A FORMER army fusilier is getting ready to share his drumming passion with teens at the launch of West Midlands Police’s first cadet group in in Chelmsley Wood.
Maurice Kempson has played the drums since he was a schoolboy will be part of the Cadet Corps of Drums based at Chelmsley Wood Police Station.
Maurice joined West Midlands Police as a security guard at Lloyd House in Birmingham three years ago.
He said: “I’ve always loved playing the drums, my first was a bass drum. I was the smallest kid with the biggest drum.”
When he left school he joined the army as a fusilier and didn’t pick up the drum for years after that.
But then 11 years ago he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and later went into a coma brought on by complications from the intense chemotherapy he’d been through.
His family were warned to prepare for bad news.
The single dad-of-four got through the worst but it took Maurice eight years of recovery to get back to health.
While he recuperated he treated himself to a drum kit to help pass the time and soon found his passion for the pastime was re-ignited.
When he started work again, Maurice found he struggled with ‘normal life’ and couldn’t explain his feelings.
After speaking to a colleague, he visited his GP and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Maurice said: “Everything became clear, I understood why I had been feeling so bad despite recovering from cancer and then the coma.
“It gave me a new sense of life – I was determined to make the most of every minute.”
When the police force announced it would launch its first Cadets Corps of Drums, Maurice was only too happy to sign up as one of our leaders.
Maurice said: “I’d say to anyone thinking about getting involved to just do it. Life is too short to have regrets.
“It’s a new thing and it’ll be a new experience for me but I’m determined to help make a difference. Practicing the drums has given me something to focus on and a sense of achievement.
“Even my 14-year-old son is going to get involved in the cadets as he’s been taking an interest. We can’t wait to get started.”
For more about the Cadets visit https://west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/wmp-cadets