AN UXBRIDGE based RAF military musician led an orchestra at a Royal Albert Hall Festival of Remembrance.
RAF Chief Technician Barry Stringer, leader of the Salon Orchestra, who has served in Iraq, took to the stage for the BBC concert, broadcast on Remembrance weekend.
Mr Stringer, based at RAF Uxbridge, on Hillingdon Road, performed Vivaldi's Four Seasons alongside the RAF Central Band for the service, which held personal connections for him.
"Out there in the arena my mind went back to my operational tour in Iraq. I was sent out there as a Convoy Commander and recall introducing myself to my group of hardened army lads as ‘a fiddle player from the RAF orchestra’.
"Once they had all stopped laughing they really gave me a tremendous amount of support and we got on really well.
"The convoy work certainly focused the mind, I used to kiss a photo of my wife each morning but it just shows that being a military musician is certainly not the full story."
Barry’s wife, Justine, is also a fiddle player in the orchestra and recently served in Afghanistan making this year’s Festival of Remembrance is especially significant for Barry: "The moment that will mean the most to me will be when our seven year old son Freddie and his school friend Abbey Lee step forward during the ceremony to present the poppies.
"He has seen both his parents go off to war and he will recite a dedication to children of the world. Being part of all this as a family will be really special memory."