DEAL SOCIETY 2014
In UK, English Heritage controls the erection of plaques and decided who should be so commemorated. The Deal Society were instrumental in getting FVD so honoured in the town in which he once lived. His plaque was unveiled last week in the presence of two of FVDs daughters and a granddaughter who had travelled to be there. Band boys in the 1950s were always pleased to get a glimpse of the girls when passing through the nearby Post Office Gate opposite to the Detention Quarters. The DQs building is now a privately owned house, opposite to 'G' House, and really quite smart now that the cells, etc., have been demolished. During the party that preceded the unveiling a band of former RMBs, under the direction of former Bandmaster John Goold, played selections of music in the garden of the house where a marquee had been set up. The weather was fine and the occasion memorable. I was able to say a few words at the unveiling and explained how difficult life was for all at the time of the amalgamation of the RNSM and Divisional Bands of the Corps when the RM Band Service was formed. Only someone with the vision and stature of Vivian Dunn, coming as he did from a professional civilian music background, could have paved the way so expertly for the Band Service of today that is respected the world over for competence, smartness and unerring standards of excellence. In recognition FVD became uniquely the only Service musician to have been Knighted by the Sovereign and he went on to become a respected Master of The Worshipful Company of Musicians and Founder of the International Military Music Society. His award of Blue Plaque recognition is perhaps the final accolade for a man now passed into history but whose name will never be forgotten within the Band Service of the Royal Marines.