- Rule Britannia arr: Woodfield
By Sue Briggs - Chief Reporter East Kent Mercury
Thousands of people stood in silence on Walmer Green on Sunday to remember the 11 Royal Marines killed by the IRA in Deal.
The names of the men were read out at the Deal Memorial Bandstand, built in memory of the servicemen who died in the explosion at the School of Music in September, 1989.
Vicar of Walmer, the Rev Seth Cooper, slowly listed the 11 and led the prayers, talking about the importance of the reconciliation of nations.
Wreaths were laid at the bandstand and tears were shed during the performance of Elgar's Nimrod by the Band of the Royal Marines, Portsmouth.
Despite the sadness, the band's director of music Major Nick Grace lifted the spirits of the estimated crowd when he pledged to continue the promise made by the Royal Marines when the School of Music closed in 1996.
He said: "I will ensure we will continue to come to Deal each year to the bandstand."
The comment prompted a huge cheer from the crowd, estimated at between 6,500 and 7,000.
Sunshine and blue skies guaranteed a huge turnout for the annual concert and Major Grace, on his first visit as conductor, told the audience they had been fantastic.
Traditional marches and music from shows and blockbuster films were packed into the performance and there were solos from a variety of Royal Marine musicians.
At the end of the concert A Life on the Ocean Wave brought the audience to its feet and there were two encores.
The afternoon ended in a party atmosphere, as people waved their programmes in the air and sang Land of Hope and Glory.
Deputy Mayor of Deal Cllr Tracy Wilton said: "I am very proud to have the Royal Marines here again.
"They have a long tradition with the town and it has been an excellent day for Deal."
Many of our ex colleagues attended the concert.
The bench was only placed in position two days before the Royal Marines Band visit so we haven’t had any time to do anything like a dedication; we probably won’t bother with that but I will email all those on my list with pictures.
Attached are two more pictures (22 & 23) I have just taken, now that everything around it has been cleared away. You can now see just where it is. It will be paid from the All Stars Band fund; we put aside enough money to pay for this from the last concert. It cost £957.62. I hope you can read the engraving and approve of the wording.
After appeals, the bandstand committee has been enlarged with two new members, Martin Dadd a dockyard policeman and Dave Ingram (oboe). Retiring Corps Bugle Major Tommy Lawton has intimated that he will be joining the committee too, which is all excellent news.
We need to spend about £15000.00 on the bandstand this year so the collection will be a major part of our appeal.
Richard Valentine -1996 - 2012 © - All rights reserved