G&L News Sept/Oct 2016

Bob Davies writes:

It has been a sad period for our Branch as we have to report the crossing of the bar of the following members and former Royal Marines.

On 10 August Lt Col Richard Dixon RM died aged 73. Richard was the commanding officer of the Royal Marines School of Music at the time of the bombing in 1989 which killed 11 musicians. He was a very friendly and popular man around Deal, and we send our condolences to Tricia and the family.

On 19 July we lost Michael ‘Mick’ Maguire after he suffered a stroke. Mick wasn’t a member of our Branch, he had joined the Isle of Thanet Branch, Ramsgate, many years before, but as they lived in Deal, Marion became a member of our Club, and we enjoyed their company on many occasions. The Branch and Club was well represented by many of our members at his funeral, and both our RMA and GBA Standards attended.

On 6 August the well known C/Sgt ‘Chunky’ Chambers passed away. ‘Chunky’, nobody seemed to know his proper name, was a good friend of the Branch and a long time member of the Green Beret Association (GBA). The Branch will be represented at his funeral on the 25 August.

I have also received news from Shirley, wife of John Chegwidden, but better known to all as ‘Chick’, that he had past away on 19 June at the age of 85. ‘Chick’ retired as a C/Sgt, and was married to Shirley for over 60 years.

We say to all four, Rest in Peace Royal, your duties done.

This year’s visit to Deal of the Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth Royal Band took place at the Memorial Bandstand on Walmer Green on Sunday 10 July. The afternoon started rather damp with light rain, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the many thousands who packed on to the Green. The first half was full of great music and another fantastic display by the Corps of Drums. After the interval, the skies cleared and it remained dry for the rededication of the bandstand and the laying of wreaths. In attendance this year was the CGRM Maj Gen Magowan CBE.

Our town’s carnival parade on 28 July included a contingent of former musicians and ‘Green Berets’, who made a lot of noise advertising this year’s Sgts Mess Pantomime, ‘Dad’s Barmy’, which once again hopes to raise many thousands of pounds for Royal Marine and local charities. Tickets go on sale in October and are only available from the Astor theatre booking office on 01304 370220.

Jimmy Greene paraded our Standard, along with nine other veterans Standards at the annual Service of Remembrance for the Burma Star Association, which took place on a lovely summer’s evening at their memorial, opposite Deal Castle on 15 August. This service which also commemorates VJ Day was also attended by Capt Jack McNulty RM, Ben Stones and Bob Davies.

We send our thoughts and best wishes for a speedy return to good health to our secretary Mike Baxter who has been unwell recently, and to Gerry Bowers and ‘Timber’ Wood who have both undergone minor surgery.

Last, congratulations go to our chairman, Paul ‘Riggo’ Richardson on being appointed a RMA Trustee for the South East Region. Well done Paul.

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