Royal Marines Association North Devon


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Branch News Letter – July 2018.

Due to on-going commitments by committee members there was again no committee meeting this month. However, below are reports on activities completed recently, the accounts balances and what’s coming up.

The Branch BBQ at the Hoof Inn

  • There were 38 attending with 24 apologies. The Chairman welcomed former RM Paul (Jan) Newland & Kirsty. He also thanked Stephen (Boden) (Branch Member and former RM) and Richie (Bray)(Serving RM) for arranging the food and chefing and Paul (Jan) (Newland)(Former RM) for running the bar. The planned talk on Alpacas had to be cancelled at short notice and was replaced by our own ‘wildlife from the wilderness’ Roli demonstrating prepping and cooking a salmon on an open fire. The raffle raised £1280 for branch funds – outstanding generosity.

  • The Chairman went through some branch business and details of this are documented below in Chairman’s Report. However he did explain why the evening was free to all attendees as follows. The Late Pauline Winslow’s Gift to the Branch – Just before Pauline passed she requested or insisted Bob ensured the branch enjoyed an evening “On her”. Why? Pauline felt she (and Bob) had been made so very welcome to the branch when they moved from Swindon and wanted to repay that that kind gesture. So she had made provision in a “brown envelope” which she instructed Bob to pass to the Chairman. Complying with Pauline’s wishes to treat the branch to a social evening and in agreement with Bob – part of her gift to the branch paid for the BBQ including refreshments.

  • Recognition of Unsung Hero - Last year it was decided to recognise a couple of members who when asked generally at short notice and often unseen by other members had gone the extra mile. This year this idea was continued presenting Dave Rowland with a plaque and certificate (he’s now certified!!) at the Regimental Dinner. However, one other has over recent years never said no when asked to help out. John Davis couldn’t be with us at the dinner but was at the BBQ and was awarded a branch plaque and certificate in acknowledgement of his contribution to the branch.

  • Homeport. Branch President and Southwest Trustee informed all at the BBQ that the association between the RMA and Homeport is to cease. What will replace it - is yet to be announced.

  • There were no other “Matters Arising”.

Support: Sadly we lost a very old former RM recently who had been on our support radar. Jim Roberts came to our attention via SSAFA and we managed a few visits and phone calls. However, we lost contact around the beginning of the year - only to find out a recently he had passed away 10 weeks ago. He had been moved from his home to a Care Home in January but we weren’t informed. It is not good when we have made contact that we aren’t able to at least give a veteran a good send off. So it is essential that for us to be able to carry out the support role effectively we hear about those who may not be connected to our happy band but still deserve our support.

So as usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let Bruce or I know. We can only help if we have info.

Accounts: Branch Account: £ 3496.58 Charity Account: £1012.84 Social Account: £509.98

Chairman’s Report:

  • Day Out with 11 ATT at Instow. Around 14 branch members had a great day out as guests of 11 ATT. A briefing by Major Martyn Heenan was followed by a tour of the site and vehicles + a run through the Dip Tank in land rover and BRV, sporting the latest fashion in rubber wear. After lunch we moved to Zeta berth where we had a trip up the Trot in an LCM and spin in an ORC. The landing craft did do a beach landing at Crow Point where some aged RM’s felt the need to recreated storming the beach but in very slow time!! A good day out nurturing relationships with Arromanche Camp Instow.

  • Regimental Dinner. For those who attended the branch Regimental dinner I think you all had a good night – attended by 80 members and guests. Our Top Table and other branch guests certainly enjoyed themselves and it was good to be able to spread the gospel according to the North Devon Branch. We were presented with a picture from RSM Tim Jukes and a Cdo Dagger from Brig Richard Spencer to go in our newly acquired display cabinet in the passageway outside the Ajax bay Room. We presented Tim with a branch plaque and will be presenting him with an engraved tankard (which wasn’t ready for the dinner) prior to his draft to 30 CdoIX.

  • Beat Retreat. 4 branch members attended Beat Retreat on Horse Guards, London where the branch standard was part of the Guard of Honour for HRH Prince William.

