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88th birthday (re)treat
TAKING the salute on his
RM Band’s Principal Director of
88th birthday, flanked by First Music.
Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon
“The massed bands gave a
Band and the Commandant
fantastic performance – the
General Royal Marines Major
positive feedback from the
General Garry Robison, the
audience was overwhelming,” said
Lt Col Grace.
Duke of Edinburgh enjoys the
“Many of the musicians have
music and pageantry of the
only recently returned from
Massed Bands of the Royal operational duties in Afghanistan.
Marines on Horse Guards. “It is of great credit to them –
It’s been three years since Prince and the Band Service – that they
Philip – Captain General of the are able to switch back to their
Royal Marines – has watched the musical role and perform with
men and women of the RM Band such professionalism.”
Service perform their trademark As well as being a rousing
ceremony, Beating Retreat, in the crowd-pleaser, the three evenings
heart of London. of Beating Retreat raised thousands
This year’s ceremony – staged of pounds for a string of military
on three consecutive evenings charities, including Help for Heroes,
before a full house – saw 220 Seafarers UK and the Royal Navy
musicians drawn from across the and Royal Marines charities.
entire Band Service perform old A 36-song CD of music
nautical favourites such as Heart
performed at the event has
of Oak and A Life on the Ocean
been produced by the RM
Wa ve , spirited Army marches and
Band Service priced £12
a special composition to celebrate
(£14.40 overseas); see www.
the centennial of naval aviation.
RM musicians have been
performing Beating Retreat for their
Captain General roughly every two
to three years since 1960. Pictures: PO(Phot)
The 2009 event was the first
under Lt Col Nick Grace as the
Amanda Reynolds
Veterans return to the beaches
VETERANS of D-Day returned key member of which died earlier (Retd), the four-year campaign France, Operation Neptune, was
to the beaches in their thousands this year. came to fruition on June 6 2000 the opening phase of the wider
to mark the 65th anniversary of the Maurice Hillebrandt was the when the memorial was opened Operation Overlord, and by the end
start of the Battle of Normandy. driving force behind the campaign by the Duke of Edinburgh close of June 1944, less than three weeks
Old soldiers, sailors and airmen to create a memorial to the Royal to the shore at Ouistreham, near after D-Day, it is estimated that
attended ceremonies at dozens Navy and Royal Marines crews, Caen. more than 850,000 troops, almost
of towns, villages and cemeteries especially those who died or were That memorial now takes its
150,000 vehicles and more than
along the French coast to
wounded, of more than 4,000 place amongst the hundreds half a million tons of supplies had
remember those who died in the
landing vessels which transported peppered along the Normandy been landed, most of which passed
fight against the Nazis.
Allied soldiers and their equipment coast which draw visitors through the two prefabricated
The Prince of Wales, Prime
to the Normandy beaches. throughout the year. Mulberry harbours which were
Minister Gordon Brown, US
Supported by Lt Cdr Jim Brend The struggle for a foothold in towed across the Channel.
President Barack Obama and
French President Nicolas
Sarkozy all had prominent roles
in ceremonies of remembrance,
including those at Caen, Bayeux,
Room commemorates Hood
Arromanches and Colleville-sur-
A REFURBISHED room at the Royal
Ceremonies were also held on
Maritime Club in Portsmouth has
this side of the Channel for those
been renamed to mark a long-standing
who could not make it to France.
relationship with a ship association.
The occasion was particularly
The Hood Room is the club’s
poignant for members of the LST
boardroom, and doubles as a function
and Landing Craft Association, a
But for members of the HMS Hood
Falklands lodge opened
Association, the important thing is that
it helps keep alive the memory of their
celebrated battlecruiser.
Four members of the association,
A LODGE for veterans of the Falklands Conflict still continuing to pay for running costs.
including two who actually served in
has opened in Stanley, thanks to the concerted fund- In recognition of the help received from all the
the ship, gathered at the club to present
raising efforts of the Falklands Veterans Foundation major Service and ex-Service charities, the Lodge
a picture of the ship and a framed
and the South Atlantic Medal Association 1982. has been opened for use by members of the Forces
embroidered ship’s crest to club general
The idea for a home from home for visiting serving in the Falklands, when it is not in use by
manager John Alderson.
veterans was initiated by Derek ‘Smokey’ Cole, who veterans and their families, for the purpose of family
Association chairman Peter Heys
served in HMS Intrepid, around five years ago, and in visits.
noted how the group have held its
2007 he got together with Tony Davies, the chairman Since opening in February, the Lodge has been
annual reunion weekends at the club for ● HMS Hood Association members Keith Evans, Derick Collins,
of SAMA82 and a former Welsh Guardsman, to get fully booked, and with holders of the South Atlantic
many years, with attendances generally Peter Heys and Alec Kellaway with the ship’s badge
the ball rolling. Medal 1982 eligible for indulgence flights on the
topping 100.
The Royal British Legion made the first (and Falklands Air Bridge, a trip to the islands has become
“For all the years we have been coming here we Ted was the last survivor of the sinking of Hood
largest) donation, and other ex-Service charities piled easier and more affordable.
have had an excellent relationship with the club’s in the Battle of the Denmark Strait; on May 24 1941
in, which meant the target was achieved relatively Information on both the Lodge and indulgence
management and staff, and are always made to feel the ship, in company with the new battleship HMS
quickly, and the spacious four-bedroom Lodge was passages can be obtained from the SAMA 82
very welcome,” he said. Prince of Wales, engaged Bismarck and Prinz Eugen
officially opened earlier this year – around 18 months website or the SAMA 82 office
As an additional mark of respect, a small bar in the west of Iceland, and a German shell caused one of
after work began. at Blackwood, Gwent, address PO Box no 1982, or
corner of the Hood Room is to be named the Briggs Hood’s magazines to explode.
Although the initial capital cost of around a third from the Falklands Veterans Foundation website at Bar after the association’s president, Ted Briggs, who Just three men of the 1,418 ship’s company
of a million pounds has been covered, fund-raising is died last year at the age of 85. survived.
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