Brass Band Ancestors 
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This page provides people with somewhere to record their search for ancestors or relatives who had some involvement in the brass band movement.
If you have any information that can help any of the correspondents, then please contact them directly via the email link provided. I would be grateful if you'd also inform me, for the record.

1. People are arranged alphabetically, followed by
2. Bands, Companies and other organisations being sought.

See the Genealogical resources and articles links at the end of this page.

See also Brass Band People for details of people in the brass band world
See also Vintage People Pictures for images of early bandsmen (largely unnamed)
See also Extinct Brass Bands for information on bands which are no more.
See also Brass Bands Genealogy for information on current bands' dates of origin and name changes
See also Vintage Brass Band Pictures for images of early brass bands

Please send any messages, comments or material to


James Alder and Frederick George Alder [Paddington Band, Poolsbrook (Derbyshire) Band, Barrow Shipyard Silver Band]
My Great Grand father was James Alder. He appears in the Aldbourne Band photo where he is on the back row, second from right. Also on the photo are his four brothers. James left Aldbourne and moved to Paddington in about 1888. He worked for the post office and played in the Paddington Band. His obituary, from 1907, reads: The funeral took place on Saturday last, of Mr W. Alder of West Street, Aldbourne, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 46, after 14 years of suffering. He was interred in the Aldbourne churchyard. The Aldbourne Brass Band headed the procession to the church, playing the "Dead March" in Saul, in recognition of his services to the band in past years, and also to Paddington Band, of which he was a member for many years. The banner and several members of the Rational Society also followed the coffin. The service for the burial of the dead was read by the Rev. A.J. Pitkin, curate-in-charge. There were numerous wreaths, the most conspicuous being a wreath of lilies and other flowers, all white, bearing the inscription "A token of esteem from the officers and staff of the Paddington Post Office." All the funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr C. Liddiard. This is the first funeral of its kind that has ever taken place in Aldourne.
Does anybody have further information about James or Paddington Band?
My Grandfather was Frederick George Alder, 1889 to 1841. As a young man he played in the Paddington band and later in the Poolsbrook (Derbyshire) Band. He also played for the Barrow Shipyard Silver Band, Bandmaster F. Grisdale, conductor JA Greenwood. Both bands during 1920s and 1930s. Any information on these bands or Frederick gratefully received.
Contact: Ray Alder -
[Date submitted: 8 December 2005]

Bobby Allder
My great grand-father, named Bobby Allder, was I believe a cornet player who had at some point been involved with a brass band that had competed and beaten the Black Dyke Band. Any information about him would be welcome.
Contact: Paul Williams -
[Date submitted: 2 April 2006]

Joseph Ashworth [Canal Ironworks Band, Bradford TA Royal Artillery Band]
I am researching my family tree and my grandfather used to play cornet/trumpet for Canal Ironworks Band Shipley during the war. I have a photo of someone holding a cup and on the back is written. Daily Mirror Cup Crystal Palace 1936 ( Junior Cup B Section). 1st Canal Ironworks Shipley 2nd Erith British Legion Kent etc. He later played in I think Bradford TA Royal Artillery Band which later moved to Leeds, he was in these bands until the late 60s.I am told that he always played the Last Post at the Armistice service at the Alhambra in Bradford.Any information about these bands and hopefully my grandfather would be very much appreciated.
Contact: Dawn Perry -
[Date submitted: 14 December 2006]

George Bagnall [Wakefield Brass Band]
I have been told that my great grandfather George Bagnall was leader of Wakefield Brass Band sometime in the 1890s. My grandmother was Emily Bagnall and she told my mother that she was mascot for the band when she was a small child. George was a stone mason and died at the age of 42 from dust inhalation. He apparantly had one brown eye and one blue and a ginger moustache, a site to behold!
Contact: Sue Kempson -
[Date submitted: 15 February 2006]

Henry Bailey [Hornsey/Edmonton]
My grandfather, Henry Bailey, who said in his memoirs he was orphaned at an early age and I think might have been placed in an orphanage. His place of birth was given as Edmonton, and he played in a boys band in 1884/1885 for which the only information is that the photographer was at 122, Turnpike Lane, Hornsey, London.
Can anyone shed any light on this picture (phot6511.jpg), the band or possibly the boys home, orphanage or Church of England school it was attached to? It was probably located in or near Hornsey. There was a report that there used to be a Hornsey Rise Brass Band, but I have been unable to trace it.
Contact: Lorraine van der Spuy -
[Date submitted: 21 June 2007]

William Jackson Bamber [Blackpool Central Club Silver Band and others]
Sadly we have no family photographs of him but a report of his funeral was in the Blackpool Gazette and Herald in 1931:
Bands at Funeral - Massed bands led the funeral procession to the Blackpool Cemetery on Wednesday of Mr William Bamber, of Knox-grove, St. John's Housing Estate, Blackpool, who died at the home of his mother in Erdington-road on Friday afternoon, after an illness of three days. Mr Bamber, who was a talented instrumental soloist, was deputy bandmaster of the Blackpool Central Club Silver Band. These bandsmen were augmented by instrumentalists from the Blackpool Lifeboat, Excelsior, County Borough and Temperance Bands, with some of which Mr Bamber had been previously connected. Mr Bamber , who was 42 years of age, was a native of Blackpool and employed as a machine man at the Blackpool gas Works. A widower he leaves three daughters and one son. At the graveside as a last salute to their colleague, the bandsmen palyed "Eventide."
Would love to know more about him. All I have are his dates and not much more. His son, my father, died in 1971 when I was young, so I never got the chance to find any information.
I believe (from a single comment made years ago) that he played the cornet.
Contact: Sharon Hartas -
[Date submitted: 6 June 2016]

Stan Barrass (Yorkshire Main & Bentley Colliery)
I am looking for some information about my father Stan Barrass who played with some Durham Colliery bands and then moved down to Yorkshire where he played with Yorkshire Main and also Bentley colliery. He was born in 1905, and the only information I have is that I believe,as a trombone soloist, he won BBC gold medal at Crystal Palace in 1929. This is the only photograph which I have of him in band uniform, band unknown, phot9586.jpg but would anyone know what the band and the cups etc in the photo might be. There is a photo on IBEW of Bentley Colliery band marching in front of the banner in 1952 and it is possible that the large trombone player is my father. as he worked at Bentley from 1947-ish for some years untill he moved to Yorkshire Main.
Contact: Chris Scott -
[Date submitted: 21 March 2010]

William Barrett
On behalf of my grandfather, I'm researching the life of his grandfather, William Barrett. William lived in the Stepney area of London (Born 1859). He travelled to Australia with a brass band sometime between 1870 and 1880. I would like to find out something about any bands that travelled to Australia (Victoria, principally, but other states also) in that period. William returned to Australia in 1881 to set up a cooperage.
Contact: Sally Beach -
[Date submitted: 3 October 2005]

Jephthah (Jeff) Baxter [British Thompson Houston Band]
I have been trying to trace a brass band, of which my father was Bandmaster - the British Thompson Houston Band - called B.T.H. Brass Band perhaps. Time - 1935 to 1946. British Thompson Houston was an engineering company from Rugby. The band played on the B.B.C. Home Service during the last war. Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.
Contact: Barbara Shergold -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

George Bentley (Burton Volunteer Band)
Any further information about the band would be appreciated. George Bentley (10 December 1839 - 23 October 1900) played bombardon in the band
Contact: Margaret Smith -
[Date submitted: 4 May 2008]

Walter Berdell Bowen (Orphanage Band in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA)
My grandfather Walter Berdell Bowen was in charge of an orphanage band in 1909, in Sunbury, Pennsylvania USA. He led this band at the inauguration of President Taft on March 4, 1909. My father had five picutres of this. My step mother had a fire and these pictures burned up in the house fire. I am wondering if anyone can help me find these pictures if perhaps there are other copies. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Contact: Steven L. Bowen -
[Date submitted: 21 July 2007]

Dennis Russel Brannigan
My dad used to play in a brass band at the Durham Miners Gala, but I don't know what the name of the band was. My dad's name was Dennis Russel Brannigan, he was born on 24/12/1944. Any infprmation would be gratefully received.
Contact: Pamela Brannigan -
[Date submitted: 21 July 2007]

George Brooks
I am trying to find out more about my Grandfather's band. He used to be a conductor of a brass band during the 1920's or 1930's. They played in the Arboretem in Derby. He worked for the railway and was also in the army during the First World War, so whether the bands were connected to this I don't know. His name was George Brooks and he lived in Alvaston, and was born around 1880's to 1890's.
Contact: Pam -
[Date submitted: 14 October 2007]