  • Armed Forces Week – Flag Raising. A good turnout at this Council Armed Forces Week Flag Raising event in Victoria Park, Bideford. Unfortunately the Parade Marshall pulled out at the last minute and a stand in was less than effective. This will be sorted next year. A good reception in Bideford Rugby Club provided by Torridge Council followed.

  • Sainsbury’s 2018. This has just ended and over 5 days at 13 hours a day we cycled over 2200 miles and raised over £6500 for RM Charities. There was good support from CLR and Instow. My thanks to all who volunteered to help holding buckets and cycling. I have had words of appreciation from the CO and RSM at CLR, CE of RMC and RMA, Marketing Manager from the RMC and Ops Managers (West and East) of the RMA.

What’s Coming Up

  • Instow Weekend July 28th and 29th:
    • July 28th – 11 ATT Instow Families Day – 12/1300 to late. The branch are support this event again this year and will have the branch stand and RMA shop on site. There has already been some volunteers but if you would like to help for a short time or just come along for a day out please pass your name to John Peel by 23rd July. There is a £5 entry fee. It is a Families Day (inc Kids) so there is plenty to do and see, refreshment stands, bar and bands playing. If you give John Peel your name he will be able to advise on final timings etc. ID will be needed to get on the base.
    • July 29th – Instow Village Community Day – Instow Beach. This is a Village Community Day, where the branch supports the event with kit from the base plus our stand. Again it would be useful to have 3 or 4 helpers. The event runs for the afternoon only. Again there are already some volunteers already but if you think you can help please pass your name to John Peel.

  • August 10th – Branch Meeting – Bideford RFC. 1800 – There will be a buffet provided (a small charge applies), the bar will be open and we may run a Quiz/Bingo or some other relaxing activity or talk. Names as usual to John Peel by 6th August.

  • August 18th – Family Fun Day – The Mariners Arms, Braunton for Royal Marine Charities - 1300-1730. This event has raised over £800 in the last 2 years. Everyone is welcome but as usual some volunteers to help on our games and stall would be good.
    • Activities – The Stocks, Splat the Rat, Bouncy Castle, Kids Tombola, Cam Cream face Painting, Ration Pack sampling
    • Band
    • RMA Shop
    • BBQ – 50p from each purchase will go to RM Charities
    • Important Please. The Raffle – This is the main source of fund raising revenue. As we don’t want to go to our regular Spring and Christmas Raffles donors we need to find others who are willing to donate. We are not asking for personal donation (but wouldn’t refuse them either) but if anyone knows of a business they could approach who would like to donate a prize please let the Chairman know. He will be able to provide a letter of introduction if needed or go and speak to them directly.
  • Some time during week commencing August 20th. – The Long Swim 2018 for Royal Marine Charities.

  • September 8th – Beer Festival – RMB Chivenor – Details to follow.

  • September 15th/16th - Royal Marines Corps Families Weekend
    • Event open to everyone. Free to attend for members and associate members, £1 for none members with photo ID. Access by ticket only, available on line on the RMA website where you will find more info at: www.royalmarinesassociation/
    • The Saturday will be full of activities for those in the mood and the bars, a pop up cafe and other more sedate activities for those who wish to chill a bit more. Gates open at 1100
    • Band Concert in the evening £5 - finishes at 2030
    • Buffet Dance to follow £6 – finishes at 2359
    • RMA Parade on the Sunday.
    • If you fancy attending, even for just the Saturday (an opportunity for those other cap badges to be able to gain entry to the Home of the Royal Marines) and need help getting entry tickets the Chairman, JP is very willing to get tickets on your behalf and get them to you.

  • September Branch Meeting 28th – Date to be confirmed
  • September 30th – Barnstaple Marathon – This is an early morning 0800 to 1100 event where we provide marshalling (10-12 personnel) on the airfield. It is important that we continue to support this event as we receive an annual donation to the branch of £200 for our services. We have been invited to have our branch stand and RMA shop in Marathon Village at Rock Park as well. Please pass names to John Peel.

  • October Branch Mtg: Themed Evening – RM Corps Birthday, Trafalgar Day, Memorable Army Date and RAF 100. Details to follow.

