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Royal Marines Association North Devon


Articles Submitted but not necessarily published

The North Devon Poppy Quilt

Mariners Family's Day

North Devon Sainsbury's RM Charity Support Appeal 2016

Mike Culley's Ironman duathlon for RMA/RMC

Branch Discount Scheme Launch

Autumn Issue


The North Devon Royal Marines Poppy Quilt.

Mike and Rita Bevan, friends of branch members , John and Liz Gingell approached them with an idea of making a Poppy Quilt for a military charity.  John and Liz approached the branch with this offer and an idea was hatched. It was suggested that the Royal Marine Charity could be appropriate as there were some potentially ideal functions where such an item could attract a reasonable donation.  This was agreed with Mike and Rita.  There were some conditions attached that the branch would pay for the materials but the labour would be free.  This was also agreeable.  And so the project started. 

During a “work in progress” visit the Chairman, John Peel got onto talking about the work the branch does and also that of the RMA and RMC. A few days later a revised offer came back from Mike and Rita.  Not only would the production time - around 150/200 hours - be free but the materials, well over £1500 worth, would now also be free.

In May the quilt was complete and delivered to the North Devon Branch

The challenge was how to maximize the fund raising potential of this unique item.  The answer was to donate it to Jonathan Ball at the Branch Regimental Dinner with the condition he used his creative ingenuity and that of your marketing and fund raising team to promise to raise as much as possible for the Royal Marines Charity.


North Devon RMA Family Fun Day at the Mariners Arms – Braunton.

The branch was fortunate enough to be invited to run a Family Fun Day at a local pub in Braunton close to Commando Logistic Regiments base at RMB Chivenor.  So on the 6th August 10 branch members, 2 of which are still serving who donated a day of their leave, we moved to the pub to set up the day.  The garden was decked out in Corps Colours and “Mike the Marine” – our mannequin, was standing in the bar directing everyone.

Along with the branch stand and “Gizzits”, displaying what the RMA and particularly North Devon Branch do, we had a “Guess the Weight of a full field pack and fighting order carried by Royal Marines, a “Find the Sniper” competition, Tombola for the kids, Raffle for the grown-ups with 60 prizes and Roli Jones’s Survival Cooking Road Show.  There was also a BBQ and band provided by the pub.

With good weather enjoyed by all; the public were hugely generous with their support.  By 1730 we had raised around £500 for the RMA.

Di and Fred the licensees were so impressed with the day they want to make it an annual Summer event.  So we now have another source of funding raising for Corps Charities.

Royal Marines Charity Support Appeal 2016.

On the 4th of July the North Devon Branch of the RMA and Commando Logistic Regiment decamped to Sainsbury’s Barnstaple for their annual Support Appeal Challenge.

Over the next 5 days the team cycled and rowed continuously for 13 hours each day.  The aim was to cover the equivalent distance of the coastline of South Georgia, East and West Falklands an approximate distance of 3900 kilometres on 2 Wattbikes.  At the same time 2 Concept Rowers covered the distance from Grytviken South Georgia to Ajax bay East Falklands, approximately 1800 kilometres.  This was achieved by a single RMA team who covered 13 hours everyday and teams of 8 from each Squadron of Commando Logs who covered 4 hour each.

The main objective was to raise as much as we could for the RMC. So when not doing the physical challenge serving and retired RMA were out front holding a buckets and interacting with the shoppers.

By the end of the week over 150 personnel had covered over 4400k on the 2 bikes and well over the 1800k on the rowing machines.  The big winners were the RMC who have just received a cheque from the North Devon branch for £8001.73.

Great fun, great support from Sainsbury’s, their shoppers and CLR.  And guess what they all want us back again next year.

Summer Issues

Collaborations Between RMA North Devon and Cdo Logs Reg RM in Support of Mike Culleys Ironman Duathlon.

Earlier this year Ex RAF Policeman, Mike Culley, approached North Devon RMA Chairman with a proposition.  He wanted to celebrate 75 years on the planet and thought about swimming 5 miles in Ilfracombe Pool and cycling 110 miles all in one day.  Mike was raised in Portsmouth and brought up in the military.  He served with the RAF in Cyprus, Aden, North Ireland finishing at RAF Chivenor soon to become RMB Chivenor. So in addition to his primary objective of the challenge Mike thought it a good idea to try to raise funds for a military charity.  So it was agreed that North Devon RMA and Commando Logs Regiment RM would provide the logistical support and the receiving charities would be the RMA and RMC.

From January 2016 Mike trained hard for the event and on the 22nd May arrived at 0700 to commence the swim of 320 lengths.  John Peel, RMA North Devon Chairman, accompanied Mike on the swim and had arranged for 8 RM and Army Commando’s to support Mike on his cycle.  Getting out of the pool at 1000 hrs Mike donned his lycra and joined the cycle team for 6-7 hours in the saddle.

In addition we had Mike Harper with his bagpipes and Bob Martin, USMCL, driving a minibus provided by the local community as support vehicle.

At every opportunity Mike flashed up the pipes and buckets were rattled.  In addition a “Just Giving” website was set up and over 20 tins distributed around the area and in camp at RMB Chivenor.

By 1900 after 6.5 hours in the saddle Mike arrived back at Ilfracombe Swimming Pool.  In thanking everyone for the outstanding support – Mike expressed how impressed and honoured he had been to have cycled with such a group of outstanding gentlemen.  He said it had been a privileged.

Although the main objective was for Mike to achieve this milestone at 75 the money raised for RM Charities totalled over £1600.00 and counting.

 See Photo Gallery for Photos                                                





Spring Issue

MA North Devon Discount Scheme


With the drive to increase membership of the Royal Marines Association and encourage younger members of the serving Corps and their families to join, North Devon RMA, in collaboration with Commando Logistic Regiment have been working on setting up a unique discount scheme with local businesses.

This brainchild was initiated by Colonel Bob Baxendale RM, CO of Cdo Logs and Sgt Lisa Thompson, AGC who is Officer Manager at Commando Logs volunteered to do the groundwork.

The idea was to encourage local business to offer discounts to members of the RMA on production of only their RMA ID card and not any other military ID card.

There are currently over 35 businesses offering a variety of discounts. The businesses include Cafes, Solicitors, Butchers, Opticians, Cycle Shops, pet Shops, Surf Shops, Hair and Beauty Salons, Restaurants and pubs.

In the picture is John Peel, Chairman of the North Devon Branch with Sgt Lisa Thompson and Brett Lawrence – Partner of Slee Blackwell Solicitors, Braunton who are offering 10% off their standard fees.

It is intended to publicise the scheme in all Messes and families clubs at RMB Chivenor to entice new membership particularly from the families. There is already interest from RMA Poole who are looking to launch a similar scheme in their area.

See Photo Gallery for Photos