Royal Marines Association North Devon

ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE

Activities published in the most recent first

November - December

August - October

May- July

January - April

November - December

November's branch meeting was back in the Mess and following a chicken kiev supper the group settled for branch business.  After the formalities we recharged drinks and sat back to a "Blast from the Past" DVD of Chris Terrill completing the Commando Tests at CTC prior to embedding with the Brigade in Afghanistan.  It was noted that the "Green Lids" amongst the group twitched occasionally.

The branch paraded with Commando Logisitic Reg for Remembrance Parade at the Memorial Garden at RMB Chivenor.  The wreath was laid by Derek Sargent and the branch standard was on parade.  Wreaths were also laid at other parades in the area and there were representatives at the Cenotaph in London with BLESMA and The RAFA.  The contingent from Chivenor were invited back to the Mess for a carvery lunch and social with the Mess.

December is traditionally a busy month.  Members attended the Meat Draw in the Mess and were very successful - so much so Susuan McCulloch and Sue Shearsby were so embarrassed that they put at least one win back in for a redraw.

A group attended the Mess Christmas Ball and then our Christmas Appeal commenced on the Monday.  Over 11 days and in 4 locations the combined effort of around 16 members and 24 serving personnel from CLR rattled buckets in North Devon raising at magnificent £6400.00 for Corps related charities.  This will be sent to Central Office with the accumulated donations collected from tins we have around the area and a request for donations to be made to CLR Welfare, BLESMA, SSAFA and The RNBT as well as the lions share to the RMA.

We also held our Annual Christmas Party in the Officers Mess at RMB Chivenor.  This was well supported with 66 attending.  An excellent carvery was followed by some light entertainment by the Presidents Quiz and irish Bingo followed by a live "Crooner" in the bar who went through a slecetion of Christmas favourites and more modern tunes form the 50's and 60's - well modern to the assembled guests.  The raffle was an oustanding success with £600.00 being raised for branch funds.  The last revellers left the Mess at 0200 - a fitting end to another exellent year in North Devon.

August - October

The Branch enjoyed their monthly meeting at Bideford Rugby Club due to the Mess being close for Summer Leave.  A buffet was laid on and quiz and bingo followed the Chairman's mandetory briefing. 

The following day our Chair, John Peel, fulfiled his 1664 Challenge by swimming 14 miles across Bideford Bay in a 2 man relay for The Royal Marines Charity. It took just over 6 hours and £1500 was raised for the charity.

O the 19th of the month the branch moved to the Mariners Arms, Braunton for the Family Fun Day.  We held a raffle, Tombola, Find the Treasure and Guess the Weight.  There was a set of stocks with soggy sponges, BBQ and live band.  over £400 was raised for The RMC.

With the Mess at RMB Chivenor reopening in September following Summer leave they held a beer festival.  6 branch members attended an excellent day with free beer and cider, Hog Roast, BBQ, Live Bands and a tankard to take home.

A good group of members RV'd at CTC for the Annual RMA Reunion.  A good weekend with the new format.  There was no shooting this year so Jacky and the Ladies couldn't defend their crowns.  However, the quiz went ahead with North Devon A team coming out on top.

The branch returned to the WO&SNO's Mess for the September meeting with a talk from The Chairman on his North Sea exploits. On the Saturday 3 branch members attended a Village Fete in Braunton with the branch stand.  This wasn't a fund raiser but to raise awareness of the RMA but never missing a chance a small amount was collected. On the Sunday 15 souls were up early doors to marshall runners at the Barnstaple Marathon as they progressed around the airfield at RMB Chivenor.

On the Wednesday the branch was represented at the cheque presentation, receiving £200.00 for branch funds and annoucement of next years marathon event. 

Finally in September branch members turned to at B&M to fulfil a promise to the manager there to carry out a staff challenge.  So an exercise bike was provided and staff and branch members took it in turn to cycle the equivalent distance around B&M stores in Devon.  An excellent day with the branch raising over £500.00 for the Royal Marines Charity.

After such a busy month October was reasonably quiet with the branch meeting at the Mess and the Mess Corps birthday dinner where a number of branch members who are Honorary Members of the Mess were invited to attend.

May - July

First up in May a small group went up to London for this year's Graspan Parade.  The parade was smaller than normal but still a good day out with a receiption at the UJC to follow which was excellent value for money.

