Recognition for man who organised jubilee music

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome with Jean and Allan Thompson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Unsung heroes who have contributed to Portsmouth are honoured by prime minister

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AS THE head of the Portsmouth-based Royal Marines Band Service, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace had the honour of organising the music for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Now Her Majesty will be presenting him with his own honour after the 47-year-old has been given the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

As the principal director of music for the Royal Marines Band Service, he led massed bands from the three services including more than 450 musicians and pipers in front of the Queen and a worldwide television audience of millions earlier this year. He organised and conducted the music at the Jubilee Muster and the Review of the Armed Forces at Windsor in May.

Now he will making a trip to Buckingham Palace to collect his own honour.

Lt Col Grace, 47, said: ‘I believe this award goes some way to recognising the work that the Royal Marines Band Service continues to provide both musically and operationally for our country.’

His 30-year career has included serving with the Royal Marines Band on the Royal Yacht Britannia for five years.

During the Gulf War of 2003, he led the band acting as casualty handlers in concerts on HMS Ocean and Ark Royal just days before the start of the conflict.

‘It has given me opportunities to serve and work with some of the most talented and dedicated people you could ever wish to meet,’ he added.

‘I could not have done this without the support of my wife Isobel and equally without the work and commitment of all the members of the Royal Marines Band Service.’