George Burns (St Hilda's Band, Friary Brewery Band)
My name is also George Burns. I am 74 years old and I am trying to trace my father's roots. I know he was in St Hilda's Brass Band somewhere up north. He came down to Guildford in 1933 to get a job with the Friary Brewery in their band as work was scarce at that time At an early age he was in the Gordon Boys' Home in Woking and from there into the army. My dad's name was George Burns and he died in 1955, aged 68. Any information would be very helpful.
Contact: George Burns -
[Date submitted: 3 January 2007]

James Calvert & James Hornsby
I have reason to believe that 2 of my relatives were musicians who played for a band in Middlesbrough in the late 19th early 20th century. - James Calvert and James Hornsby. Would there be any records tyhat I can check this connection?
Contact: Darrielle Mayhead -
[Date submitted: 3 October 2006]

William Chalmers (1823-1886)
My Great, Great, Great Grandfather was William Chalmers, who was born in Carluke, Lanarkshire in 1823. I understand that he was involved in the Brass Band Movement for over 40 years and must have been something of a pioneer in the Lanarkshire area. After his death the following item appeared in the "Wilshaw Press & Advertiser" of 1st May 1886: "In connection with the brass band contest which takes place in Airdrie today, a musical correspondent of the Alloa Circular takes occasion to mention the name of Mr Wm Chalmers, a notice of whose death appeared in our obituary last week. As a conductor and teacher of music the name of Wm. Chalmers has been long and familiarly known; and regarded as an amateur he had probably for many years but few equals in Scotland, and so much were his services in requisition that at one time he had the training of no less than fourteen bands, from which he derived a very considerable income. Cambusnethan Band, with which he was latterly most intimately connected, occupied for a number of years a very creditable position among the amateur bands of the country, and was probably at one time the best of them. For the last two years he was connected with Newmains Band, and which he conducted at the Alloa competition in May 1884."
Any information on William would be gratefully received.
Contact: Andrew Potts -
[Date submitted: 3 February 2008]

Cheadle family [Windsor Silver Prize Band]
Any body know of the Cheadle family who used to live in Park Terrace (behind the Salford Tech) father and son played in the Windsor Silver Prize Band. Euphonium and cornet. The son and I were apprentices with Thomas Reynolds Snr and Son, Chapel Street, Salford. musical instrument repairers.
Contact: Tony Crosse -
[Date submitted: 24 May 2005]

William Frank Cheesman
I have just read an excellent article in the Family Tree Magazine - Oct 2005 - 'A Victorian Bandmaster' which mentioned your site and gave me hope that it might be possible to find some further information about this ancestor. I have a photo said to be my great grandmother's brother "Frank, who wrote band music in London". He is in a military/band uniform and I have found him in the 1891 Census at 51 Westmorland Place, Shoreditch - William F Cheesman, born Hackney, 44, Army Pensioner & Bandmaster. In 1901 he is at the same address and shown as - Bandmaster vocalist own a/c. One of his sons was born in Ireland in 1877 and another at Aldershot in 1879 so I expect that with sufficient knowledge of the movements of British Regiments it might be possible to determine his regiment. Unfortunately, from this side of the world this seems difficult without the expense of employing a researcher. If anyone has any other suggestions I would be very grateful.
Contact: Margaret Parkes -
[Date submitted: 30 September 2005]

Sameul Clough [Guisborough Priory Silver Band, Hickelton Main Subscription Silver Prize Band, Durham Street Brass Band]
My great grandfather, Samuel Clough, played with the Guisborough Priory Silver Band. He also played in the Middlesbrough band and possibly with the Hickelton Main Subscription Silver Prize Band and the Durham Street Brass Band. I would be very grateful if you could supply any information about these bands. Thanking you in anticipation.
Contact: Steve Smith -
[Date submitted: 14 January 2006]

Earnest Albert Cole [bands in Ashton Under Lyne]
My name is Gillian Bladock (née Cole). I am tying to find any information on my grandfather Earnest Albert Cole who I believed played in a brass band in Ashton Under Lyne - probably between WW1 & WW2. Unfortunately all relatives who could have assisted have passed away so I would appreciate any help anyone may be able to give. Apparently the Cole family had a few band playing members.
Contact: Gill Baldock -
[Date submitted: 22 January 2008]

Arthur James Coleman [Uxbridge and Hillingdon Band ]
My Great-Grandfather Arthur James Coleman played with the Uxbridge and Hillingdon Band for a number of years. It was apparently formed in 1882 and Arthur Coleman took part in a cruise the band made to the West Indies in 1885. I would like to find out more of the history of the band and my Great-Grandfather's time with it. Any information would be welcome.
Contact: Trevor Hancock -
[Date submitted: 11 March 2006]

Peter Dash
DASH Peter, my Great-Great Uncle was born in Marylebone, Middlesex (now London) in 1881. In 1884 he was admitted to Marylebone Workhouse with his father (Henry) and sister (Florence). He was then transferred to a workhouse school: Southall School, Norwood. His workhouse entry says that in 1894 he was discharged and the remarks just say "To the Band:". Does anyone know to which Band he was likely to be have been discharged to?
Contact: Jean - (01252 613275) -
[Date submitted: 23 February 2011]

John Edward Dyson
My grandfather, John Edward Dyson, conducted a brass band somewhere in Rotherham/Rawmarsh, South Yorkshire in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Family members tell me his band won the first place trophy at a brass band competition at the Crystal Palace. Unfortunately, I do not know when. John Edward Dyson was also known later in brass band circles as a competition judge. Is there any information you have that would help me determine the name of his brass band and when they might have won the Crystal Palace competition? I am writing a book on my father's life growing up in a mining community in Yorkshire in the 1930s and 40s. I live in the USA and would be most grateful for any sources you can recommend as I learn more about brass band history, especially as it might relate to my family. Thank you for any advice or knowledge you can share.
Contact: Diane Bailey-Boulet -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

Charles Moxey Faning and Edward Faning
I am tracing my family tree and have come across some interesting characters. The first is Charles Moxey Faning (Fanning) who was a Professor of Music in the Isle of Jersey in the early 1800's. His son Edward Faning moved to Australia and started the first brass band (and other types of bands) in Newcastle (Australia) in about 1844. They were both composers as well as conductors. Do you have any ideas where I can search for information on either of them. I am hoping to write a short biography on them both. If you have any ideas or suggestions of where I may be able to get some information, I would be grateful for your assistance.
Contact: Grant Fanning -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

James Henry Faulkner [Irwell Springs Brass Band]
My Great Grandfather, James Henry Faulkner, was the bandmaster of the Irwell Springs Brass Band. At the moment I have not been able to get any further information about the history of this band to confirm whether or not this is true. He was born around 1862/3 and when he married in 1882 his profession was given as "Warp dyer" which might fit with the mills around that area, but that is about all the information I have at present. Any pointers you can offer would be gratefully received.
Contact: Jennifer Holliday -
[Date submitted: 24 January 2005]

Bob Finch [Leyton Borough Silver Band]
I think my brother Bob Finch played with Leyton Borough Silver Band in the 20s/30s. Can you point me to more info? I would be most grateful and will certainly feed back if I find anything.
Contact: Peggy Clark -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

John William Foley [Middlesex Regiment Band]
I have recieved information that my great great grand father, John William Foley was in the Middlesex Regiment Band. I am told it was called the big drum. He served there between 1900 to 1918. Any information on this band would be welcome.
Contact: Maxine Foley-Speakman -
[Date submitted: 10 February 2007]

Harold Gaskell and Ernie Gaskell [Manchester City Brass Band, Northenden Band]
Would anybody happen to have any photos of any of the Gaskell boys, in particular Harold and Ernie who used to play in the Manchester City Brass Band or the Northenden Band.
Contact: Julie McGuinness -
[Date submitted: 6 January 2005]

Thomas Benjamin Graves [Old Blue Ribbon Band, Garrison Band]
I'm trying to locate some information on my Great Grandfather, Thomas Benjamin Graves. Here in New Zealand he was a member of the Old Blue Ribbon Band and the Garrison Band before and after 1896, which was the year he won 1st in the trombonist section competitions. Can you help me to find if he was a member of any brass band in England before he arrived in NZ. I know he had his 1st child born in 1878 in NZ so presume he arrived before then at around the age of 27ish. Thomas was born in Yarmouth, Norfolk, He had a dear friend in Edinburgh and a wife from Armagh, Ireland. These maybe some of the areas he may of joined the bands in.
Contact: Tracy -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

