Squires Corps Director Passes Away

It is with great sadness that we announce that on Thursday 8th February Robert Gillett, Corps Director of Squires Drum & Bugle Corps passed away.

We have been sent the following tribute and are pleased to reproduce it on our website:

Robert Gillett, Corps Director of The Squires, sadly passed away in the early hours of 8th February 2007 aged 41 years. He had dedicated his life to the banding activity from 1978 when he learnt to play the bugle with the Training Ship Glorious, Nautical Training Corps. Having accompanied me, his younger brother to the Shipís activity hut for band practice on a couple of occasions, the then Bugle Instructor Dave Legg suggested that Robert should give it a go, rather than observing from the sidelines. His arm thus twisted, Robert practiced diligently each day thereafter and became an accomplished musician on bugle, trombone and trumpet. From 1986, Robert was a founder member of the Squires Drum and Bugle Corps and instructed sections of the brass and came to perform solos in Finals performances. Whilst an active member of the senior corps, in 1992 Robert became Corps Director of the Squires Cadet Corps and years always made sure the Squires appeared on the DCUK and WGUK circuits.

Robert started to have mobility difficulties and this lead to his having to use sticks to get about. His health continued to deteriorate over the coming years, however, despite this, corps rehearsals continued under Robertís supervision right up to the week of his passing. 

Anyone who knew Robert shall remember that he would help anyone at any time. Robert strived to facilitate the highest level of performance from the Squires and despite their never having competed at the highest level under his leadership; he took great satisfaction from the positive influence the activity had upon the young people involved. Robert took particular satisfaction that one such member had mastered the tuba despite personal obstacles in his way. Just prior to Robertís passing, this young man won the Inspiration award at the Crawley Youth Achievement Awards this year. 

I shall remember my brother for continuing to provide a purposeful outlet for young people whatever their ability or circumstances where others might have given up and commend his example of determination to you all.

His loving brother
Eric Gillett

We all pass on our condolences to the family at this sad time.



© Drum Corps United Kingdom 2004