Ron’s fond recollections of army cadet band days

The Portsmouth Army cadets band in Fratton Road in 1947
The Portsmouth Army cadets band in Fratton Road in 1947
Opening of the new school by the home secretary in October 1927. The headmaster, Canon Barton, is on the lowest step, on the left. Dorothea Barton is possibly there, somewhere. (PGS Archive)

NOSTALGIA: A red bluestocking at Portsmouth Grammar School

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This is the Portsmouth Army cadet band in 1947 marching down Fratton Road after a parade at St Mary’s Church.

It comes from drummer Ron Hooker (circled), of Melrose Close, Milton, who looks back fondly on his cadet days which prepared him for national service, first with the Hampshire and then the Berkshire regiments.

He was inspired to find this photograph by the picture we ran last month of the Portsmouth Territorial Army band in the 1950s.

That picture featured Beryl Abrahams (nee Frame) and her bandmaster father Jock.

Ron’s wife of 58 years, Marjorie, helped run the drill hall canteen with Beryl and her sister Jean.

Ron said: ‘In 1945/46 I was a member of the Cosham Army cadets and I then transferred to the band at the same drill hall as the Territorial Army in Hampshire Terrace.

‘The bandmaster was the same Mr Frame (a fantastic man) who trained us to win the All Hampshire cadet band championships twice, in 1947 and 1948.

‘Around that time the girls’ band was formed under Mr Frame and the cadet and girls’ bands trained together in the evenings and at weekends.’

Ron said he can remember Drum Major Ray Palmer, first drummer Ray Tasker and two brothers named Bryant. If anyone can put names to any faces, please contact Ron via Ronald.hooker@ntlworld.com