William Greenwood [Luton and Hanwell]
My great grandfather William Greenwood started playing the cornet at about 9 years old. He went on to play with major brass bands. He was bandmaster in 1897 and in 1899 I believe with Luton Brass Band. In 1944 he was bandmaster with Hanwell Band. He had a very distinguished career beating Harry Mortimer twice to the World title. He won many awards to the extent that he was asked not to compete!! Does anyone know of him. He married Clara Costello and they had two children. My grandmother went on to come second at the National Eisteddfd as a young woman and was an accomplished pianist. Any help or information would be appreciated.
Contact: Margaret Mack -
[Date submitted: 21 March 2010]

William Hammond [Kettering]
My ancestor, William Hammond (1839-1928) lived in Kettering. On his obituary it says that he was a "well known" bandmaster. I've searched but can't find anything about him. Some of my family belonged to Kettering Salvation Army, including the band, but William's son-in-law belonged to Kettering's Temperance Society and the Toller Church band of hope. Any information or leads would be welcome.
Contact: Helen Groom -
[Date submitted: 14 March 2007]

Edgar Hargreaves, also John Hargreaves and Clement Hargreaves (Water Band)
My father, Edgar Hargreaves, played in Water Band (Rossendale) on & off for most of his life. (He died in 1983) I have been led to believe that some of his ancestors may also have been involved in the band. This could include John Edwin and Clement Hargreaves. Does anyone know if this is the case?
Contact: Janet Warren -
[Date submitted: 9 February 2007]

Joseph Hargreaves (Yorkshire Main Colliery Band)
Joseph Hargreaves who is mentioned as the long time Bandmaster of Yorkshire Main Colliery (Edlington) Band was my Grandfather. My mother (his daughter now deceased) always told me that he started the band, but I don't know about that. Her brothers who also worked at the colliery were also band members. They would have been Walter, Ernest and Lesley Hargreaves. Any information about the band or where I might find out more would be much appreciated.
Contact: Wendy Pilkington -
[Date submitted: 3 November 2008]

Joseph Harthill
Played Cornet in a Brass Band Shipley/Bradford area. Lived in Britannia Street, Shipley, 1920's to 1942. Would appreciate if anybody knows name of band or any information at all.
Contact: Norman Hartill -
[Date submitted: 10 June 2006]

Bertie Hatliff (also Cyril Hatliff and Ron Hatliff) (Britannia Silver Band)
I have been researching my family history. My mother had told me that most of her uncles and her father had played musical instruments. This week I learned from my aunt (mother's sister) that the brothers were in a band that played in Doncaster called the Britannia Silver Band. I think it will be the one you have listed as Britannia Silver Prize Band. The brothers I know that were in the band were: my grandfather, Bertie Hatliff, he played euphonium and Cornet and Uncle 'Pomp' (Cyril) played the Bass. Uncle Ron played piano. All surname Hatliff. I think at least one more brother was involved, but have no details.
Contact: Christine Boulby -
[Date submitted: 10 November 2006]

George Hawkins (1876-1967) (Hebburn, Newmilns and Wellesley Collieries bands)
A bandmaster / composer known to have been associated with Hebburn, Newmilns and Wellesley Collieries bands, and probably with others. Trying to find out dates when he was with the bands and prizes won.
Contact: Dai Bevan -
[Date submitted: 25 May 2007]

Frederick James Hayes (Llanhilleth Brass Band, Cinderford Band?)
My great-grandfather, Frederick James Hayes, conducted the Llanhilleth Brass Band in 1900. We know this as the band presented him with an engraved baton in December 1900. However, we don't know why he was given this, nor can we find any trace of the band in anybody's archives.
Frederick Hayes moved to Llanhilleth from Cinderford between 1881 and 1891. Since he was already a bandsman when he arrived in Llanhilleth, we wonder whether he might have played with the Cinderford band...??
His brother-in-law, William Francis Oliver, is listed on his marriage certificate as a "town bandsman". His birth place is given as Cinderford, although he was married in Bethnal Green, and it seems possible that he too may have been a member of the Cinderford Town Band.
Does anyone know anything about the Llanhilleth Brass Band? Did the band enter the first brass band competition in 1900 at Crystal Palace?
Any details at all would be very welcome!
Contact: Sian Mackey -
[Date submitted: 23 April 2007]

Sydney Hearfield [Harrogate Temperance Band]
I am looking for information about my Great Uncle, Sydney Hearfield. He is featured in two old photographs I have of him, one of which is on this site - Harrogate Temperance Band, 1920. The other one is of The George Houston Band, which says on the back "Bilton Social Hall 1938". How accurate that is I don't know. I would be interested if anyone has any info on Sydney or The George Houston Band.
Contact: Judy Wilson -
[Date submitted: 8 December 2005]

Stanley James Holloway and James Smith [Band - Old Kent Road Gasworks? Greenwich?]
I have photographs of a band in which both my father, Stanley James Holloway (cornet) and his father-in-law, James Smith (bandmaster / euphonium) , played during the 1920's and possibly 30's in South East London. I have an idea it was related to the Old Kent Rd Gasworks, but I can't yet trace it. I'm trying to find out something about my grandfather, a shadowy figure but apparently multi-talented. See phot5803.jpg and phot5804.jpg.
The first photograph is alleged to have been taken at Greenwich Market in south east London, and my grandfather, James Smith (Jim) is in the front (seated) row, 5th from the left, with a chap crouched in front of him. I must say, they look a rough and ready bunch of lads. I think Jim must have been born around 1875 and rumour has it, he veered between the church and the pub. I wouldn't be surprised if he also played in Salvation Army bands too, since they kept the family from starving during the Depression. Before coming to London he lived and worked in St Albans but I've no idea whether he learned to play there or whether he was in the services. His main instrument was the euphonium.
The second photo is of what I presume is the same band on the march, a few years later and just before the Second World War. My diminutive father, Stan Holloway, is the one playing French horn I believe.
Any information would be welcome.
Contact: Mandy Holloway -
[Date submitted: 13 February 2007]

William John Hopkins (or perhaps John William Hopkins) [Salvation Army Band, Dagenham]
I am trying to trace any information of my grandfather who was part of the salvation army brass band and I believe it was at Dagenham in Essex, my grandfather was either William john Hopkins or John William Hopkins and his address was 20 Donne road, Dagenham in Essex. I believe he must have been playing in the 1940's or 1950's and possibly later, I wish that I had more to help you but I do seem to remember my mother saying that he had sent some works to Germany.
Contact: Margaret Peyton -
[Date submitted: 24 May 2007]

James Hornsby & James Calvert
I have reason to believe that 2 of my relatives were musicians who played for a band in Middlesbrough in the late 19th early 20th century. - James Calvert and James Hornsby. Would there be any records tyhat I can check this connection?
Contact: Darrielle Mayhead -
[Date submitted: 3 October 2006]

Arthur Walter Curzon Howe
My Great Grandfather - Arthur Howe was bandmaster of the Skegness Excelsior Silver Prize Band. until his death in 1938. I have recently discovered through researching a Lincolnshire newspaper of the time that he composed the fanfare used in the Skegness celebrations of the Coronation of George VI in 1937.I would really like to get hold of a copy of this fanfare. Any information would be very helpful.
Contact: Fiona Howe -
[Date submitted: 14 November 2008]

Ben Hunt
He was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in 1910 and when he was a teenager he became interested in playing a brass instrument. He learnt mainly on a soprano cornet and he became a member of the Rothwell Temperance Band and then a Leeds Brass Band. One day in 1934/5 he went with the band to Bellevue Manchester to play in a contest. His band won the first prize in their group and the bandleader from Creswell Colliery Band, Derbys, heard him play and he offered him a good job at the Colliery plus a house if he would go to play with the Band. After a while, he and his wife went to Creswell, with Joe Farrington, the leader at that time and they won a few prizes at the Royal Albert Hall. He was the solo cornet player. He played for a number of years, before deciding that he wanted to go to the Techical College in Worksop and in Chesterfield to get qualifications in building, and Quantity Surveying. This meant a great deal of his time was taken up with the studying. He therefore left the band. Mervyn Griffiths was the Band Leader at that time. Eventually he obtained his qualifications and we then went to Cambridge where he became a teacher at the then Technical College in Cambridge. He lived in a small village in Haddenham, Nr Ely, and he helped to reform the brass band there and eventually they won prizes in the area championships.
Contact: Margaret Parrish -
[Date submitted: 20 February 2011]

Richard Inskip
Richard Inskip (1868-1938), from Skipton, was a noted cornet player in many northern brass bands. Including, Skipton Old Prize Band, Linthwaite Band, Mossley Band under the baton of Alex Owen of Besses o' th' Barn, and prize bands Kingston Mills, Lindley, Kettering Rifles, and Denton Original. He was the son of George Inskip, the photographer from Skipton, who was born in Longton Lancs in 1846. George was a cousin of John Inskip the Victorian photographer who practiced in Scarborough - whose own son was John Henry Inskip a notable artist of the English School who regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy. In Richard's 1938 obituary there is a note that his brother Walter was one of the finest horn players of this day, and another brother Harold was an above average tenor trombone player.
Contact: Mrs Jennifer Kirkby -
[Date submitted: 5 October 2008]

