Portsmouth bandsman receives a medal after 41 years

Jonathan Yates, who has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's Honours List Picture: Thousand Word Media
Jonathan Yates, who has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's Honours List Picture: Thousand Word Media

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TOP trumpeter Jonathan Yates has earned a British Empire Medal after playing in the Royal Marines Band since the age of 14.

The experienced bandsman, of Lee-on-the-Solent, was formerly Trumpet Professor in the service.

Jonathan Yates, who has been given a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Honours List Picture: Thousand Word Media

Jonathan Yates, who has been given a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Honours List Picture: Thousand Word Media

Jonathan, 65, now Principal Trumpet in the Royal Marines Association Concert Band, survived the bomb attack on the Royal Marines School of Music at Deal in 1989, which killed 11 and injured 21. He still suffers from tinnitus.

He left his home to join in 1962 and has played around the world and has performed at the Cenotaph.

He was in the fanfare team at both Prince Andrew’s wedding in 1986 and at Lord Mountbatten’s funeral, in 1979, and was in the street-lining for Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981.

Jonathan told The News he will continue playing.

He said: ‘I am surprised, I am really pleased. It’s just a terrific honour.’

He added the bomb attack made him realise why people need support.

‘Being in the RMA band has more focus,’ he said.

‘I know there are still people alive who were more seriously hurt than I was.

‘That’s the spur for continuing to play.’

Colonel Nick Grace, principal director of the RM Band, said: ‘Jon has had a major influence on a whole generation of trumpet players and also buglers, the proper teaching of whom was his innovation.

‘It is impossible to underestimate his significance to the Royal Marines Band Service.’