Much-loved band member will live on through his music
PUBLISHED: 11:45 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:27 28 May 2019
Dereham Band’s planned performance at a funeral on June 6 will have special significance - for they will be saying farewell to one of their own.
Raymond Barnes, who was a member of the band since the 1960s, has died aged 83.
Son, Jarl, said Mr Barnes would be remembered for his kindness, humour and energy.
Jarl said: "He was the kindest and most gentle man. He talked to absolutely everybody and he would never let the band down.
"He was a very talented musician. I don't think there was anything he couldn't play.
"And he had so much energy he kept marching until he was 82."
Mr Barnes grew up in Deal in Kent, the youngest of 10 children, and he was sent to Wales as an evacuee during the Second World War.
He attended Canterbury College, and later Southampton University, playing music from a young age.
He served in the Royal Air Force as a draftsman from 1958 to 1968 and spent some years stationed in Norway, where he met his wife, Anne. They had two sons, Jarl and Andrew, and although they separated in the mid-Eighties they remained good friends. He also had two grandchildren, George and Anya.
Mr Barnes was also stationed at Swanton Morley, and he stayed in Norfolk after he left the service, continuing as a draftsman for Crane Fruehauf.
He became Dereham Band's conductor in 1972, composing many of his own works, and he also conducted the youth band.
A tribute from Dereham Band said: "He was a talented musician who arranged and composed some beautiful pieces that the band will be able to remember him by. Ray Barnes we will all miss you."
Mr Barnes moved back to Norway for some years - a place he always carried in his heart - but returned to England after he retired.
He died peacefully at home listing to Beethoven, his favourite composer.
Mr Barnes' funeral will be on the anniversary of D-Day - which Jarl said was fitting for a man who also very patriotic.
It will be at 11am at the Dereham's St Nicholas Church, followed by the new cemetery on Norwich Road, and then a wake at the Railway Tavern, where Mr Barnes used to play piano at Christmas.
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