David Jack (see also phot2038.jpg
My grandfather, David Jack, who is one of the band in the photograph, emigrated to Australia about 1925 with his wife and then 9-10 year old son (my father). He died in Australia in 1939, aged 49 years, a few years before I was born. The photo was printed in Post Card format for those days. When my grandmother died she left behind a small box of photographs, and these recently came into my possession. The band photo was among them. As a child she said that when grandfather was a young lad, he played in the Salvation Army Band. From looking at other photos of my grandfather, I think I recognise him in the photograph as sitting on the right hand side of the big bass drummer (i.e. on the left hand side of the drummer as we look at the photograph). Maybe someone else out there will have records or memories of these fine young fellows from around the West Hartlepool area!
Contact: Vivienne Hooper -
[Date submitted: 25 January 2005]

George Samuel Jones
I am trying to find out more information about my great Grandfather. We know that he played in Music Hall bands mostly around south eastern seaside resorts through the 1920's and 30. However, it has now come to light that he served as a bandsman in the First World War. We have some postcards sent home in 1918 showing Belgian Army Uniforms(!) but more interestingly a photo of himself in Military Band Uniform sent from Bolton in 1914. We have no idea which regiment he was in, but do know he was a trombonist. Have you any idea from the uniform what regimental band he may have been in? His name is George Samuel Jones. He died in Croydon in 1938 and was born in 1875 we do not know where though! He has links with the Norwich and Essex areas and got married in Rochford in 1914 if this helps.
Here is a photo of him in his uniform - can anyone tell what his band/regiment might be from the uniform?
I have other photos of George Jones in Music Hall bands in the 30s but as I am unable to say what bands they depict. He may have played in Asylum bands in the Norwich area.
Contact: Fiona Lawrance -
[Date submitted: 15 June 2007]

John Joseph William Jubb and William Henry Jubb (Sheffield Silver Prize Band)
Both William Henry Jubb, my grandfather and John Joseph William Jubb were members of a Sheffield Band in the early 1900's. My father states that they belonged to the Sheffield Silver Prize Band, however I can find no trace of this band. John Joseph William was conductor. I would be grateful for any information however small.
Contact: Sue Harding -
[Date submitted: 30 September 2006]

J.H. Knowles (Kingston Mills Band + Denton Original Brass Band)
I'm looking for information about my great Grandfather: J.H. Knowles, who was a member of the Kingston Mills Band and the Denton Original Brass Band, sometime in the mid-to-late 1800s. He played bombardon. I have an article about a benefit concert that was performed on Hyde Football Field of Ewen Fields, presumably in Denton, although I am not sure of that. I live in the US and am a trumpet player, brass band conductor and hoping someday to visit the site of the concert. Any information will be greatly appreciated.
Contact: Legh Burns -
[Date submitted: 26 October 2006]

Frederick Larkin (Brenchley Town Band)
This picture ( I am told is my Grandmother's brother, Frederick Larkin (born 1900-ish). I have been researching my family history and, other than this photo, he seems to have disappeared, and nobody knows what happened to him!
Contact: Natalie Whale -
[Date submitted: 3 January 2007]

Edwin Leigh (Stockport Brass Band)
I was wondering if someone can shed light on my ancestor Edwin Leigh, who ran Stockport Brass Band. He was a police sergeant in Stockport police, he was born 1872 in Stockport and died on duty in Stockport, 1921.
Contact: William Shore -
[Date submitted: 16 March 2006]

Alex and Andrew Lewis (Palmers Prize Brass Band)
My grandfather played in the Palmers Prize brass band, as well as his brother. The band was located in Jarrow and Hebburn. Their names were Alexander Haddie Lewis and Andrew Lewis. Just wondering if anyone's grandfather used to play in the band and left any records on it? I have a photo of the band pre-1925. I also have a letter head stating they won the Daily Sketch Challenge Cup at Crystal Palace in 1929. If there's a historian that has info on this band, please contact me.
Contact: Bob Burns, Bay St, Cleveland, Brisbanem QLD 4163, Australia -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

Harold McBride [Gatley Prize Band, Beswick Prize Band]
My grandfather Harold McBride played (in the Manchester and Stockport area) with the Gatley Prize Band and also the Beswick Prize Band. He was born in 1907 and died in 1950, so I presume he was playing from late 20s through to the mid 1950s. I have a couple of photographs of him with the bands which I think are around the 1930s. I also have his cornet and trumpet. Other than that I know nothing about the bands other than the information about the amalgamations of Streetfold Band - into the Beswick & Moston Band. I know nothing about the Gatley Band. I know he played Cornet and trumpet and there is a family story that he conducted one of the bands. There is also a story of them having won a competition (presumably whilst he was playing) but I can find no specific reference to this. I would be very interested to know more about the bands, perhaps find some memorabilia or evensome more photographs.
Contact: Janet McBride -
[Date submitted: 5 December 2006]

Edmond McDonald
Edmond McDonald is listed as a Bandmaster on his son's marriage lines in 1863. He appears to be of Irish origin. I think he was a shoemaker by trade and lived in the Lanark Burgh in Glasgow. The address on marriage lines of his son was Espidair St, Paisley in 1863. Any information would be very welcome.
Contact: Josephine McDonald -
[Date submitted: 27 December 2005]

Roderick John MacDonnell [Chesham Town Silver Prize Band]
I am trying to trace my great grandfathers musical career. His name was Macdonnell born 1876 died 1967, and he was involved with the Chesham Town Silver Prize Band, as bandmaster and/or conductor. He originally played and taught the cornet but I am unsure whether he was still playing when he joined this band. If anyone has any info about the band I would greatly appreciate it, or if anyone has any memories of my great grandfather I would love to hear about them.
Contact: Karen -
[Date submitted: 7 January 2005]

Frederick William George McLeod [Brisbane Excelsior Band]
Home country New Zealand. Ipswich, Queensland 1911 to 1916, Band Master of the Ipswich City Vice-Regal Band. He returned to New Zealand but was back in Queensland by 1929 conducting the Brisbane Excelsior Band. His wife's name was Hannah Elder [Turnbull] McLeod, and they had one daughter May born 1905 in New Zealand. He led both bands to A grade status. I would love contact with anyone who could tell me where he lived in NZ, and hopefully contact with his decendants.
Contact: Gay Woollett -
[Date submitted: 7 January 2005]

John Doddington Markey
Seeking descendants of John Doddington Markey, Warrant Officer, and Bandmaster, 16th (Queen's Own) Lancers, 1893-1919. After training at Kneller Hall, John Markey returned to India, posted to The Lancers; served with them in the South Africa War and World War 1. Retired in 1919. Kneller Hall holds a photograph of John Markey and the band but too large for copying purposes.
Contact: Les Hewett, 39 Downing Avenue, Napier 4001, New Zealand. -
[Date submitted: 1 March 2006]

Martland, ?
Martland's Brass Band existed in Preston in the 1850s. I am researching this family name and would be extremely grateful if someone could throw some light on the first name of Mr Martland and any other details concerning this band. Some quotes from the Preston Guardian: "3rd June 1854 - ... met at the White Bull Inn, Myerscough ... and hearing a cheeting tune or two from Mr Martland's brass band, of Preston". "18th June 1853 - Great Eccleston Club Day - on Monday last, the members of the Prosperity Lodge of the Independent Order of Oddfellows held their anniversary at the lodge-house, Black Bull Inn, Great Eccleston. At nine o'clock the members formed in procession, headed by Martland's celebrated sax-horn hand (from Preston)"
Contact: Pat Hargreaves -
[Date submitted: 29 August 2008]

William Mears
My Great Grandfather, William Mears, joined The Duke of Wellingtons Regiment aged 15 in 1885 as a Bandsman. Discharged in 1907, he went to live in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, and then Bradford. He re-enlisted into the same regiment in 1914-1920. When he enlisted his documents show his civilian occupation as Bandmaster but I am unable to find any details. Any information would be welcome.
Contact: David Mears -
[Date submitted: 28 July 2006]

Henry Irving Mellor [Fylde Ex-Servicemens' Liason Band]
Henry Irving Mellor was the first conductor of the Fylde Ex-Servicemens' Liason Band, which formed in Blackpool around 1946. They won several trophies and I can remember being taken to Harrogate where the won a trophy, that would have been around 1948. H.I.Mellor also composed a piece called " The Bandsman" . I would like any information about this band, as H.I.Mellor was my father, he died in 1948, but the band continued after his death. Another peice of information was that they played regularly at Blackpool football ground in its good days.
Contact: Janine Lush (née Mellor) -
[Date submitted: 4 February 2006]

