Blind Sheffield trumpet player passes away, aged 98

Sheffield trumpet player  Leonard Milnes, who was possibly the last surviving member of the Bernard Taylor Band, has died at the age of 98 of pneumonia.
Sheffield trumpet player Leonard Milnes, who was possibly the last surviving member of the Bernard Taylor Band, has died at the age of 98 of pneumonia.

A Sheffield trumpet player who was possibly the last surviving member of the Bernard Taylor Band has died at the age of 98 of pneumonia.

Leonard Milnes, of Stocksbridge, played in numerous bands during his career, including the Bernard Taylor Band which regularly played at the City Hall in the 1950s.

Leonard was blind for the last twenty years of his life, but he did not let this change his commitment to the trumpet.

Most recently, he was well known for playing the last post at Thurgoland cenotaph, a role which he took on until 2015 when, at the age of 96, he decided that it was time to pass the responsibility on to the next generation.

Leonard leaves behind his beloved wife of 78 years Clara, aged 96, six children and also many grand and great grand children.

Son Craig Milnes said: “Leonard was born into the class that works and he was no different. He worked long hours to support a family. He would supplement his earnings at the steel works by numerous means but the trumpet was the main stay.

“Music was central to family life as we would hear dad practice most days of the week. We all look back on dad’s life and celebrate every day for all the lives that have been built since Clara and Leonard said I do.”

Leonard served in the Royal Artillery during World War Two. He was stationed on the South Coast acting on the front line of defence against the Luftwaffe and infamous flying bomb.

His brother, Percy also served in the war but he was killed in action over Germany whilst serving as Sergeant in bomber command.

As a result of this, and also because he is a war veteran himself, Remembrance Sunday was an especially poignant for Leonard.

His funeral will take place at Grenoside Crematorium on Tuesday March 27 at 1.15pm.