Thank you for your response. I am delighted to know that the new
pictures will be useful. The flowers were placed on the bandstand
a little earlier this year to coincide with Sunday's final summer
concert given by the Betteshanger Band under the direction of former
RMB colleague, David Burridge. Many former members of the Band Service
were playing in the band and the concert was well attended. Be assured
that Walmer Green remains a very special place in the hearts of
many and the Memorial Bandstand is a unique feature of lasting significance.
I send my best wishes and renewed thanks to you for all you have
done, and are doing, on behalf of those of us fortunate enough to
have spent formative years in the Band Service of the Royal Marines.
Graham ( 2005)
this intrusion but I personally felt it may be of interest for
you to see these individual and beautiful floral tributes placed
above each of the plaques on the Memorial Bandstand at Walmer
on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the bombing of the
RMSM in 1989.
Memorial Garden in the old barracks, at the actual site of the
atrocity, has been splendidly refurbished and is now surrounded
by a brick and wrought iron balustrade that has brought national
focus to this place in a way that is both uplifting and peacefully
Following the events of 22nd September these items appeared in
the local Deal paper and may be of interest.
memorial garden is now "a fitting place of remembrance"
for the eleven Royal Marines musicians who lost their lives in
the 1989 bombing. This is the view from Principal Director of
Music Royal Marines Lt.Col. Cris Davis, who - through the East
Kent Mercury - wants to pay tribute to everyone who has helped
improve the site. He was at the former School of Music for the
annual short service that was held at the exact time of the 22nd
September explosion. "I would like to record my sincere thanks
to the people who have now made this garden a fitting place of
remembrance". "The district council has been at the
hub and pulled all the interested parties together focussing quite
rightly on the needs of the bereaved families and their specific
wishes. Having spoken to relatives after the service I truly believe
that they now feel that they have a lasting and appropriate memorial."
Lt.Col. Davis also thanked the site developers Bremgreen Properties
for help and support and for the local branch of British Legion
led by Desmond Bloy, former Commander Royal Navy. "He has
valiantly organised the annual remembrance services and he and
his team have made tireless efforts to ensure that the service
takes place each year in a true act of remembrance and words alone
cannot express my gratitude." "I also take this opportunity
to thank the people of Deal for their kindness and shared concerns
over the future of the garden and their loyalty in remembrance"
and former Royal Marine Martin Dawes has created a new set of
railings and gates for the Deal Memorial Garden. He served at
the Royal Marines School of Music with musicians killed in 1989
and his many hours working on the project have been his personal
tribute to the men. Mr Dawes, based in Oxfordshire, said: "My
good mates were killed unnecessarily and this is my way of remembering
them". He was in the Royal Marines from 1979 until 1993 and
his parents live in Deal. The railings and gates feature a variety
of musical themes including the stave, the Band Service motif,
and musical instruments from A life o the Ocean Wave. Lt.Col.
Cris Davis, Principal Director of Music Royal Marines, was pleased
with the new railings and gates. He said: "This subtle and
unique creation is a work of art in its own right and frames the
garden most poignantly."
man gets Marines' Award
Royal Naval Commander Desmond Bloy has been honoured for his
work organising the annual service at the Deal Memorial Garden,
held for families of victims of the IRA bomb atrocity. He has
been presented with a 'Commandant General's Commendation', rarely
given to someone outside the Corps of Royal Marines. Mr Bloy,
86, of Middle Deal Road, Deal,. was amazed to receive the award
from Lt. Col. Cris Davis, Principal Director of Music Royal
Marines. The presentation took place before the annual service
in the Memorial Garden at the rear of the former concert hall
at the School of Music site off Canada Road. Families and friends
of the eleven musicians killed by the 1989 explosion attended
with Royal Marines from Portsmouth. The 'Downs Branch President'
of the Royal British Legion, Mr. Bloy, said: "The presentation
was a complete surprise. I was asked by relatives if anything
could be done at the Garden Of Remembrance and the small service
has developed over the years." "This year has been
particularly splendid as the contractors have just completed
a wonderful job to renew the garden. The district council has
also done us proud." The adjacent empty concert hall was
blackened and left as a ruin by a mystery fire in May 2003.
The fire also badly damaged what then was the Garden of Remembrance.
Mr. Bloy joined the Royal Navy as a boy in 1939 and left the
service in 1982 to settle in Deal in retirement. He said: "It
is important that we remember the 1989 bombing at the barracks,
and what has now been achieved at the Memorial Garden has been
appreciated by the relatives of those who died. At the service
on 22nd September they expressed their pleasure at the improvements