William Merrill [Goldthorpe Wesleyan Hall Silver Band]
William Merrill played with the Goldthorpe Wesleyan Hall Silver Band - would love any information. He also played in a Brass band (Trombone) around this era. Was a miner in South Yorkshire. Died in Sheffield 1950. I am writing this for my husband Reg, (born 1930) who is hospital and am trying to find about his father for him.
Contact: Reg Merrill -
[Date submitted: 8 September 2010]

Henry James Metcalfe [Brass Band composer and publisher, Wolverhampton]
I am researching my great great grandfather Henry James Metcalfe, who was active in brass bands, composing & publishing in Wolverhampton for about 30 years until his death in 1906. He also ran a journal for at least 16 years, and printed that and his own music in his own house; which I guess must have been fairly normal for the time. But, as he was only one of many hundreds of people doing that sort of thing at the time, he has naturally become incredibly obscure after 100 years.
He actually did get listed in the back of Algernon Rose's 'Talks With Bandsmen' (~1895?), but that is the sole mention of him I've ever found 'in lit.', as they say. The Brass Band Archive in Wigan was very helpful, though they had not actually heard of a Metcalfe in Wolverhampton.
There is a simple chronology of Metcalfe's life at: Any information would be welcome.
Contact: Norman Field -
[Date submitted: 24 April 2007]

Robert Jack Mitchell
I am trying to trace any photos or information about my late Father. His name was Robert Jack Mitchell, he was a bandsman with The Dorset Regiment in the 1920's. He played a clarinet. He joined up in Dorchester and spent quite a lot of his time in India with the Regiment.
Contact: Kay Lambourne -
[Date submitted: 30 March 2006]

Charles James Paine [Deptford Borough Band]
My Great-Great-Grandfather Charles James Paine played in the Deptford Brass Band. He also owned a pub near. He had four sons and three pubs. Any information about the band or Charles Paine would be much appreciated.
Contact: Debbie Davis -
[Date submitted: 15 September 2010]

Reg Parr [Mid Rhondda Brass Band]
I am looking for information about my grandfather, Reg Parr. He was in the brass band Mid Rhondda in 1935, until he passed away in 1967. He was also in a band called the Four Aces.
Contact: Kelly Parr -
[Date submitted: 7 August 2006]

Hugh Parry
Hi We are searching for info on Hugh Parry born 1912 in Atherton, we have been told he spent time with Wingates Band and Radcliffe Prize Band, maybe as conductor, in the 1950/60s. He also played in a dance band named The Silvians and played the organ in various clubs etc. Any help would be appreciated.
Contact: Veronica Brooks and Ian Parry -
[Date submitted: 1 August 2010]

Thomas Ellis Parry
I am trying to find information on my Grandfather. He played trombone and there are stories of various bands that he might or might not have played with. Do you know of any name index of band players that I could search for information? His name was Thomas Ellis PARRY and he was born in North Wales in 1886.
Contact: Martin Briscoe -
[Date submitted: 4 April 2005]

Albert George Parslow [Wycombe Excelsior Band]
I am trying to find out more about my Great Grandfather, Albert George Parslow, who was Bandmaster of the Wycombe Excelsior Band (later known as High Wycombe Town Silver Band). I know they took part in many Southern competitions, including at Crystal Palace. He was also a founder member and conductor of Naphill Brass Band. I would like to find some pictures of the band or more information about the band.
Contact: Tracy Lewington -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

Adam Paterson
Born 1843, died 1924. British Army Bandmaster, trained at Kneller Hall 1870 to 1872. 29th Foot Worcestershire Regiment 1872 to 1882. Yorkshire Artillery Militia (Scarborough) 1882 to 1889. Then, having retired from the army, was a musician with the Londesborough Theatre Orchestra (Scarborough) 1889 to 1915. Any information would be appreciated.
Contact: Geoff Paterson -
[Date submitted: 3 September 2005]

Henry Penfold [Brighton Volunteer Band]
My great great grandfather, Henry Penfold, had a shoe shop in Brighton, and was a cornet player with the Brighton Volunteer Band. Any information on the band or Henry would be appreciated. [See this picture of the band - phot5197.jpg]
Contact: Janet Considine -
[Date submitted: 14 June 2006]

William Perry (born 1814) and Frederick William Perry (born 1835)
I have been researching my Gt gt grandfather Frederick William Perry for some time and more recently, his father William Perry. Frederick died in 1917 and his obituary refers to his band career as follows:
The late Mr Frederick Perry comes of a military and professional family. His father was Band Sergeant-Major of the Coldstream Guards, his grandfather was bandmaster of the Grenadier Guards and his great-great- grandfather also belonged to this latter regiment. The two last named members of the family died in Chelsea Hospital. The deceased, in his earlier days was noted as being one of four men who could properly play the ophicleide, a large brass German instrument used in military bands but now defunct owing to its difficult manipulation. Of his two sons, the elder became bandmaster to the 10th Lincolnshire Regiment, and also held the post of bandmaster to musicians of the Great Western Railway, India, in which country he died. The other son Mr Alfred Perry also served as a trooper in the 13th Hussars, afterwards entering the theatrical profession, with which the deceased drummer?s seven daughters also became associated - two under the name of Curette. Mr Perry was corporal drummer in the Honourable Artillery Company for about forty years and was also a member of the Veterans? Corps of Hackney. He has serving with the Forces at the present time 21 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. I have found his father, William through census research and his profession has always been listed as musician. I have a piece of music titled "The Contest March" which says it was composed by William, late of HM Scots Guards and Bandmaster Royal Monmouth L.J. Regiment. There is no date unfortunately. In 1861, William was living in St Mary St, Monmouth with Hannah Maria listed as his wife and daughter Adelaide Alice (born 1860). William was actually married to Charlotte McLauchlan.
I would be pleased to recieve any information regarding the bands mentioned in the obituary and in the piece of music.
Contact: Liz Shea -
[Date submitted: 15 April 2006]

Alfred James Phasey and sons
I am researching my family history and in particular Alfred James Phasey and his sons William S. Phasey , Alfred John Hall Phasey and Handel Victor Phasey . They were all military men heavily involved in the world of music. They were apparently musicians, bandmasters, composers etc. Alfred James Phasey was Professor of Music (Euphonium) at Kneller Hall, England. Any information about him or his sons and their musical careers would be welcome!
Contact: Debbie Smith -
[Date submitted: 24 January 2005]

Charles Edward Pheasant [Wood Green Excelsior Prize Band]
My late maternal grandfather, Charles Edward Pheasant, and his wife celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1947. The Kentish Times newspaper report of the event stated that my grandfather (who I believe played tenor horn) was a musician of some distinction, having been a founder of the Wood Green Excelsior Prize Band and played with the Enfield, Tottenham and Erith Town Bands. As a guide, he would have been aged 25 around the start of the 20th Century. Although born in Clerkenwell, I understand that he lived in the Wood Green area until 1914 when he and his family moved to Bexleyheath, Kent - now part of the London Borough of Bexley. I have an ancient photograph of him with a band in a street, although he is the only band member not in uniform, wearing a bowler hat (see: phot4861.jpg). I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who can confirm my findings, or who can tell me more about the bands referred to above.
Contact: Fred Pallett -
[Date submitted: 19 March 2006]

William Isaac Pollard
My Grandfather, William Isaac Pollard, was always telling me how he used to play cornet in the same brass band as Ted Heath's father, (the Ted Heath associated with Big Bands, not the politician!!!) He always ended his chat with the comment "If his father knew what sort of music his son was playing these days, he'd turn in his grave!" Can anyone tell me the name of this brass band, and any other details we can put in Grandad's file in our Family History records?
Contact: Brian Knight, Kidderminster -
[Date submitted: 7 November 2006]

Thomas Proctor
I am a retired lecturer [m/c +MMU] looking for any information on my grandfather, Thomas Proctor, who founded and conducted brass bands in N.England and S.Wales in the1900s. My father, Llewellyn Proctor, himself a concert pianist, was born at Llandilofawr, Carmarthenshire in S.Wales, soThomas must have lived/conducted in that area at that time. If you have any information I would be extremely grateful. Tel/fax 0161 439 6478.
Contact: Nigel Proctor -
[Date submitted: 20 November 2008]

Maurice Redman
I am researching my father's family tree, and my grandfather Maurice Redman played in a Tottenham Band from 1900 possibly till 1929. I wuld like any info on the bands there were.
Contact: Victoria Manning -
[Date submitted: 20 November 2008]

