At the outbreak of the Second World War he returned to the Royal Artillery Band where his duties took him all over Europe and North Africa, making several lifelong friendships.

"In 1948 he bought himself out of the army with £20 worth of books, and a loan from his mother, in order to take up the job he had been offered in the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as second clarinet to Hyram Lear. At the request of Sir Charles Groves he was invited to become principal in 1953," said Jeremy, one of his son's.

During his time at the BSO he performed in the tenures of Rudolf Schwarz, Sir Charles Groves, Constantin Silvestri, Paavo Berglund, Uri Segal and Rudolf Barshai, and can be heard on all the recordings from this renaissance period of the BSO. He was regularly the soloist in the major clarinet concertos with the orchestra, even having one written for him by Graham Whettam.

In 1953 he married Cynthia Mitchell, a violinist in the orchestra and later the co-leader with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, and together they had five children.


                  "Always mindful of his days as an underling in the army he treated all who played next to him or conducted in front of him with the utmost kindness and respect," said Jeremy.


                   Even though Ray retired in 1987, he continued to play with various ensembles both classical and jazz, often with Cynthia. He gave musical lectures, and was instrumental in the production of nine CDs of previously unreleased recordings under the baton of Constantin Silvestri.

                  "Ray also fought tirelessly in an attempt to save the Winter Gardens, the home of so many of the critically acclaimed concerts that he had been part of during the previous decades, sadly to no avail," said Jeremy.


                  He also wrote two books, 'The BSO: A Centenary Celebration' in 1993 with Sean Street, and 'Constantin Silvestri; Magician - A view from the Orchestra', in 2011.

After Cynthia died in 2008, he continued to enjoy life, practising yoga until he was 93, reading and writing poetry and lived on his own at home until a week before his death.


                 Ray died October 29 after a short illness. He will be much missed by family and friends.


                 He is survived by a sister, five children and eight grandchildren.


                His funeral will be held at Portman Lodge Funeral Home, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, on December 2 at 1.30pm.