  • Remembrance Parades - The Cenotaph – Application for anyone to march at this year’s Remembrance Parade in London is open through the Ops Manager Richie Puttock at Central Office. This is a change from the usual format for the event and hasn’t happened before. Cut off for application is 15th August. If you would like to be there and need more info how to proceed speak to JP. Of course, the branch will be supporting the parade at RMB Chivenor and other local events, as usual. This year there is an addition national event – “Beacon Lighting” in Bideford to mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1. Details to follow.

Other Business:

  • Offer of Free Parking: Branch member John and Liz Gingell are offering free parking if your holiday flies out of Bournemouth International Airport. The airport is a £5 taxi fare away from their house, which is a little cheaper than £50+ for parking at the airport. This is an open offer going forward, which would only be restricted by the date and space availability. So next time you fly from Bournemouth contact John Peel well in advance to see if “Gingell Parking” is available.
  • MFM 2019. Preferential tickets are available for next year’s Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall. This is an exclusive offer to the RMA to secure seats in advance of ticketing going public. Seats are available at prices ranging from £30 to £40. As application for tickets must be received at Central Office by 24th August and can only be applied for by the branch Chairman/Secretary you need to get your request in the Chairman, John Peel by 20th August at the latest.
  • News/Comments/Items to Report: If anyone has something they would like to report on – news, something the branch should know about please or comments on anything feel free to get in touch with any of the committee and it will be discussed and included in future minutes.

Branch Matters

John Peel on 01237477438 or07845989377 or email [email protected]

Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected] - Currently overseas

Jacko Jackson on 07821 448043 or email [email protected]

Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

Welfare Matters

Bruce White on 01271 346611 or email [email protected]

Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]

Next Meeting – A Buffet Evening: August 10th – At Bideford RFC - commencing at 1800.

If you haven’t made the Chairman aware of your planned attendance please do so by the 6th August so food can be ordered.

Committee Meeting Minutes – June 2018.

Due to commitments by the committee and pending branch activities there was no committee meeting this month. However, below are reports on activities completed since the AGM, the accounts balances and what’s coming up.

Accounts: Branch £3595.63 Charity £905.04 Social £2889.43

  • Note that payments for the Regimental Dinner are due out of the Social Account and the branch account is looking very healthy due to the kind legacy bequeathed by the late Pauline Winslow.


  • Members attended the funeral of John Carr, Army Commando who served with 3rd Cdo Brigade at Suez and was a Associate Member of the branch. The family were hugely grateful for our support and didn’t expect it.
  • As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.

Chairman’s Report:

  • No mtg in June. Due to various activities in June it was agreed at May’s branch meeting to cancel our June get together.
  • Chivenor Garrison Families Day 19th May. At short notice the branch stand and shop were wheeled out to Chivenor for this event. The garrison were extremely grateful for our attendance. This was about raising awareness and interaction with the Garrison. Not a fundraiser but on the day we raised £35 for RM Charities and sold £168 of merchandise from the shop. We received a letter of thanks from the Garrison.
  • Ajax Bay Boxing Evening – 23rd May. This was a change to usual format for this Mess function, which is normally buy invitation only from the RSM. This year, branch member, Brain Mulholland put on a boxing evening with the event being opened to all. Sadly as we only found out at very short notice there wasn’t time to publish information. However we had a table of 10 at the evening. It is possible this will happen again next year when hopefully we will get better warning.
  • Beat Retreat - 31st May. The branch standard and 4 members of the branch attended this event in London. The Massed Bands were excellent and the standard was one of 10 saluting the Royal representative on arrival. Following we attended the Corps Reception at Lancaster House.
  • Branch Outing to 11 ATT, Instow – 7th June. The branch was well represented at this “Away Day” where 15 members enjoyed the hospitality of the OC and Squadron at Instow. The event included an overview of activities and the function of the base, viewing the equipment, a tour of the workshops, a go in the Dip Tank and ride in the BRV and a trip up the “Trot” on a Landing Craft and ORC. All in all a great day and good to forge stronger relationships with the base.
  • Branch Regimental Dinner – 9th June. 80 members of the branch and their guests enjoyed another excellent evening at the WO&SNCO’s Mess. Brigadier Richard Spencer took the salute of the Bideford Youth Pipe Band who performed Mess Beatings. He said in 30’something years in the Corps he had never heard Mess Beatings by a Piep Band and how great it was. The dinner went well with a number of Port Fines supplementing the purchase of the port, a very successful raffle raising £660 for branch funds, a well-attended disco and a very informative address by Brigadier Spencer. Dave Rowlands was rewarded for his often-unseen support for the branch; RSM Tim Jukes received half of a farewell gift and presented the Chairman with the first item for the new display cabinet in the Mess. Brigadier Spencer also made a presentation to the branch of a Commando Dagger in acknowledgment of the work the branch continues to do. Mr Vice and his good Lady Mrs Sec were quaiched having just left the Corps after 37 years. All in all a truly great evening.
  • Armed Forces Week Flag Raising Service 25th June. There was an excellent branch turnout for this event, held annually in Victoria Park Bideford. It is probably the only event of it’s kind in North Devon, acknowledging the Armed Forces.

