The Saga of the 41 Commando 'Gates' - now Finally at Rest
It is now an incredible thirty years since 41 Commmando Trooped the Colour at RM Deal before the Captain General on 20th May 1981 and slow marched off the parade to 'Auld Lang Zyne' to disband. As the Commando dispersed, the Quartermaster, the late Harry Voyzey, and his team set about the disagreeable task of accounting for and returning to 'goodness knows where' the Unit's equipment, stores and corps property. The Quartmaster also in his customary and efficient manner, itemised and packed into a crate all the unit's non-corps property and this was taken to the RM Museum at Eastney for safe custody and, it must be admitted, in the folorn hope that the items would be available should 41 Commando rise once again from the ashes. Of particular interest, amongst the miscellany of sporting trophies and shields was the well known painting commissioned by the offciers of the Commando performing public duties at Buckingham Palace. This painting is now hanging in the Officers' Mess at the Commando Trainning Centre, although how it got there from the crate is still a mystery. Finally, and what this article is all about, the crate was accompanied by 'The Gates', or so they were described on the paperwork.
Col REECE has now donated these to the Deal Branch of the RMA and are presently displayed in the main bar area, proudly restored to glory by Jim Strathdee.