We held our AGM in May with all officers being re-elected.  We also welcomed Roger Staines to the committee.  The Presidnet gave his annual report as did the chairman.  A summary can be found in the Minutes for May.

We also spent 4 days in May supporting Commando Logistic Regiment with their support for the Global Challenge.  We visited a number of towns in North Devon, following the runners and also went to Bridgewater and Weston-Super-Mare to help the teams there.  A profitable few days raising £2600 for the Global Challenge.

The main event in June was our Regimental Dinner.  As usual by kind permission of the RSM this was held in the WO&SNCO's Mess.  Formal guests included our old friends Brigadier Charlie and Trish Hobson, Coprs RSM Phil and Anita Gilby, Unit RSM Tim Jukes and the CO - Lt Col Dave Nicholson and his wife Sarah.  80+ people sat down and enjoyed an excellent meal, port toasts.  The RSM's were quaiched as were Rafflettes Fran Rivenberg and Jacky Peel.  Unsung hero's Bobs Martin and Fergusson received a branch plaque.  All in all a great evening with a discos until late.

June continued to be busy with Armed Forces Week.  First up was the Flag Breaking Ceremony in Victoria Park, Bideford with members of 11 ATTRM in attendance and at the end of the week we set up on the airfield at RMB Chivenor for the 1st Armed Forces Cdo Logs Open Day.  On the Friday 2000 school children came along to see the displays and on saturday it was an Open Day for the public.  Estmate visitors werer over 3000.

At the end of the month the Chairman and President attended the SW Regional AGM and Merger Roadshow at the White Ensign Club, Exeter.

In July the branch held it's annual BBQ at the Water Sports Centre at Chivenor.  This was very well attended.  Following the Chairmans Report the guests were entertained by Roli and his Survival Road Show before tucking into a BBQ.  2 branch members, John Peel and Edd Sambrook also paddled to Lundy Island, about 17 miles, for the SBSA.  It took 6 hours but well worth it with over £1000 being raised.

Branch members were also asked to help with 24 Cdo RE who were supporting te Global Challenge runners.  Along with Mike Harper and Gay Humphries tickling their pipes we bucket rattled for a couple of days and got to meet Prince Charles on a visit to Barnstaple.

To bring the month of July to a close and end a busy 3 months - 10 members attended the Summer Ball at the WO&SNCO's Mess and then supported 11 ATT Instow with their Families Day and Open Day for Appledore and Instow Regatta.

January - April


January saw the branch having amini Burns Supper with Mike Harper piping in the Haggis and then reciting the "Ode" .  A tot of malt was shared by all to toast Robbie Burns.During this period we have had to branch members cross the bar. In March Sybil Rowland died after a struggle with illness and in April we lost Dave "Tilley" Tyzack suddenly.  They will both be missed and thoughts as always are with the families.


In February there was the usual branch meeting with special guest Mark Ormrod giving a very motivational talk about his injuries and life after recovery.  We also had a Joiners and Leavers where the Chairman gave the Seniors an overview of the RMA and the branch.  To finish the month you entertained our more Senior members and the branch widows with lunch at the Barnstaple Hotel.  This is the 3rd year we have done this and it is proving very popular.


March was quite busy with a branch meeting at the WO&SNCO's Mess at RMB Chivenor.  Following a meal in the Mess dining area the Chairman went through Branch business and then showed a couple of short DVD's done parachute training for water jumps. A retreat to the bar followed. A group of us attended the RHS Rosemoor Wilderness Weekend where we had the branch stand with ration pack sampling, a filed medical centre and ambulanmce, Rolly's Roadshow with wodd craft demos and a military equipment stance.  Med Squadron turned to in their own time to support this.  A good PR exercise. March also had a group of 10 attend the Mountbatten Festival of Music in London.  We were fortunate to be invited to the Tower of London for an evening with a Yeoman Warden as guests of the Corps RSM.  Saturday was a leisure day and then we went for a pre-concert meail in a French restaurant.  Our 2I/C was a little taken back when ordering a bottle of wine allowed the waiter to recommend one at the cost of £25.  He won't do that again in a hurry.  Following the concert we returned to te hotel for a few nightcaps.  The bar seemd to become the RSM's Mess for the night with nearly all the Corps RSM's present.


In April we held our branch meeting at the Mariners Arms in Braunton.  This was a first time for the branch and was because the Unit was closed for leave.  The evening went very well with a buffet and a few games of skittles.  18 members attended.