Tribute paid to Exmouth musician Alan, who died aged 94.

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 October 2018

Alan Pemberton. Picture: Contributed

Alan Pemberton. Picture: Contributed

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A former professional musician from Exmouth who entertained troops during World War Two has died.

Alan Pemberton - who lived in Brixington for 16 years - died on August 28, aged 94.

Born in Liverpool on September 4, 1923, the family moved to Kent in 1926 and Alan attended Sevenoaks School, where he first started playing the recorder.

With war looming, the family moved to Exmouth, where Alan attended Exmouth Grammar School. He played clarinet and saxophone at wartime concerts in Exeter, entertaining locally billeted American troops. V-J Day saw him playing at an open-air street party to celebrate the end of hostilities.

After the war, Alan studied clarinet and piano at London’s Guildhall School of Music, going on to play in touring dance bands. He also met his future wife, Eileen Meenaghan. They married in 1949, lived in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, and had three children – Delia, Anne and Daniel.

As the dance bands declined, Alan switched to electronics, working for Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) as a system test engineer, and then as a quality assurance engineer for more than 30 years.

After his retirement, Alan and Eileen moved to Exmouth in 2002 to be near their daughter Anne, son-in-law Daniel and granddaughter Keturah.

Eileen was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and died in Exmouth in 2003.

Now widowed, Alan took solace in electronics, spending hours building and testing amateur radio equipment. He continued playing saxophone and piano, and was still playing the recorder until only a few months ago.

In recent years, Alan was tended by the district nurses and by carers from Bluebird Care, Exmouth. He was supported in his faith by his parish priest, Father Philip Austen, and by the eucharistic ministers of Exmouth’s Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church.

A spokesman for the family said: “Alan led a full and long life. Dedicated to accuracy and attention to detail, with a musical heart that beat strongly, and a deep religious faith, he will be much missed by everyone who knew him.”

A memorial mass will be held for Alan at 9.15am on Friday, October 19, at Holy Ghost Church in Raddenstile Lane.

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