It is now nearly 30 years since the fateful September morning when a bomb exploded in the busy recreation room of the RM Staff Band here in Deal. The annual concert on the green remembers the lives lost, the wounded and their family and friends, and includes a rededication service for the Bandstand, which continues to be a living memorial to those who were killed.
This important anniversary was a special event with the RM Bands of both Portsmouth and HMS Collingwood taking part on the day, under the direction of the Principal Director of Music, Lt Colonel Jon Ridley. There was also the spectacular sight of a Spitfire from the RAF Memorial Flight to start the afternoon proceedings.
It was estimated that there were over 12000 people at the event with a varied selection of music in the first half of the concert - including the Corps of Drums, a trombone solo and guitar feature, all topped off by a medley of contemporary pop songs. The second half started with music from the film the Greatest Showman, and the RM Band of HMS Collingwood marching from Calvary Barracks onto the green for their performance. There was also a tribute to those who took part in D day with accompanying film commentary on several large screens strategically placed around the concert area – a first for Band Day.
The rededication of the Bandstand included the laying of wreaths by families of the bereaved, a number of local dignitaries, invited guests, and Major General Matt Holmes DSO, Commandant General, Royal Marines.
The concert ended as always with rousing choruses of Rule Britannia and A Life on the Ocean Wave.
The RMA Club was exceptionally busy that day welcoming both bands, RMA members, dignitaries and many members of the public. A £1000 cheque was also given to the CG RM for the RMA-TRMC by Anita Walton and Mr Chuck Harries, President of HQ Troop 47 RM Commando and D Day veteran presented our Chairman ‘Riggo Richardson’ with a 47 Commando plaque for the club.
Tracie Thomas – RMA Committee