Other Matters:

  • The Annual Sainsbury’s Challenge for RM Charities. The branch will be decamping to Sainsbury’s at 0800 on Monday 2nd July for the annual 5 day marathon to raise awareness and funds for the RMC. Support as every by Commando Logs and 11 ATT it is hoped to cycle 2000 miles on 2 or 3 bikes of the 5 days. This is the distance from John O’Groats to Land’s End and back via most of the bases where Royal Marines can be located. We have a rota for both bikes and buckets but if you fancy popping along we can always use you.
  • Making History: From a proposal by the Committee it was agreed at the meeting that the Branch sponser a brick in the wall at the new Corps Museum. This will cost a donation of £120.00 It you want to personally sponsor your won brick you can find out how by visiting:
  • The Branch Admin Team.
    • This has yet to be started. But hopefully when there is more time after Sainsbury’s the Committee will look at how best to progress with this plan.
  • WO&SNCO’s Mess Summer Ball –21st July- Those attending know who they are and have details.
  • 11 ATT Instow– Families Day – July 28th - £5 per head. Last year there was plenty to see on base, refreshments both food and drinks (a bar). The day starts around 1300 and BBQ at around 1700. There is also entertainment into the evening. Tickets are £5 per head. We will be looking for volunteers to man the branch stand and shop. But this event is open to anyone who would like to attend. Names to John Peel.
  • Instow Village Community Open Day July 29th – On the beach-we will have the stand and shop there. This is a free to attend event. So if you are local come along and see what the Community gets upto.
  • August Branch Meeting – 10th August commencing at 1800 at Bideford Rugby Club. As usual there will be a buffet (small charge applicable) and paying bar. Names to the Chairman by 6th August.
  • The Mariners Arms, Braunton, Fun Day – August 18th – 1300 to 1800. This is the 3rd year we have been invited to this outing. In previous years we have raised around £450 for Corps Charities. This is a work in progress. We have promised a number of activities. There will be a band and BBQ and we will be running a raffle. Volunteers to help on the day please to John Peel.
  • The Barnstaple Marathon – 30th September – We will be providing marshals again. Details to follow.
  • Advanced Notice of the Branch Corps Birthday/Trafalgar Day and Armed Forces Memorable Date. This will be our October branch meeting and will be run on the same lines as the “Burns Night” in February. Meet at 1800, branch meeting at 1830, seated for 1900 for a meal and some entertainment.
  • Remembrance Parade – November 11th with Beacon Lighting in the Evening - The branch will support RMB Chivenor with hopefully representatives at other parades. This year there will be a Beacon Lighting Ceremony at 1900 in Bideford (Pollyfields Community Centre, East-the-Water) as part of the nationwide commemoration of 100th Anniversary of the ending of WW1. All are welcome to both events.

Branch Matters

John Peel on 01237477438 or07845989377 or email [email protected]

Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected] - Currently overseas

Jacko Jackson on 07821 448043 or email [email protected]

Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

Welfare Matters

Bruce White on 01271 346611 or email [email protected]

Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]

Next Meeting: July 13th – The Annual BBQ at the Hoof Inn (by the Gym outside the camp at RMB Chivenor - commencing at 1800.

If you haven’t made the Chairman aware of your planned attendance please do so by the 9th July so food can be ord

Minutes for the AGM of the North Devon Branch Royal Marines Association 18th May 2018 held in the Sergeants’ Mess RMB Chivenor at 1900.

