Royal Marine Band Says One Final Goodbye to Dorothy House’ Patient

On Tuesday 18th June, Dorothy House Hospice Care played host to the Royal Marines Band Collingwood who performed to patients, staff, volunteers, but most importantly to two of their band members; Musician Sophie Ward and her husband, Lance Corporal Richard Ward.

Sophie, aged 27, has Motor Neurone Disease and has been an inpatient at the Hospice for over a week. The newlywed couple were part of the Royal Marines Band, based at HMS Collingwood. Thanks to Richard, who is currently serving in the band at the Commando Training Centre, Royal Marines, Lympstone, Devon, the band travelled by coach to Winsley and, in the beautiful sunshine, played in full marching uniform for Sophie, one last time.

In an emotional tribute, Sophie and fellow patients on the inpatient unit were wheeled out to their patios to listen and watch the spectacle with staff and volunteers.

Captain Phil Trudgeon RM, Director of Music of the Collingwood Band said:

“As Director of Music of The Band of HM Royal Marines Collingwood, I had the immense pleasure of leading the band to perform for Sophie and her family at Dorothy House Hospice. The day was full of a range of emotions as we performed a Beating Retreat with music selected by Sophie. I felt overwhelming pride as the band played so spectacularly and hope we brought moments of positivity and joy to all friends, family, and staff. Sophie will always be a part of our unique Royal Marines Band Service family.”

At the end of the performance, Sophie, who played flute and saxophone in the band was presented with her Coronation Medal by senior members of the Royal Marines.

Presenting officer was Principal Director of Music – Lieutenant Colonel Huw Williams RM, alongside Adjutant – Major Sam Hairsine RM, Director of Music (conducting the band) – Captain Phil Trudgeon RM and Bandmaster – Warrant Officer Second Class Jamie Gunn RM.

 “We’re eternally grateful to Dorothy House for putting on this event for us. It’s been wonderful to arrange for the Royal Marines Band Service to come and visit us with a performance especially for Sophie. Dorothy House is set in such a beautiful location; it was the perfect setting for the band to come and play for her.

It was a wonderful day, and the weather was incredible. The staff are absolutely exceptional there – they also looked after the family in the best way they could as well as Sophie, and we’re eternally grateful for that. It’s such a happy, relaxed, and wonderful place to stay. Thank you so much.” – Richard Ward, Sophie’s husband

Wayne De Leeuw, Chief Executive of Dorothy House Hospice Care said:
“Dorothy House exists to do what matters most for people and today exemplifies that. Thank you to Sophie and Rich for giving us the opportunity to share in something so personal, something so very public and something extraordinary.   Thank you also to the Marines Band for allowing us together as a community to deliver what matters most today to Sophie and Richard. The Latin motto for the Royal Marines is ‘Per Mare, Per Terram’. For one afternoon, I want to add one extra bit; by sea, by land, and through kindness. You brought happiness, but you also made us shed a tear and realise the value life and the things that really matter to people.”

Dorothy House Hospice Care is fully committed to the ‘What Matters To You’ Charter and the staff are passionate about providing personalised care to patients at home, in across our 700 square mile community or on the Inpatient Unit in Winsley.

The Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Service is run jointly by Dorothy House Hospice Care and the RUH. The service offers a single point of contact and ongoing support for patients with MND, their families and carers.

This service offers specialist information, sign-posting, support and guidance from diagnosis onwards. An MND specialist practitioner works within the RUH, Dorothy House and the community, and can visit patients in their homes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.