Warrant officer returns to Weston to inspire next generation of Royal Marines

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 December 2019

Warrant officer Phil Hawkins with T.S. Weston petty officer Divinia Tippett and cadets, officers and Royal Marine colleagues.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Warrant officer Phil Hawkins with T.S. Weston petty officer Divinia Tippett and cadets, officers and Royal Marine colleagues. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A group of five ranks from the Royal Marines Band Service (RMBS) spent an inspirational weekend at Weston's Sea Cadet Unit.

T.S. Weston cadets during practice.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONT.S. Weston cadets during practice. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The Marines gave workshops for youngsters and an insight to life as a Royal Marines bugler.

Warrant officer class 2 (WO2) bugler, Phill Hawkins, who led the group, grew up in Weston and was a drummer and bugler of the sea cadet band, before joining the RMBS in September 1997.

Warrant Officer (WO2) Phil Hawkins with cadets during practice.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONWarrant Officer (WO2) Phil Hawkins with cadets during practice. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

WO2 Hawkins suggested the visit to give something back to the unit which gave him so much as a youngster.

He said: "I owe the sea cadets so much, so I jumped at the chance to come back and work with them again."

Warrant Officer (WO2) Phil Hawkins with cadets during practice.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONWarrant Officer (WO2) Phil Hawkins with cadets during practice. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

WO2 Hawkins has had a high-profile career and now holds the position of corps bugle major in which he is the senior Royal Marines bugler.

He has served with the RMBS for more than 22 years, played in four of the current five Royal Marines bands based across the UK and has also travelled the world during his time.

Phill Hawkins during a Remembrance Service. Picture: Davinia TippettPhill Hawkins during a Remembrance Service. Picture: Davinia Tippett

One of his roles is to conduct the Royal Marines buglers each November during the National Remembrance Service in front of the Royal Family at the Cenotaph, in London. The Royal Marines Band Service has a reputation worldwide for the standard and flexibility of its musicians and buglers.

WO2 Hawkins added: "These weekends are proving extremely popular with the cadet marching bands nationally and also give those serving in the RMBS the chance to interact with the cadets and continue to offer music training to anyone who wishes to attend.

Warrant officer class 2 Phill Hawkins. Picture: Davinia TippettWarrant officer class 2 Phill Hawkins. Picture: Davinia Tippett

"During my time as a Weston Sea Cadet, I was privileged to perform the Last Post during the Weston Remembrance parade each year, and I now find myself again privileged to lead the RM Buglers at the national event each year.

"The opportunities and self discipline I learnt as a sea cadet were key in me realising my ambition for a career more than 20 years ago.

Phill Hawkins during a Remembrance Service in Weston. Picture: Davinia TippettPhill Hawkins during a Remembrance Service in Weston. Picture: Davinia Tippett

"Returning to my home unit is an honour and I hope to help those members who may have a similar future ambition for a career in the Armed Forces."

Anyone interested in joining the sea cadets can call 01934 635079 or email westonseacadets@btinternet.com

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