Paul WilmanPaul Wilman joined the military to become a musician in 1984. 31 years later, he retired as Director of Music to the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Paul Wilman – Film 1Paul Wilman was raised in Yorkshire and started his musical life at Bradford Cathedral as a chorister. Whilst there he learnt how to play the piano, flute and organ. Against a fairly tough upbringing, it was his mother who suggested that the army might be a good vocation. In 1984 he joined the Household Cavalry and in 1984 auditioned for a place in The Life Guards. He details some of his early memories and then it's off to the riding school...
Paul Wilman – Film 2Before he could join the regiment there was the small matter of passing the equitation course. Paul wasn't fond of horses!. He recalls a stallion called Invincible. As he gets to grip with the reins, it's then time to play his piccolo. Paul arrives at Kneller Hall for the first time. He had already been in the Life Guards Band for 6 months.
Paul Wilman – Film 3Paul talks about his time a Kneller Hall on his Pupils course. Whilst learning to cut his teeth, he slashes his hand! He then goes on to describe in some detail the set-up at Kneller. There was three companies A, B and C with around 50 musicians in. Piano was taught by Graham Jones and flute by Graham Mayglin? Paul had no interest in conducting although it would become he learned to love.
Paul Wilman – Film 4Paul recalls some standout memories whilst serving with the Life Guards. 1986 was a big one as this was the last time the Queen rode out for the changing of the guard. But it wasn't all pomp and ceremony. A national emergency means the music plays second fiddle.
Paul Wilman – Film 5Paul heads back to Kneller Hall for a 5 week Sergeants course. Building on his musical talent, it's here that he's identified as Bandmaster material. In 1988 he scrapes through the selection process and returns to Kneller for a third time. He passes out and is offered The Royal Gibraltar Regiment. For Paul, it's a dream posting. He shares an emotional moment about how in the 1980's racism was a problem in the Household Guards.
Paul Wilman – Film 6Paul details his life as Bandmaster of the The Royal Gibraltar Regiment. Defence Engagement was a key part of the work. In 2003 Paul took an offer from 43rd (Wessex) Brigade to go out to Iraq on Operation Telic with 1 Close Support Regiment as an Augmentee. It was tough, but he loved it.
Paul Wilman – Film 7Paul had left a family when he was deployed to Iraq. It was an intense period especially with the near continual threat of chemical attack. Paul reflects on being awarded a medal. After Iraq, he starts to practice his conducting skills and shares some of his learnings.
Paul Wilman – Film 8Paul talks about the baton. It's a remarkable tool of communication. He then recalls a Queen's garden party where communication went a little awry...and again in Gibraltar!
Paul Wilman joined the military to become a musician in 1984. 31 years later, he retired as Director of Music to the Royal Regiment of Scotland.