Bob Davies writes;
First we have to report the loss of two of our members who both died suddenly and without warning.
Chris Machin, who served in the Royal Navy, died on 18 July. Chris was a well liked man and one of our team of volunteer bar staff. A packed chapel at his funeral showed just how much he will be missed.
We were also shocked to hear that Mike Conn, who had moved to Norfolk eighteen months ago, crossed the bar on 8 August. Mike was a former RA Gunner who served on our committee for many years and he organised many of our Battlefield trips.
We send our condolences to the families of both. Rest In Peace gentlemen, your duty’s done.
The main event of this year was once again the annual visit by the Band of HM Royal Marines, Portsmouth, which took place at the Memorial Bandstand on Walmer Green on Sunday 9 July. A fine summer’s afternoon saw an estimated crowd of 10,000 enjoy a wonderful concert and display by the Band and Corps of Drums. The second half included the rededication of the bandstand and the laying of the wreaths. This was followed by a rousing and flag waving finale. Sadly, this was Lt Col. Nick Grace’s last performance conducting the Band in Deal, and we say ‘thank you’ and wish him well in his retirement. Later in the Club, our Chairman, ‘Riggo’ presented a cheque for £1,000 to Nick Grace and Phil Gilby, the Corps RSM, for the RM Charity.
The Dover Patrol Memorial Service held at the Memorial obelisk on the cliffs and overlooking the English Channel at St Margaret’s took place on Sunday 23 July. Branch and GBA Standards were paraded by our regular Bearers, ‘Dusty’ and Jimmy, with Bob carrying the RBL Standard. Mike Baxter read out Nelson’s Prayer and CSgt ‘Pastie’ Cornish provided the bugle calls.
Deal Town’s carnival parade on Thursday 27 July was led this year by a noisy and colourful group of former marines and musicians advertising the latest Sgts’ Mess Pantomime, ‘Wonky Willy’. Tickets go on sale on 2 October and are only available from the Astor Theatre booking office on: 013 0437 0220.
Our Standards and several members were present on 15 August, VJ Day, at the Burma Memorial opposite Deal Castle. This evening service of Remembrance to mark the end of war in Burma, was well supported with the ten Standards on parade, former servicemen, residents and local dignitaries which included our town Mayor. Our popular local ‘Victory Wartime Band’ provided the music and Bugle calls. On completion of the event a buffet reception was held in our club and we thank our stewardess Sue for a lovely spread.