Musicians from the Royal Marines laid on a poignant performance at a hospice - for their dying bandmate.

Newlywed Sophie Ward, 27, was joined by her husband Richard, patients, staff and volunteers for the emotional final performance.

Sophie was moved in her bed on to the patio adjoining her room to listen and watch her beloved band for one last time, accompanied by her husband - a fellow Royal Marines musician.

Sophie, who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease, has been an inpatient at Dororthy House Hospice in Winsley, near Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire, since mid-June.

Dorothy House provides free palliative and end-of-life care to a population of more than 550,000 people in Bath and North East Somerset, and parts of Wiltshire.

She watched on as men and women of the Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines from HMS Collingwood in Fareham staged the concert charged with high emotion in the grounds of Dorothy House.

On the grass of the hospice her colleagues, dressed in their full uniform, marched and performed a playlist chosen by Sophie.

Patients and staff told the musicians this was “an absolute treat” and “the most emotional and uplifting experience”.

Sophie, who is also a flautist from Warminster, joined the Royal Marines Band Service in September 2020 and was presented with her Coronation Medal.

This was given to her by the Band Service’s Principal Director of Music Lieutenant Colonel Huw Williams RM, Adjutant Major Sam Hairsine RM, Director of Music Captain Phil Trudgeon RM who conducted the band and Bandmaster - Warrant Officer 2 Jamie Gunn RM.

Captain Trudgeon said it had been a pleasure leading the band in the special performance for Sophie and her family.

He said: “The day was full of a range of emotions as we performed a Beating Retreat with music selected by Sophie.

“I felt overwhelming pride as the band played so spectacularly and hope we brought moments of positivity and joy to all friends, family, and staff.”

Wayne De Leeuw, Chief Executive of Dorothy House Hospice Care said the performance had both moved and brought joy to everyone present.

He added: “Dorothy House exists to do what matters most for people and today exemplifies that.

"Thank you to Sophie and Rich for giving us the opportunity to share in something so personal, something so very public and something extraordinary.

“Thank you also to the Royal Marines Band for allowing us together as a community to deliver what matters most today to Sophie and Richard.”