Nov/Dec 2015

Bob Davies writes:
Early Autumn has always been a busy time for the Branch, and this year has been no exception.

Our first attendance was at the commemorative service for Merchant Navy Day in Dover town hall on 3 September. ‘Dusty’ Miller paraded our Standard, and members Bob, Ben Stones and ‘Timber’ Wood represented the Branch. Nine other Veterans Association Standards were also on parade, and on completion of the main service, and after refreshments and a tot of rum, wreaths were laid at the MN Memorial on the seafront.

The service and act of remembrance to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain took place on 15 September at the War Memorial in Sandwich town centre. Bob carried the RNA Standard joining the other six Standards on parade. Albert Tweedy from Canterbury joined us for this service, and afterwards all were invited into the Guildhall for a reception.

The 26th Anniversary of the cowardly bomb outrage in 1989 in which eleven talented young musicians lost their lives, took place at 0820hrs on 22 September, the time and date that the explosion took place. The weather was atrocious with heavy rain, but as usual was attended by many families and friends of those lost that terrible day. Members from the Portsmouth Royal Band attended, and among the many wreaths laid was the Branch wreath laid by our Chairman Paul ‘Riggo’ Richardson; They will never be forgotten. Hot drinks and bacon rolls were made available afterwards in the club, which gave everyone attending a chance to warm up and dry out.

Later that same morning a service took place at a local school to rededicate the Stone Globe & Laurel, one of two that used to be on the ends of the main accommodation block in the Barracks. It was originally placed at the entrance to the school in 2001, the other is in the Band Garden of Remembrance, but over the years it became neglected and forgotten. But with the generous donations of many people, including the Sgts Mess Pantomime, the hard work of year 6 and many others, it has been cleaned, the area landscaped, mosaics have been laid in the Corps Colours, and information boards have been placed on either sides. The Branch and GBA Standards and a RM Bugler attended, and during the service our President Lt Col David Storrie OBE RM addressed all those present. Well worth a visit next time you visit our town. On completion of the service tea and cakes were served in the school hall.

On the 26 September, forty five members and friends of the RMA and RBL left for a three day coach trip to the battlefields of the Somme. Many of the well known places from WW1 were visited including, Vimy Ridge, Maricourt, High Wood and the Locknagar Crater. An excellent trip, once again organised by Mike Conn, whom we thank for all his hard work.

Our AGM has taken place and all positions on the committee have been filled. Reports indicate that both the Branch and the club are doing well, with the good news that the Branch membership has shown a large increase. For personal reasons our Vice President, Captain Jack McNulty RM has decided to step down. We thank you Jack for your dedication to the Branch and all the hard work you have put in over so many years.

Bob represented the Branch at the town’s Charter Day Service on 13 October which takes place on this date every year to commemorate the granting by King William III in 1699 of the ‘Charter of Incorporation’ which gave Deal the right to run it’s own affairs. A reception in the town hall followed.

We wish members of the RMA , and all those in the serving Corps, a ‘Merry Christmas’ and a peaceful and happy New Year.

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