Robert Regent was born in 1924 in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. He grew up in Thetford, Norfolk and sang with local church choirs and with the Thetford Boys' Council School Choir, under the direction of Mr. Jas H Lee (always so known), a formidable headmaster and enthusiastic musician. The Senior and Junior School choirs regularly carried off all the banners for which they competed at the annual choral festival at Norwich, and Mr. Lee galvanised the Thetford population, which amounted to barely 4000, into productions of Gilbert and Sullivan and pantomime in which Robert sang leading roles. In the late 1930s Robert was in demand to sing in churches throughout Norfolk and Suffolk. The Thetford Senior Choir broadcast on the BBC Children's Hour in 1937 and 1938, with him as soloist. The recording featured was made around that time.
Robert Regent was lost at sea at the age of nineteen when the R.A.F. Air-Sea Rescue launch on which he was wireless operator was attacked by enemy aircraft, set on fire and sunk. His brother, Peter has kept Robert's only surviving disc for over sixty years in the hope that it would one day be issued.
Copyright © 2001 Stephen R. Beet
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