The annual Trafalgar Day Service to commemorate Lord Nelson’s famous victory over the combined French and Spanish fleet in 1805 was held in St Andrews Church Deal at 1100hrs on Saturday 20th October 2018. (one day early as 21st the church needed for Sunday service)
This service is arranged by the local Branch of the Association of Men of Kent and Kentish Men (AMKKM) and the service was led by the Reverend John Lines MBE, Padre to the Downs Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and was attended by many dignitaries including the Chairman of Dover District Council Cllr Sue Chandler and our town Mayor Cllr Nick Tomaszewski. The Parade Marshall was Mr Joe De-Zille.
Our Branch was represented by ‘Dusty’ Miller parading the Standard, Ben Stones and Bob Davies who read the Royal Marines prayer. The Royal Naval prayer was read by Rev Lines and the Wrens prayer by Shirley Heaton, a former Wren.
The Exhortation was given by Mr John Elms, the Kohima Epitaph by Mr Malcolm Gibbons, and the Bugle calls were sounded by Alec from the Dover and Deal Sea Cadet Unit.
The closing address was given by Mrs Carol Stickler Chairman of the Deal and Walmer AMKKM.
At the end of the service wreaths were laid at the Memorial Cross in the Church garden.
At the end of the event the Sea Cadets gave a superb Drum Display, before all were invited into the Church hall for a glass or two of wine and a light buffet.
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.