Elwood 5566

Ken Kane – Pen Portrait

Denis Jones (left) and Ken Kane

Service – 1973-1982???? Went to KH around 1979 or possibly 1980. Became Bandmaster of 17/21st Lancers around 1982.

Instrument – trumpet, trombone, bass guitar

Final Rank – Warrant Officer First Class.

Family – Unknown

Current Location – apparently, Ken was a music teacher for 20 years at the Royal Military School in Dover. He retired in 2009.

As a naive 17 year old, I quite feared Ken Kane. Up until moving to Catterick in the 1970’s, I had little to do with him but in Cambrai Barracks he was a ‘living-in’ NCO and responsible for the singlies accommodation and his rule was firm. I suppose Ken, who was around ten years my senior, was a little old school and he didn’t suffer fools lightly. He was the type to look under your bed or run his finger over a ledge you hadn’t considered cleaning and his reproach quite stung.

Brian Blake, Ken Kane, Paul Kinley, George Thompson (L-R)

As strict as he was I had immense respect for him which lasted throughout my service. He was an brilliant sportsmen talented at numerous games and a BFT never phased him. Musically, he was very gifted, playing the trumpet, trombone, bass guitar and I have a suspicion he played more.

He became Trumpet Major at some stage, and was certainly so in the early days of Osnabrück when all bandsmen were required to blow that ghastly instrument. Even as a trumpet player, at which I was crap, any skill or potential ability on the cavalry trumpet eluded me. Ken was equally as strict as a TM and I can remember he would run us through a series of exercises and then listen to our calls, individually. In the four years I was required to practice the cavalry trumpet, I was only ever a supernumerary.

Sometime after our arrival in Osnabrück (c 1977), Mick Henderson released woodwind players from trumpeting but by then he had negotiated a restriction in duties and the only calls regularly made were Guard Mount, Last Post and the occasional calls required by RHQ. At Kneller Hall, I remember trumpet calls dominated everything from Last-Post to ‘smoke break.’

John McAvoy, ‘Bones,’ AJ Scott, Dave Seeley, Ken Kane (L-R) Cyprus c 1974

In 1979, Ken, Dave Smith and I were at KH, Ken as a Student Bandmaster and Dave and I as pupils. I can’t remember too much about him as he was sectioned with another company and after my leaving KH. in January 1981, only saw him on a few occasions. Every now and then I’ll do a Google search but like AJ, he seems to have disappeared and I’ve not spoken to anyone who has heard from him. Perhaps Bones has some knowledge as their wives were close friends.

Creative Commons License

© 林東哲 2011 Creative Commons Licence.

Further references:

Trombonist Peter Kane…

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4 Responses

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  1. John McAvoy said, on May 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Ken became Bandmaster of the 17/21 Lancers, subsequent to finishing he became the Bandmaster/music teacher at the Duke of Yorks School in Dover

  2. Heather Jones said, on January 5, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Hi the “other chap” in the photo – the drummer – is my husband and Ken’s friend Dennis Jones who played dance band percussion and e flat base. We still keep in contact.


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