John P. Reed [Sunderland Naval Band]
My great grandfather, John P. Reed, was a member of several bands in Sunderland up to his death in 1901. I would love to know which instrument he played and some history of the bands. The only information I have comes from the insertion in the paper on his death - "The deceased was widely known and popular in local musical circles being one of the founders of the Sunderland Naval Band then under the leadership of Mr. Ord Hume, a member of the Sunderland Operatic Band, the 3rd V.B.D.L.I.Band under the leadership of Mr.J.H. Amours, a member of the K.O.A.B. and a member of K.G.H."
John Reed lived in Nobles Bank Road, Sunderland (or Stockton). I look forward to hearing from you if anyone can help.
Contact: Kathleen McGuire -
[Date submitted: 29 January 2006]

Robert Rimmer
I have been trying to find as much information as possible on an ancestor of mine, Robert Rimmer, musician and Professor of Music. Not a great deal is known about him other than he was born in Southport, Lancashire, about 1863, the brother of the illustrious March Composer, William Rimmer. Robert was a fine coronetist in his own right but took up the mantle of conducting at an early age. In 1900 1900 he moved to Newcastle where he had charge of Spenser's Steel Works Band for 7 years; he then moved into the border town of Hawick and resided at No. 2 Duke Street, contesting with Hawick Saxhorn Band and also Arbroath Instrumental, with whom he won the Scottish 2nd Section Champion in 1900. He was also the father of Arthur Drake Rimmer, a famous musian, composer and conductor in his own right.
Contact: Dorothy Mather -
[Date submitted: 11 November 2008]

Henry (Harry) Rundle (Leytonstone Excelsior Band)
My great-grandfather Henry (Harry) Rundle is supposed to have played the cornet in the Leytonstone Excelsior Band in the early 1900s. He also played for the silent movies in that area at cinemas. Any information about the band or Harry Rundle would be much appreciated.
Contact: Linda Wilkinson -
[Date submitted: 1 July 2007]

Shaw ?? or Comer ?? [unknown band - see this picture]
I am trying to establish the name of a band that I have a photo of. It is part of our family history but sadly no one is alive to give any detail. The family in question could be Shaw or Comer and lived in the Pontefract and Castleford area, Yorkshire. (Possibly George Comer born in 1832)
Contact: Don Shaw -
[Date submitted: 5 December 2006]

Alfred Smith
I am seeking information on my Dad Alfred, he lived in Greymouth N.Z. from 1927 until 1936. He was a brass bands man and played the cornet for a local band. In 1928 he won the championship of N.Z. at Wanganui North Island. He also had a request programme on the local radio station. He along with my Mother, sister and brother lived at 32 Doyle St, my brother was born in N.Z. my Father won the lottery in 1936. just before leaving for the U.K. where I was born shorly after.
Contact: Alan Smith -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

Frank D. Schultz (Napiecek)
I am searching for the name of the brass band my Polish great-grandfather formed in USA, after his arrival to the Port of NY on the S.S. Herder, on 22 April 1880, out of Hamburg Germany with wife Catharine Lijewska. His roots were from Posen Germany or Poznan Poland. They later settled in Pittsburgh, PA. My grandmother wrote that Frank spent two years traveling the USA to form his band. He spoke 5 languages, played all the instruments, but mostly the cornet and flutes. If anyone has any information and/or references to articles, ads, posters or photos, please contact me.
Contact: A. English -
[Date submitted: 14 September 2006]

Nathaniel Stenton and James Stenton
Looking for information regarding Nathaniel Stenton born 1821 and his son James born abt. 1845, both Barnsley, Yorkshire. Nathaniel married Esther and they had children born Carlisle 1848, Barnsley 1850, Doncaster abt. 1853, Dublin, Ireland abt. 1855, Doncaster abt. 1857, Newcastle upon Tyne abt. 1859, Carlisle 1862 and 1864.
In 1871 Nathaniel and his family were living in Jarrow, Co. Durham where he spent all the rest of his life. He was variously described as music master, musician, bandsman, band master and music teacher (as well as machinist driller).
At his death the local paper showed: 11th June 1895 : STENTON - Jarrow at 91 Walter St., on the 9th inst.. Nathaniel Stenton aged 74 (late bandmaster) dearly loved husband of Esther Stenton Interred Jarrow cemetery on Thursday at 3.30. All friends kindly accept this the only intimation. Deeply regretted. His wife's death notice 3 years later also included his status with: STENTON - 91 Walter St., Jarrow 10th inst aged 72 Esther, widow of the late Nathaniel Stenton, bandmaster etc.
Family information tells that at some time Nathaniel played trumpet in the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.
Would value advice on how to proceed with this. I have assumed that Nathaniel was either (or both) a member of one or more brass bands or even a military man. If a member of a local brass band, how to I attempt to discover where they would have been in Jarrow for example?
Son James was described as musician & music teacher (as well as labourer).
Contact: Margaret McDonald -
[Date submitted: 27 June 2006]

Richard Trebilcock [bandmaster]
I'm working on family history from Cornwall England. My grandfather Edwin Head once assisted Bandmaster Richard Trebilcock sometime between 1888-1890. Do you have any information on the band? I don't even know its name.
Contact: Cindy Richhart -
[Date submitted: 10 February 2007]

George Turner [Hanley Town Band + 1st Shropshire & Staffordshire Artillery]
Any information about George Turner would be welcome - his death notice reads "Regimental Bandmaster of the 1st. Shropshire & Staffordshire Artillery, also conductor of the Hanley Town Band (Stoke-On-Trent)." He died in Hanley on 16 March 1902.
Contact: Wyn Collier -
[Date submitted: 4 November 2006]

John Richard Wackett [Fulham Prize Band and Great Western Railway Paddington Band]
I am trying to find any info on my grandad John Richard Wackett. He was a Royal Marines Bandsmen between 1900 and 1920. When he left the marines he went on to play (between 1920 and 1942) in the The Fulham Prize Band and Great Western Railway Paddington Band. His instruments where Trumpet and cornet. Also my father tells me at one point he also tried his hand at being Bandmaster. I would be grateful of any help.
Contact: Debbie Lee -
[Date submitted: 21 December 2009]

Tom Waddington [South African Railways & Harbours Band]
I am trying to source any information about Tom Waddington, who I am told was a Band Master around 1911 for the South African Railways & Harbours Band.
Contact: Janette Jeeves -
[Date submitted: 18 October 2005]

John Wainscott
I am trying to find out any information I can about my great Grandfather, John Wainscott. He was born in Burnley around 1873 and died in 1934. His funeral was recorded in the Burnley Express and he was cited as "one of the most accomplished bandsmen in the town". He had apparently been a cornetist or solo baritone player with most of the brass bands in and around Burnley. He was married to Florence Wilcock, who originally came from Pontefract, and lived on Cameron Street, Burnly. I would appreciate any information anyone has.
Contact: Kathryn Keele -
[Date submitted: 26 September 2006]

Leslie Sidney Wellman
My grandfather is in this photo of the BG WG Band (from Poole?). He worked at Poole Pottery in Branksone. He's the drummer, 2nd row,4th one along. His name was Leslie Sidney Wellman. The photo may have been between 1934 and 1944. Any information about him, or the band would be very welcome.
Contact: Michelle Harris -
[Date submitted: 30 September 2005]

John (Jack) Welsh
I don't know whether you are able to help me, but my grandfather, John Welsh, known as Jack, was Mr. Boosey's apprentice at the start of the 20th century and all I know is that my grandfather used to play in a band with an Arthur Johnson in a Tottenham park during the 1930's. My grandmother used to take my mother in her pram to listen to them. All the documentation and photographs we had relating to my grandfather was lost in a fire, many years ago. We want to do something special for my Mother's 80th birthday in 2005 and she has recently spoken a lot about my grandfather, so I'm trying to track down any information that may help my search and I wondered if you could help or at least point me in the right direction.
Contact: Jan Wright -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

John Leslie Russell Welsh (aka Jack Welch/Welsh) (Royal Artillery Band)
I have been trying to find out more about the musical career of my Great Uncle John Welsh. He was a member of the Royal Artillery Band based in Woolwich from about 1901 to at least the end of WW1. I know that he toured with the band in New Zealand during 1913/14 and that the band went on a tour of duty along the Western front Dec1915 to Apr 1916. I would very much like to find out more about him, especially the instrument he played.
Contact: Susie Martin -
[Date submitted: 20 January 2007]

Albert Whipp [Rochdale Old Band]
I am trying to find more information about Albert Whipp who conducted Rochdale Old Band when they won 3rd prize at the Belle Vue Band Contest in 1893. I understand that he eventually moved to North London where he led a cinema orchestra. Any information would be very helpful.
Contact: David Whipp -
[Date submitted: 21 February 2006]

