Bob Davies writes:
A celebration of our Corps 351st Birthday was held by having a black tie dinner in the Club on Thursday 29 October. Our guests of honour were Brigadier David Evans, our President Lt Col David Storrie OBE RM, and we were pleased to have with us on the top table once again, Councillor Alan Marsh. Thank you Alan for your generosity and continued commitment to the Branch. The superb four course meal was prepared by the brother-in-law of our steward, Sue. Grace was given in the form of a very amusing poem by C/Sgt Andy ‘Pastie’ Cornish. The usual toasts were proposed, with the citation and toast to the Royal Marines given by our Secretary, Mike Baxter. Many thanks to all those that helped to make the evening a great success.
On 7 November the Branch was represented at the Cruise Terminal in Dover’s Western Docks at the Service of Remembrance to remember all those railwaymen who worked on the South Eastern and Chatham railway, and who died in the service of their country during both World Wars. Our Standard was carried by ‘Dusty’ Miller, the Green Beret Association Standard by Jimmy Greene, and a wreath was laid by Bob.
This was followed by a short service at the plaque which marks the passing through Dover of the Unknown Warrior in 1920.
November’s main Act of Remembrance was held on Remembrance Sunday, at the Deal and Walmer War Memorial Hospital. There were six Association Standards on parade, including the Branch and GBA, with the RNA Standard paraded by Bob. Our Chairman Paul ‘Riggo’ Richardson laid a wreath on behalf of the members and ‘Timber’ Wood laid a wreath for the GBA. A large crowd of local residents were in attendance, also many children’s groups, some with their own flag bearers. A good turn out of ‘Green Berets’ gave colour to an otherwise dull November day. On completion of the service, a march took place, led by a piper from the Dover and Deal Sea Cadets, with the salute taken by our town Mayor. Following the event a reception was held in our club.
A few days later on Armistice Day, 11 November, a further short service took place at the Cross of Sacrifice in the local cemetery. Once again our three Standards were paraded, with Malcolm Wells keeping them in order, and the Exaltation was given by Malayan veteran and club member John Elms. Our President laid the Branch wreath. We were pleased to see so many children from local schools at this service, and they were thanked for their attendance by a round of applause.
December has been a busy time for our club, especially for our steward, with Christmas dinners being served on various days, a fantastic children’s party, complete with ‘Santa’ and his ‘Elf’, and the Grand Christmas Draw, with a wonderful display of prizes, with Gerry Bowers winning the star prize of a large flat screen TV.
The Branch is once again sponsoring the last night of the Sgts’ Mess pantomime, ‘The Sound of Museli’, and we are all looking forward to another night of hilarious Bootneck humour and antics. With a run of ten days it is expected that as in previous years a large amount of money will be raised for Corps’ and local charities.
To all those on our sick list, including Mick Maguire and Bob Bale, we wish you a healthier 2016.
Last, we send our congratulations to our ‘Blue Beret’ Marine, Peter Hall, who has recently celebrated his 65th wedding anniversary with his charming wife, Jo.