwood.

When he was 15, he left the home to join the King’s Dragoon Guards where he learned to play the clarinet and a number of other instruments.

Tracy said: “He loved his time in the children’s home and he enjoyed his time in the army and the band.”

Four years ago, Max was diagnosed with Alzheimers, but managed to live with his wife Val until six weeks before his death from dementia.

Tracy said: “Music was his love in life and he really enjoyed passing that on to students.

“He was really proud of the band and he always said that he was stopping the children from roaming around the streets.”

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