Bob Davies Writes:
It is with sadness that we report that another of our members has crossed the bar. Ian ‘Titch’ Steel passed away on 1 August aged 62. ‘Titch’ was a former musician and SNCO and was part of the front of house team during performances of the Sgts’ Mess Pantomimes. ‘Rest in peace Royal, your duty’s done’.
The highlight of this reporting period is of course the annual visit on Sunday 15 July by the Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band) conducted this year for the first time by Lt Col Jon Ridley RM with assistance from Capt Andy Gregory RM. The weather was glorious for the concert at the Deal Memorial Bandstand on Walmer Green and was watched and enjoyed by an estimated crowd of over 8000. After the interval, during which we were treated to a flypast of a Spitfire, the rededication of the Bandstand took place during which the names of the eleven musician’s killed were read out and wreaths were laid. We were privileged to have attending this year the CGRM Maj Gen Charlie Stickland OBE who on completion of the concert was presented with a cheque for the RM Charity for £1,000 by our Treasurer Anita Walton. A full report and photographs are on the website.
Deal town’s carnival parade was held on a lovely summer’s evening on Thursday 26 July and was led this year by a band consisting of over thirty former RM musicians and this was followed by a float representing ‘Rene’s Gaff’ advertising next year’s Sgts’ Mess Pantomime, ‘Bonjour, Bonjour’, which will be held in the Astor Theatre from the 8 - 19 January 2019.
A very special occasion took place in the club on the evening of Friday 27 July when friends and relatives of our only Blue Beret marine, Peter Hall, gathered to celebrate his 90th birthday. Peter joined the Corps in 1946 and after basic training completed a twelve-week Seamen and Naval Gunnery course, after which he served on HMS Anson, 1947-1948. We send our best wishes to you and to your lovely wife, Jo.
This year’s Dover Patrol Memorial service was held on Sunday 29 July at the memorial obelisk which overlooks the English Channel at St Margaret’s at Cliffe. Twelve Association and Regimental Standards were paraded in extremely windy conditions, but stood firm during the service to remember all those who died keeping the Channel safe during the two World Wars. ‘Dusty’ paraded the Branch Standard and ‘Timber’ the Green Beret Association (GBA) Standard, and the service was attended by many Branch and Club members. Our president Col David Storrie OBE reviewed all those on parade. Light refreshments were served in the village hall on completion.
Our two Standards were once again keeping us in the public eye by parading at the Burma Star Memorial situated opposite Deal Castle. The annual service takes place on 15 August to commemorate VJ Day and to remember all those lost in Burma during WW2. There were ten Standards on parade and the service was led by the chaplain of our local RBL Branch. The bugle calls were sounded by CSgt ‘Pastie’ Cornish and those attending included our MP, town Mayor, local dignitaries and Branch and Club members. At the end of the service a buffet was held in the club for all those attending for which we thank our stewardess Sue.
Entertainment takes place in the club on selected Saturdays and is proving as always very popular. Our thanks go to all those on the entertainment committee for your hard work and commitment to the ongoing success of the club.