Willia White [Huthwaite Prize Band]
William White played with the Huthwaite Prize Band in the 1920s. Any information would be appreciated.
Contact: Lynn Straw -
[Date submitted: 17 November 2008]

James Wilcock [CWS Tobacco Band]
My Great Great Grandfather James Wilcock was born in Manchester and used to play a brass instrument ( I have no idear which instrument) My late mother said he would take work in firms were they had a brass band. In the 1901 census he was living in Manchester and his occupation was General Labourer. Some time Between 1901 and 1913, he and his family moved to Clydach Glamorgan and about 1919 they moved back to Manchester, where he worked at the CWS Tobacco Factory. He Died in 1934. I would like to find out if there are any remaining archives for the bands in the Clydach area, who were in existance at the time he was living in Clydach, or for the CWS Tobacco Band.
Contact: Jean Gent -
[Date submitted: 26 January 2006]

James Woolley [Woolley Brass Band]
My family were all bands people - Salvation Army, Band of Hope etc. My Gt Grandfather, James Woolley and his 3 sons went to the Crystal Palace in the 1920's and won medals under the name Woolley Brass Band from Keighley. They won prizes, but I cannot find any records.
Contact: Jan Perkins -
[Date submitted: 6 January 2005]

Bands, Companies etc.

110th Infantry Band, 1919 (see phot2143.jpg)
I am trying to find some historical data on this band. My father, Harry G. Woodward, was the bass drummer and told many stories about his time with the band. He used to attend reunions (band camp) every summer near Somerset, PA. Don Kimmel was the director. It was a special treat when the families joined them on the last day and enjoyed their concert. Can anyone direct me to a source of history about these men? Apparently they served as stretcher-bearers during combat and gave frequent concerts in the evenings. War was different then. Anything you can send me would be so welcome.
Contact: Sally Baker - 801-221-9484 -
[Date submitted: 26 January 2005]

Bands travelling to Australia in the 1870s
On behalf of my grandfather, I'm researching the life of his grandfather, William Barrett. William lived in the Stepney area of London (Born 1859). He travelled to Australia with a brass band sometime between 1870 and 1880. I would like to find out something about any bands that travelled to Australia (Victoria, principally, but other states also) in that period. William returned to Australia in 1881 to set up a cooperage.
Contact: Sally Beach -
[Date submitted: 3 October 2005]

Blackrod Band
My father, Stanley Beresford, played the cornet in Blackrod Band just before the war!! Would anyone know by any chance, if there are any photos of the band from that era. He would be thrilled to bits, if he could see a photo of his old friends again.
Contact: David Beresford -
[Date submitted: 31 January 2005]

Bowater Brass Band
I would appreciate any information/photos on the Bowater Brass Band, originally the News Chronicle Band, Sittingbourne, Kent. My dad, Brian Standen was a member until we came to South Australia in 1971. Thank you.
Contact: Denise Harrison -
[Date submitted: 31 August 2006]

Bridlington Excelsior Band
I was in the Bridlington Excelsior Band in the 60s. My grandfather Alec Walkington also played in the band for many years in the 50s. I had many photos of these years, but they are now sadly lost. I started playing in the band at the age of eight years old (1962) but went with my grandad from the age of about two to rehearsals. If anyone anywhere has any photos of these years I would be eternally grateful.
Contact: Linda Pitt (nee Grainger) -
[Date submitted: 31 October 2006]

Brixworth Brass Band
I wonder if anyone can tell me about Brixworth Brass Band (Northamptonshire). I am particularly interested in Ike Keber/Kebar who I understand played the big bass drum in the early 1900's. I also believe that he is on a photograph of the band taken in 1901 so if anyone knows where I can get a copy please let me know.
Contact: Annette Martin -
[Date submitted: 6 January 2005]

Brooklyn Brass Band
I have recently embarked on a project to document the story of the Brooklyn Brass Band (AKA Granger's Brooklyn Brass Band and the Brooklyn Cornet Band, eventually the 14th Regiment Band), founded in 1835. Only the New York and Boston brass bands date as early in America (and none, apparently, earlier). According to dozens of contemporary news reports, Granger's Band (as it was most frequently called) was evidently the very pride of Brooklyn for the better part of the 1840s and early '50s, rivaling even New York's famous Dodworth Band. Perhaps the most remarkable part of the band's history, however, was its association with Walt Whitman.
Whitman wrote glowingly about the band on numerous occasions during his term as editor of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and even had the band play for the singing of his 1846 Independence Day Ode. Whitman and bandleader William Granger were contemporaries; they were youths together in the same neighborhood, and in the Eagle Whitman refers to Granger frequently on the order of "our old friend." It is well known that Whitman credited music -- opera in particular, but references to "the brass band" apparently exist as well -- for having a significant influence on his poetry. Walt Whitman supported, advocated, and wrote about the Band, and also had his verse set to music played by them - very probably the first of many instances of Whitman being set to music.
The band was founded in 1835 by Early Granger (Waterloo veteran, b. Norfolk, England 1792), and was, according to newspapers of the time, the very pride of Brooklyn for nearly twenty years. Bandleader William Granger (Early's eldest son) died unexpectedly in 1853, after which the band changed hands several times before becoming the 14th Regiment Band.
Because the time period of interest is so early (roughly 1835 to 1853), I have naturally been quite challenged in locating artifacts or ephemera associated with the band. Any information or material about the band or its players will be most welcome.
Contact: Russell Granger -
[Date submitted: 6 October 2005]

Buckfastleigh Brass Band
I am trying to find out about Buckfastleigh Brass Band in Devon. I believe that my Nan's cousin played for them many years ago. We have a photo of her with her cornet and that her father was the Bandmaster.
Contact: Lucy Scott -
[Date submitted: 27 October 2006]

Chorlton Home Guard Military Band
I am the Scheme Manager for a Sheltered housing property where a Mr Harry Edmonson lives who played in this band. Harry played saxophone and clarinet.. and still plays with his keyboard as much as possible! Harry celebrated his 89th birthday a couple of weeks ago. Understandably he is wondering if any of his old bandmates from the Chorlton Home Guard Military Band in the 1940s are still alive or not, as sadly most, if not all of his old friends that he knew have now passed away. The only information I have is that a Pat Ryan was the conductor. Any information about the band, its history, names, etc.. would be gratefully received.
Contact: Nic Elsby -
[Date submitted: 7 June 2006]

Comrie Band
I am looking for a brass or silver band that would have been operational in the Comrie area around 1861. I have a presentation baton with silver plate engraved as a gift to a Thomas Bikerton Moffat (1803-1920) but can find nothing when searching the Internet, I was wondering whether anyone might be able to help.
Contact: John Billing -
[Date submitted: 31 January 2005]

Royal Blind Asylum Band (Edinburgh)
I played in my father's works band as a sighted player in the 1940's/1950's before joining the RAF. The band was The Royal Blind Asylum Band, Edinburgh. I believe it ceased to exist in early 60's, but I cannot find any reference to it. The Blind Asylum, Edinburgh, have a booklet which includes a photograph, describing it as the only Scottish Brass Band made up with mainly blind musicians. Any further information would be welcome.
Contact: George Lewis -
[Date submitted: 14 July 2007]

Darlington British Legion Band
I am trying to track down information on the Darlington British Legion Band which existed in 1921, and I understand where winners at a contest at Crystal Palace, I have a picture taken in 1921. Would you be able to point me in the direction to find some info on them.
Contact: Felicia -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

East Ham Silver Band
I am trying to more about the East Ham Silver Band. My greatgrandfather, William Henry Sawyer, is believed to have been involved with this band between the wars. If anybody has any information on this band I would be most grateful if they could contact me.
Contact: Peter White -
[Date submitted: 25 May 2006]

Earlstown or Viaduct Brass Band
I am wondering if you could help me trace a band my grandfather played in, it was called either Earlstown or Viaduct Brass Band, the name could have been a merger of the two. Earlstown is between Warrington and St Helens.
Contact: Geoff Spencer -
[Date submitted: 5 January 2005]

Fylde Ex-Servicemens' Liason Band
Henry Irving Mellor was the first conductor of the Fylde Ex-Servicemens' Liason Band, which formed in Blackpool around 1946. They won several trophies and I can remember being taken to Harrogate where the won a trophy, that would have been around 1948. H.I.Mellor also composed a piece called " The Bandsman" . I would like any information about this band, as H.I.Mellor was my father, he died in 1948, but the band continued after his death. Another peice of information was that they played regularly at Blackpool football ground in its good days.
Contact: Janine Lush (née Mellor) -
[Date submitted: 4 February 2006]

