Bob Davies writes:
Many of our members with their partners travelled to London on Sunday 15 May to take part in this year’s Graspan Parade. The weather was once again fair, and was enjoyed by all who attended. During the post parade reception in the Union Jack Club, ‘Timber’ Wood made a presentation to Richie Puttock of a Royal Marines clock which he had personally made, to say thank you to Richie for all the hard work and dedication that he gives to our Association. The clock has been engraved as a gift from the RMA Deal Branch.
On 26 May, Gerry Bowers and ‘Timber’ attended ‘Beating Retreat’ on Horse Guards with ‘Timber’ parading the Branch Standard alongside many others for the Captain Generals arrival.
The Branch held a very special service in the club on Saturday 4 June to remember the WW1 Battle of Jutland, in which so many Royal Marines and Royal Navy personnel lost their lives. Garry Moore opened the proceedings with a reminder to all present of the events and reasons that led up to the encounter of the opposing fleets, and Mick St Pier explained the circumstances in which the four VCs were won that day, included that awarded to Major Francis Harvey RM. This was followed by prayers, the ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ was sounded by Andy ‘Pastie’ Cornish, and ended with the ‘Exultation’ and the ‘Kohima Epitaph’ given by Bob Davies. On conclusion of the service, ‘Up Spirits’ was sounded and all attending were offered ‘tots of rum’ to toast ‘The Royal Marines and Royal Navy at Jutland’
The club held a ‘Queen’s Birthday’ lunch on Friday 10 June which was very well attended, with our stewardess Sue, once again providing a fine meal.
Deal celebrated Armed Forces Day by holding a Drum Head Service and parade on the apron of our pier on Sunday 25 June, which was organised by our local Branch of the Royal British Legion. Fourteen Standards were paraded, and once again ‘Pasty’ sounded the bugle calls. A very good turnout of veterans and local dignitaries, which included our MP and town Mayor, Sea and Army Cadets, and with the music provided by the Snowdown Colliery Band.