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Drum Music

41961 WO1 (Bob) R.C. Thompson (ret)

In 1957 while doing my Class 2 Fitter and Turning course at RAEME Training Centre we, that is my course mates and I ran into a Cpl. Toby Tobias who was then on staff. We would be having a quite beer and Toby would join us and tell us these outrageous stories about when he was a drummer in the London Symphony Orchestra. It was always how good he was, I might add he played the kettle drum in the RTC, so called band.

We tried to avoid him but somehow he always seemed to seek us out. One day promulgated in Routine Orders was an invitation to be trained and join the Southern Command Band and people were invited to apply. It also stated that a visiting officer would interview potential candidates in the upcoming week. Cfn Peter Skene and I hatched a scheme. We talked Toby Tobias into applying.

The day came, the young band officer arrived at RTC, we went and seen him and told him about a scheme that Peter and I hatched to teach Toby a lesson. The young officer said he would go along with us. It was arranged that he would interview Toby in the Engineering Wing after tea. In those days we had night classes.

Peter and I obtain a sheet of music and drew various lines of tits and bums all very neat, they looked good. We gave the sheet to the band officer. The interview room was the office that had glass all around so we could all look from the machinery floor.

Toby arrived and went straight in to see the band officer who after a short yarn handed the sheet of tits and bums over to Toby and asked him to read the drum music. After a few moments of silence and a look of bewilderment Toby told the band officer he couldn’t read it. The young officer handed it back to Toby and said it was very simple and pointing to the first line said it read, “... titty titty bum bum...” The penny dropped and Toby seen us all watching and laughing. Toby took it in good grace and burst out laughing himself.

Cpl Toby Tobias never told anymore tales about his stint in the London Symphony Orchestra. No, Toby never joined the Army Band.

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