This years Trafalgar Day Service to commemorate Lord Nelson’s famous victory over the French Fleet in 1805, took place at 1100hrs on Saturday 21 October at St Andrews’ Church in Deal. A good turn out of Branch and club members, with ‘Dusty’ and Jimmy carrying the Branch and GBA Standards, and with Bill Howie acting as Parade Marshall, made this very popular service an excellent event.
This service is arranged by the local branch of the Association of Men of Kent and Kentish men (AMKKM).
The service was led by the Reverend John Lines MBE, Padre to the Downs Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and was enhanced by the presence of The Deputy Lord Warden of Kent Brigadier John Meadon DL. Retd.
The Royal Navy and the Wren’s prayers were read, with ‘Dusty’ reading out the Royal Marines prayer. The Exhortation was given by John Elms and the ‘Kohima Epitaph’ by Malcolm Gibbons, with the closing address given by Carol Stickler the Branch Chairman of the AMKKM.
Wreaths are normally laid on completion of the service at the tombstone of one of Lord Nelson’s favourite officers Captain Edward Parker, which is in the grounds of St Georges’ Church, and who died in Deal, but owing to the inclement weather the wreaths were laid at the Altar in St Andrews’ with Bob Davies laying a wreath on behalf of the Branch.
At the end of the service all were invited to a buffet in the RMA club, and we thank our stewardess for another excellent spread.
Royal Marines casualties in the battle were high. Ninety-two officers and over 3,600 NCOs and Marines were on the upper decks of the ships that day, and the losses were particularly heavy on board the leading ships; in HMS Victory all four RM officers and over 50 men of the RM detachment were killed or wounded. The total RM casualties were 5 officers and 121 men killed or died of wounds, and 12 officers and 204 men wounded.