A very special event took place in Deal on the afternoon of Monday 23rd April 2018, St George’s Day. After many years in the planning the opening of the Royal Marines Heritage Trail was officially opened.
The afternoon started at 1500hrs when The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Collingwood marched from the South Barracks housing estate, followed by a Company of serving Royal Marines from 42 Commando RM in full Blues, wearing Pith Helmets and carrying Rifles. They marched through the Jubilee Gates onto the Main Road leading to Walmer and Deal town. The march, and what followed on that sunny afternoon, was watched by many thousands of residents, visitors and many hundreds of children who had been let out of school early to watch the event, and which brought back so many memories of yesteryear when the Royal Marines were based in Deal.
The march continued to Deal Castle and formed up alongside a parade of some fifty former Royal Marines, many RMA, RBL and other Standards, a very smartly turned out party of former Wrens, and RM Cadets and Sea Cadets from several local units.
The RM Heritage Trail was then officially opened by the Commandant General Royal Marines Maj Gen C R Stickland OBE. This was followed by an inspection of all those on parade by the CGRM and Admiral of the Fleet Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL.
On completion of the inspection the complete parade exercised their Freedom of Deal granted to them in 1945, by marching through Deal with ‘Bayonets Fixed’ and ‘Flags Flying’ along the promenade to Deal Pier where the salute was taken. The parade then continued through the town centre and was dismissed at the town hall.
A wonderful occasion for Deal, the Branch and our Royal Marines, and we thank Branch member Bill Butler for all his hard work to make this day happen.