This years Graspan Memorial Service and parade took place in London on Sunday 12 May 19. Attending to represent our Branch were ‘Dusty’ Miller, Gerry Bowers, Ben Stones, Chris Wiltshire and Andy Merry. Also attending were Marion Maguire and Margaret Murphy.
The weather was sunny and pleasant, and after forming up on Horse Guards Parade several hundred former Royal Marines, a contingent from 45 Commando RM and a large group of City of London RM Cadets were led onto the Mall by HM Band Collingwood and the RMA Standards. Here, just a few yards from Admiralty Arch stands the RM Graspan Memorial, which was originally erected in 1903 to commemorate the men of the Royal Marines who died in the Boxer Rebellion and the second Boar War, both of which took place between 1899 – 1902. It was re-dedicated as the National Memorial to the Royal Marines in Oct 2000, and unveiled by the Duke of Edinburgh who was the Captain General at that time.
After the service and wreath laying the parade marched down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace and onto Birdcage Walk for the return to Horse Guards, where the Salute was taken by the Commandant General Royal Marines Maj Gen C R Strickland OBE.
On completion of the event a reunion reception was held in the Union Jack Club (UJC) where a superb buffet was laid on and where many old and new friends enjoyed some serious ‘Lamp Swinging’ over a few ‘Wet’s’.
If you have never attended this fantastic event in the life of the Royal Marines Association which takes place in an iconic area of our Great Capital City, then join us next year, to march or spectate, you will not be disappointed.