Bob Davies writes
First we report the crossing of the bar of former W02 Derek Fuller, who was always known as ‘Crash’, and who passed away on 4 February aged 94 whilst resident in a local nursing home. Our Standards were present at his funeral alongside the local RBL Branch Standard and with a RM Bugler in attendance. A full chapel of RMA, RBL and G&L Lodge members showed the respect that was held for him.
Our Standards were also present at the funeral of Keith Atkinson, aged 79, who served 22 years in the Royal Navy, leaving with the rank of CPO. He was the RBL Kent County Vice President and President of our local Legion branch. Over 200 mourners attended his church service including thirteen Standards, and he was piped over the side by former submariner and club member, John Lacey. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of both men who served our country well.
The Sergeants’ Mess Pantomime completed this year’s run of ‘The Sound of Muesli’ with a superb last night on Saturday 16 February, which was sponsored by our Branch. At the end of the performance a cheque for £10,000 was presented to Brigadier David Evans by ‘Cpl Adolf Finn’, AKA our chairman Paul ‘Riggo’ Richardson, for The Royal Marines Charity. A further presentation took place later in the month in the club, with cheques to many local charities, youth groups and Cadet Forces.
A ‘Burns’ lunch was held in the club on Sunday 24 January, and as usual was very popular with members. A piper was present to pipe in the haggis, which was addressed once again by another splendid performance by Graham Dear. Many thanks to him, the piper Alec, and our steward, Sue, for the fine three course meal.
It has been the responsibility of the Branch during February to turn the page in the Book of Remembrance which is on show in the foyer of the Deal War Memorial Hospital. This short, but important act only takes a few minutes, so if you are free on the next occasion, the first Monday in August, please come and support us.
On Saturday 12 February our Standards were paraded by ‘Dusty’ Miller and Jimmy Green at the Service of Remembrance at the memorial in Dover to remember the lives lost during Operation Fuller in 1942, better known as the ‘Channel Dash’. Especially remembered during this Tri-Service operation, were the pilots and crewmen of the six Fairey Swordfish who were attempting to stop a German battle fleet from escaping up the Channel to the safety of their ports in Germany. All were shot down and thirteen lives were lost. A buffet reception was held in the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club on completion of the service.
Our club is still, fortunately, doing well as the costs of maintaining, repairing and running this wonderful old building get higher each year. It would be terrible to lose this asset to the RMA, the Royal Marines, and the people of Deal, so come in and buy a pint or two, and help preserve it for future generations.