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Royal Marines

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St George's Church, Deal
St George's Church, Deal.

Local Interest Pages

These pages are designed to give you a brief picture of life "then and now" in and around East Kent.  They will be added to and updated from time to time as we get more pictures and stories to report.

We hope you enjoy reading the information and looking at the pictures of Deal and the surrounding area.

Please let us know what you think and e-mail us with any suggestions for additional topics or pictures you would like to see.

All photos on this site copyright Bill Beer 1999-2001 except where otherwise stated
You are free to use these pictures to illustrate your own family history as long as you acknowledge the copyright.  The images may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior consent.

Royal Marines

1999 marked the 10th anniversary of that fateful Friday morning when the Royal Marines School of Music at Walmer was bombed by the IRA, killing a number of young bandsmen and injuring several others.  Hundreds of local people queued for hours in the sun the following day to give blood to help the wounded.

Shortly afterwards, the service showed its gratitude by marching through the town behind the staff band, with empty spaces where the dead bandsmen would have normally been.

To mark the tragic loss of these young bandsmen, a memorial bandstand was built by public subscription on Walmer Green, near to the School.

The annual summer concert given in 1999 by the Marines band on the memorial bandstand was a particularly moving event.

For years, the band of the Royal Marines School of Music led the Deal Carnival through the town.  In the summer, they threw open their gates to the public for a season of concerts on their bandstand behind the Mess.  After being given the freedom of the town, they delighted the local residents by exercising their rights to march, with fixed bayonets, through the town centre.

It was a sad day for the people of Deal, as well as for the Marines themselves, when they were finally forced to move out of the barracks they had occupied for so long.   For many months the local people had fought, with the support of local MPs, to keep 'our' band at the school.

We will always remember that wet summer evening in front of the Mess when the band performed their farewell concert, then marched for the last time back to the School and locked the gates for ever.

The School of music is now being converted into luxury apartments.  Sheep have recently been seen grazing on the field next to the church, where once local people sat to enjoy concerts given by the band on warm summer evenings.  There has been talk of turning the barracks into shops, commercial units and housing.

For pictures of this year's concert, see our Royal Marines section.

pony and trap
Pony and trap rides on Deal sea front opposite the ice-cream parlour
pier statue.JPG (20558 bytes)
Statue at entrance to Deal pier - art or monstrosity?  Tell us what you think.
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Deal Town Hall - the council chamber is on the upper floor; the ground floor, which  used to house the fire station, is now the tourist information and council offices