Garston Silver Prize Band - Yorkshire
A friend of mine, now 86 years old, has asked me whether I can find anything re the above band. I forgot to ask him when he played for them, sorry. Can anyone point me in the right direction please. I have played for numerous brass bands, latterly Fakenham in Norfolk. Regards William.
Contact: William Gladys -
[Date submitted: 25 January 2005]

Grange Iron Works Brass Band - Durham
My Great Grandfather, Alfred Agincourt Wright, was a member of The Grange Iron Works Brass Band. This was at Belmont in Durham. The iron Works closed in the 1920s so I presume the band folded then. I have not been able to find out anything about the band, can anyone help please? Alfred A Wright was presented with a silver cornet by the band inscribed with his name, the band name, and "in recognition of his valuable services rendered to that band".
Contact: Muriel Coleman -
[Date submitted: 22 August 2008]

Hadleigh Boys Band and Drum Majorettes
I am trying to find information on what happened to the 'Hadleigh Boys Band and Drum Majorettes' from Hadleigh in Essex. I was a member of this group for some years and I now live in Australia, tracking down past members is difficult from the other side of the world. Can anyone help??
Contact: Stephen Giles -
[Date submitted: 4 November 2006]

Heywood Old Prize Band
I am trying to find members of the now extinct Heywood Old Prize Band. My husband was in the band from about 1950 until the early 1970's, playing Eb soprano. The MD was Harold Smith, and the euphonium player was Harold's son, Geoff (or Jeff). My husband's name is David Smalley.
Contact: Lois Smalley -
[Date submitted: 16 March 2005]

Hickleton Colliery Brass Band
My husband is from Yorkshire Goldthorpe area and his father William Merrill 1892-1950, played in the Hickleton Colliery Brass Band - trombone. I am collecting Reg's family tree, he is now 80, and suffering from dementia so time is at an essence. If there are any other folk with knowledge of this Band please email me. On behalf of Reg Merrill - Barnborough Pit 1944 - 1947
Contact: Paddy Merrill -
[Date submitted: 29 April 2010]

Hinemoa Band (New Zealand)
I was wanting to contact someone in New Zealand re the Hinemoa Band. This band was formed 100 years back and I doubt if much information still exists. Any information from your side of the world would be much appreciated.
Contact: Ian Franklin -
[Date submitted: 12 June 2007]

Hucknall Tokard Prize Band
I am trying to find some information about the Hucknall Tokard Prize Band. I have been given a photograph of the band from the 1918/19 era, of which my grandfather was a member. The photograph is of about 20 members of the band and about 30 or so men wearing 1st world war medals, I presume taken after the men returned from the war. Do you know if this band was discontinued or changed it's name? Any information would be much appreciated.
Contact: Doreen Bower -
[Date submitted: 5 January 2005]

Hull Silver Prize Band
My father, Harry Cook, played in the Hull Silver Prize Band. He played the cornet. This was in the years before the first world war, and my eldest brother who was born in 1908 was their mascot when he was about ten or eleven. My father was at the Battle of the Sommne and shell shocked. I am the last of his children. I remember seeing a photograph of the band taken in a waggonette - they must have been going on a day out. Any further information or pictures would be much appreciated.
Contact: Mary Newton -
[Date submitted: 9 June 2008]

Ilford Brass Band
My great-grandfather, Frank Geisler, was the conductor of Ilford Brass Band during the 1930's and 1940's and being a brass enthusiast and conductor myself I'd love to find out any history of this band. I have a few photos taken during the early 40's but that's about it! He was born in Belgium and lived in Christchurch, Dorset and was very active with bands around that area of the South coast. He conducted Iford Brass Band and he also played Eb Bass.
Contact: Neil Bowden -
[Date submitted: 5 January 2005]

Little Ilford Tabernacle Brass Band
I have a photo of this band, phot5266.jpg, and I'm guessing that the photo was taken in the early 1900s. The chap at the front in the middle with the baton and the cornet is my great grandfather Harry Jones. I would love to recieve any information about the band, it's members or Harry Jones - any information is most welcome!
Contact: Tracey Tomlinson -
[Date submitted: 11 July 2006]

Metropolitan Police Band
I am an Australian writer/researcher seeking historic materials on Victorian London's 'Metropolitan Police Band'. I would appreciate any information or leads to further research sources.
Contact: Spiro Dimolianis -
[Date submitted: 2 December 2006]

Rise Carr Prize Band
I am trying to find information realting to what seems to be an extinct brass band. The were called the Rise Carr Prize Band and I believe that my great gradfather was associated with them in 1904. He was presented with a marble clock from the band on his wedding day 25 May 1904. His name was Henry Thomas, although the plaque on the clock is to Harry Thomas. Any information would be gratefully received.
Contact: Kate Trueman -
[Date submitted: 6 July 2006]

R.J. Ward and Sons - Musical Instrument Manufacturers
I am interested in manufacturers as my maternal line is Ward, the family firm of R.J. Ward and Sons, operating out of St. Anne St., Liverpool from the 1840s-1930s: the firm manufactured drums, trumpets, banjos etc. and had a big brass band clientele.
I would be glad to hear from anyone who has an interest in the history of the manufacturers, as I would like to more about the business, particularly in its early days.
Contact: Mike Parker -
[Date submitted: 10 December 2005]

Rotherham Borough Band, Temperance Band, Military Band
I have my great grandfather's obituary which says he was a famous bandsman in south Yorkshire. He played in the Rotherham Military Band, Rotherham Temperance band, Empire Theatre orchestra and the Roterham Borough Band. Does anyone have any information on these bands?
Contact: Stephen Goundry -
[Date submitted: 17 November 2008]

Rotherham Volunteer Brass Band
This band played at the funeral of my 3Gr. Grandfather, George Roebuck, who was a soldier with the 82nd Regiment of Foot and played in the military band. In civil life, he played with the Rawmarsh Prize Band from about 1870 to October 1880, when he died. I think there is a strong possibility that he played with the Rotherham Volunteer Brass Band first. I am trying to trace this band. Do you have any information on them, or, advice as to where I might find evidence of where they were held meetings.
Contact: Adrian Roebuck -
[Date submitted: 26 January 2005]

Skipton Bands
Do you have any information concerning the connection, or lack of, between Skipton Military band & Skipton Mission Band? Is there any information available as to their participation in Galas/processions in Gargarve, Yorkshire.
Contact: Ben McKenzie -
[Date submitted: 4 January 2005]

Spen Victoria Brass Band
Is there any chance you know anything about the Spen Victoria Brass Band in Cleckheaton? My husband's late grandfather played the euphonium for this band and was secretary for them for two years. He also played for the Cleckheaton branch of the Salvation Army.
Contact: Wendy Parker -
[Date submitted: 5 January 2005]

Stubshire Cross Brass Band
My dad was in Stubshire Cross Brass Band some 40/50 years ago. Any info or suggestions on any reference would be welcome.
Contact: Ray -
[Date submitted: 5 December 2006]

Uxbridge and Hillingdon Band
My Great-Grandfather Arthur James Coleman played with the Uxbridge and Hillingdon Band for a number of years. It was apparently formed in 1882 and Arthur Coleman took part in a cruise the band made to the West Indies in 1885. I would like to find out more of the history of the band and my Great-Grandfather's time with it. Any information would be welcome.
Contact: Trevor Hancock -
[Date submitted: 11 March 2006]

Woodhorn Colliery Band
My Dad ( Archie Locker) is 86 and was once the bandmaster of the Woodhorn Colliery band before we migrated to Australia in 1958. I am after some information and memorabilia so we can show dad and of course his great grand children.....I believe the band folded in 1971 but can't depend on the information received.
Contact: Brian Locker -
[Date submitted: 21 February 2006]

Some suggested resources for genealogical research


Some specific genealogical articles on brass bands

  • Amsel-Arieli, Melody - British Brass Bands - Family Tree Magazine, 26(13) Autumn 2010, pp.42-44 []
  • Bourke, Judith Kinnison - Brass bands and Family History - Family Tree Magazine - Vol 12, No 6, April 1996, pp.51
  • Cawdell, David - Strike the Right Note - Ancestors, (41) January 2006, pp. 17-21
  • Cawdell, David - Tracing Brass Banders - Practical Family History, (100) April 2006, pp. 52-55 []
  • Roberts, John - A Victorian Bandmaster - Family Tree Magazine, 21(11) October 2005, pp.74-76 []
  • Wood, Tom - British Brass Bands: 1. Music for the workers - Practical Family History, (72) December 2003, pp. 30-32 []
  • Wood, Tom - British Brass Bands: 2. Records of bands and bandsmen - Practical Family History, (73) January 2004, pp. 22-24 []