Bob Davies writes:
We sadly report the loss of another of our members. Malcolm Harris crossed the bar on 20 September aged 76 after a long illness bravely borne. Malcolm was a former Corps RSM and on retirement worked for HM Diplomatic Service and was a former President of our Branch. We send our condolences to his daughters and the rest of the family.
We have also heard of the passing of former musician Peter Worsfold aged 92. Peter joined the RM School of Music in 1941 aged just 14. He served on HMS Warspite during the D-Day landings in 1944, and later he served on the Staff Band in Deal under Lt Col Sir Vivian Dunn KCVO OBE FRSA RM. We send condolences to the family.
We say to both: ‘Rest in peace Royal, your duty’s done’.
Our members and Standard have attended several important events with ‘Dusty’ parading the Standard at the Merchant Navy Day service on Monday 3 September in Dover Town Hall, and also during the wreath laying at their fine Memorial on the seafront.
Bob represented the Branch at the Battle of Britain Day service held at the War Memorial in Sandwich on Saturday 15 September, and this was followed by a civic church service to mark the 100-year anniversary of the formation of the RAF.
Our local Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) arranged a short service in St Mary’s Church on the evening of the same day to remember the end of WW1. This was followed with a musical celebration by the Central Band of the RBL, conducted as usual by the wonderful David Cole. Many Branch and club members attended a fabulous evening to mark this important event in 1918.
The 29th Anniversary service of the Deal band bombing took place as usual at 0822hrs on 22 September, the time and date of that murderous act by the IRA in 1989 which took the lives of eleven talented young musicians. Musicians from the Portsmouth Royal Band attended the Garden of Remembrance to play the music and supplied the Bugler for the ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’. Lt Col Jason Burcham RM read out the ‘Roll of Honour’ and also laid a wreath. Also present were Bandmaster WO1 Tripp RM and Drum Major WO1 Brown RM. Many other wreaths were laid by family and friends of those lost that terrible day with the Branch wreath laid by our Chairman Paul Richardson. Wreaths have also been laid above the name plaques around the Memorial Bandstand. On completion of the service hot drinks and bacon rolls were made available in the club. Many thanks, Sue.
On a cold, damp and breezy day on Sunday 23 September many members attended the First World War Centenary service and parade held within Canterbury Cricket Ground. It took the form of a Drum Head service, with the Band of The Princess of Wales’s Regiment, and the Military Wives Choirs from Shorncliffe and Brompton. The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, The Viscount De L’Isle MBE took the Salute.
Club committee member Lesley Simpson arranged for the club to take part in the nationwide Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday 28 September and raised the magnificent sum of £500 for this good cause. Our thanks go to her, the cake makers, the cake buyers and all who helped in so many ways. Well done to all.
This year’s Trafalgar Day service arranged by the Association of Men of Kent and Kentish Men (AMKKM) was held in St Andrew’s Church on Saturday 21 October and was well attended by members. Our Standard was again present, Bob read the Royal Marines prayer and John Elms laid a wreath. The local Sea Cadet unit gave a drum display afterwards, and a glass of wine and a few sandwiches in the Church hall rounded off this celebration of Lord Nelson’s famous victory.
Later that day we had the pleasure to welcome members from Swansea, City of London and Canterbury Branches, some to walk the Heritage Trail, and others to enjoy a social afternoon in the Club where a buffet had been laid on. Earlier they had taken part in laying a wreath at the Memorial Bandstand. Thanks for coming, we enjoyed your company and hope you enjoyed your visit.
We now look forward to our AGM on Monday 29 October and the Corps Birthday Dinner, which this year will be held on Thursday 1 November. Full report in the next issue of the G&L.
We wish members of the RMA and especially all those in the serving Corps a merry Christmas and a happy, safe and peaceful new year.