Last Post as a tribute to Hebburn Sea Cadets bandmaster

David Hanson
David Hanson

A much-loved South Tyneside bandmaster’s bugle will be played for a final time tomorrow when family and friends gather at his wake to remember his remarkable life in music.

David Hanson is credited with inspiring thousands of young people to pick up an instrument through his dedication to Hebburn Sea Cadets and other linked organisations across the country.

Mr Hanson, 80, also well-known for performing The Last Post at annual wartime memorial services in Hebburn for over 50 years, died in hospital on March 6.

Friends say he leaves an incredible musical legacy, which includes guiding the Hebburn Sea Cadet’s band to seven successive national playing titles between 1969 and 1976.

Following his funeral, band veteran Stephen Stewart will play a last tune on Mr Hanson’s favourite instrument, which will then be rested in a lasting tribute to him.

Life-long friend and Hebburn Unit chairman George Bone, 64, said: “David had a great love of music and of the sea cadets. Over many years, he will have inspired thousands of young people to become involved in music.

“David made friends wherever he went. He was a very kind man, who also loved his family very much.”

He added: “Stephen is travelling from Ireland to play David’s bugle at the wake. It will then be rested, which is the right thing to do.

“David had been ill for about a year and had stepped down as bandmaster, but he would still come and see the band practice.”

Mr Hanson, a father-of-four and a grandfather, of Lindisfarne Road, Jarrow, began playing the bugle in the 1950s while on National Service.

Soon after joining Hebburn Sea Cadets TS Kelly in 1962, aged 24, he qualified as a bandmaster at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal.

In 1969, the Hebburn musicians won the first of their National Sea Cadets Band Championships titles, in London.

Mr Hanson also rose through the sea cadet ranks, becoming Commanding Officer in Hebburn and was later promoted to Lieutenant Commander.

In 2010, after a spell away from the Hebburn Sea Cadets, he was persuaded by George to start a new band.

Initially with just 10 cadets, his enthusiasm means that today around 50 young people are involved.

In his working life, he was plumber, head steward and a respected unionist at the Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend.

His veterans’ championship band will play Sunset, the bugle call which signals the end of the military day for UK and Commonwealth forces, at his funeral at South Shields Crematorium.

Mr Hanson, whose funeral is at 9.45am, leaves behind wife Gillian and children Sandra, David, Lisa and Andrew.