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Drummer DR Safe

Dave SMITH his Section Commander remembers: –

‘Bob came from Salisbury and his first introduction to the Regiment was when he saw the Corps of Drums performing at Salisbury. At that point he made up his mind not only to join the Regiment, but also the Drums.

Bob was one of my Section in the Battalion Defence Platoon (Corps of Drums), as they were known in those days in Minden.

In the lead up to Bobs death we were busy getting our AFV 432 fleet ready for the Annual Inspection when we ‘The Drums’ were caught ‘Acquiring’ bits from a Battalion spare vehicle which had been parked behind the M.T., as a result of this act of folly we were nominated to get it ready for the inspection in addition to our own vehicles.

With one week to go before the Battalion had its big Annual inspection it was all hands to the wheel and on the Friday evening 8th November 1968, I asked for volunteers to help finish this vehicle off on the Saturday.

Next morning we set to work, I was sat in the office completing the Vehicle Log book when I heard the starter wind the engine over, as I looked up it burst into life moving backwards at the same time ‘Gear Linkage Fault’…Well the rest is sad history.

Bobs body was returned to England where he buried at the London Road Cemetery, Salisbury with full honours.

As the Colonel in Chief was to visit the Battalion in December Mr & Mrs SAFE were invited by the Battalion to be our guests, but Mrs SAFE was still in poor health following the death of her son so Bobs older brother came out to Minden with his Dad. They spent some time with the Drums seeing what a drummers day to day work was and how they spent their spare time, they were also introduced to H.R.H. Prince Phillip.’

Bob was a close friend of the family, spending some of his time baby-sitting; we lay flowers on his grave each year.

A Soldier serving in ‘C’ Company at that time remembers; –

‘I remember being woken up in the Middle of the night by the Drums as they played the Regimental March ‘The Farmers Boy’ I seem to remember they we playing out Drummer SAFES relations, as they had been guests of the Drums for a few days. Although the Drums had had a few pints, the Regimental March never sounded better, which was a tribute to Bob.’

He was buried in his home town Salisbury.