1890 – 1964
In 1890, young Albert Edward was born to George and Lucia Shrimpton in the parish of St. Peter’s, South London and 14 years and 8 months later, on the 14th September 1903, he joined the Coldstream Guards. Prior to this he had been a tea taster (perhaps for the Mazzawettee Tea Co., of Cold Blow Lane, London). As a young cadet, he had belonged to the 2nd Bn. The Queen’s West Surrey Regiment, ACF.
His service tells of promotion to Drummer on the 24th April 1905, an appointment to Lance Corporal 30th January 1906, a resignation and a re-appointment; promotion to Corporal (22nd September 1906) and then a further appointment, this time to Lance Sergeant, six days later.
He is generally understood to have been a naturally gifted musician and to have written his first march at about the age of 18, when a Lance Corporal. Those who knew him report that he would sit at a table in Wellington Barracks and churn out a march in an afternoon and, when short of cash, he would swiftly sell it to Potters for some £3. (when daily pay might have seen 6 pence), and share the cash amongst his friends. Somehow, soldiering does not change!
He transferred to the Bedfordshire Regiment on the 14th August 1910 as a corporal and became their Sergeant Drummer on the 5th October 1910. He later reverted to the rank of Drummer and returned to the Coldstream Guards, (7th June 1911). His quality led him soon to reach Sergeant Drummer again (1st March 1912) and to his serving in several Coldstream battalions. He married Agnes Annie Williams in St. Matthew’s Church, Stoke Newington on the 19th July 1914.
After being Mentioned in Despatches in the First World War (18th February 1917), he left on the 3rd September 1921 from the rank of Colour Sergeant and the role of Company Quartermaster Sergeant. By this stage he had earned the Meritorious Service Medal. He served in the Home Guard during WW2 and may have run a taxi service in the Chelsea area between the Wars.
Shrimpton died in 1964 leaving a son who had been a Company Sergeant Major (and champion shot!), in the Queen’s Regiment, (Ronald Shrimpton, b. 1917)
Shrimpton’s compositions include:
Coldstream, True Alliance, Gallant Brigade, United Conference, West Yorks, Gallant Collum, Silent Victor, Little Drummer, Irish Guards, South Wales Borderers, Steady! the Drums & Fifes, Quarter Column, The Spur Guard, Albuhera, Sprinkle Me, Comrades Farewell, Delhi, Sentinel, Foward, Adsum, Ariel Review, Secret Service, Ypres, King’s Review, Grey Brigade, Plantation Melody, Guard’s Avenue, Buglar’s Entry, United Empire, England’s Pride, Dover Street, Scarlet Parade, Clarendon, Shamrock (Schottische), Silver Birds (Waltz), Red Plume. Was “Sprinkle Me”, named after a famous racehorse belonging to a Coldstream officer?