Thomas Bidgood (7 October 1858 – 1 March 1925) was an English conductor, composer and arranger. Thomas Bidgood was born in Woolwich, Kent. His father was William John Bidgood, a master plumber, and his mother was Jane Bidgood, née Williams. His early musical training included learning the violin at the London Academy of Music, taught by Signor Erba, and singing in the church choir. He also learned a number of wind instruments after going to concerts given by the band of the Royal Artillery. He played the althorn and E♭ bass in the band of the 9th Kent Artillery Volunteers.
While studying at the London Conservatory of Music, he won several awards for his achievements. After graduation, he worked as an orchestral conductor, teacher and composer. While working at the Beckton Gas Works he became bandmaster of the Beckton Band of the Gas, Light and Coke Company. Later he founded various theatre orchestras in addition to conducting his own professional orchestra and wind band. As a composer he wrote entertainment music, waltzes, dances and marches.
He was the father of bandleader Harry Bidgood. By a mistress, he was also the father of the composer, conductor and founder of the London Chamber Orchestra, Anthony Bernard. He committed suicide by gas poisoning 'while of unsound mind' (according to a coroner's report written on 3 March 1925) and is buried in a public, unmarked grave in Tottenham Cemetery.
A glimpse into his personal life is given by a report in The Times, after the house where he and his wife lived (5 Vicarage Lane, West Ham) was burgled in February 1891. He had returned from a professional engagement at around 2 a.m., went down for supper, and apprehended the burglar in the breakfast room. At the Police Station the burglar was relieved of Mr Bidgood's waistcoat, jacket, blue dust coat, overcoat, watch and chain, and other articles. Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)