  • Following a Beef Stroganoff dinner 28 members sat down to commence the AGM. There were 23 apologies.

  • In Sorrow: The Chairman brought the meeting to order with reminding all that the branch had lost 5 Branch Members and 5 other RM comrades and friends since the last AGM. There was a moments silence to reflect on our losses.
  • Welcomes and Apologies: There were 23 apologies received and the Chairman welcomed branch members:

Pete Phillips

Derek and Marj Sargent

Cliff Coates and daughter, Jennifer

  • Matters Arising: There were no matters arising from last years AGM minutes. Proposed as a true record by Tom Rivenberg and seconded by Col Sherasby they were approved by the branch.

  • Treasurers Report for 2017:

The Chairman reminded all the report was for January to December 2017 as this was now the RMA financial year. He also reported that the records had been signed off by branch members and submitted to Central Office. A copy of the completed accounts document and supporting information was available for anyone wants to have a look at them.

    • INCOME -
  • Income from Events: £618.95
  • Other Income: £1873.75
  • Grants: £327.10
  • Donations to Branch: £896.41
  • Raffles: Branch Meetings: £577.40
  • Fund Raising: £16,976.65
  • Total: £21,270.26


      • Stationary etc: £194.64
      • Other Branch Expenditure: ££2753.48
      • Donations to RMA: £7201.37
      • Donations to RMC 10829.97
      • Other Donations: £275.00
      • Total: £21,254.46

  • UPTO DATE BALANCES AS AT 18.05.2017.

    • Branch: £2768.63
    • Charity: £818.21
    • Social: £239.43

The Chairman thanked to Fran for her time as Treasurer and the work she has done to managing the money matters of the branch. He mentioned that due to the successes of the branch and forming of 3 separate accounts to help compliance the Treasure’s role had become more complex. She received a round of applause from the members.

  • Support

    • The chairman reported that Bruce and the branch Support Officers had been keeping a watchful eye on a number of former RM’s and other cap badges – some not branch members - over the past 12 months. In addition the branch kept in touch with our branch widows and more senior members who weren’t necessarily on the primary watch list but were finding it difficult to attend branch events.
    • The chairman emphasised that this was a vital part of the branches and the branch was still looking to expand our group of Support Officers to help share the work.

Although Bruce wasn’t in attendance the Chairman thanked him for his diligence and hard work in his role as Volunteer Support Officer for the branch. It has been a busy year for Bruce, particularly as he has had his own personal health issues. There was also thanks to Phil Waites and Mac Grenney who have offered to assist in this vital work.

  • A Chariman’s Report on the Branch Year.
  • The Branch Standard - was on parade at numerous national and local events at such things as Graspan, Beat Retreat, The Remembrance Events, Armed Forces Day in Bideford, North Devon Vets Expo, and sadly a number of funerals.
  • Some of the RM and Branch Related Events where the Branch was represented: MFM, Armed Forces Week at Bideford and RMB Chivenor, Graspan Parade, Sainsbury’s Challenge, The Barnstaple Marathon, Survivalist Weekend at RHS Rosemoor, The Yomp.
  • The RMA Shop: In 2017 the branch supported for the RMA Shop and took it to a few events selling over £700.00 of merchandise.
  • The RMA Reunion – 20 members attended the new format, which included a Families Day on the Saturday with many more activities than normal. Reporting that having been Runners Up for the last number of years the A team were successful in the Inter Branch Quiz.
  • CLR Events: The branch had representation at every Joiners and Leavers, the Summer and Christmas Balls, The Mess Beer Festival and in support of the Corps Global Challenge around North Devon as well as further north in Somerset.
  • Branch Nights: “Pay as You Dine” specials were enjoyed by all at a very reasonable price prior to the meetings. This has become a very sociable warm up to the main event.
  • Average attendance had been 20+ with at least 15+ genuine apologies from the more loyal supporters. The chairman noted there was a membership of over 100. He sincerely thanked to this loyal band for the support they give the branch.
    • Entertainment: Summer BBQ, Bingo Nights and DVD’s, Roli’s Roadshow, Skittles Night, Burns Supper
  • 28 More Senior Branch Members enjoyed the now annual lunch at the Barnstaple Hotel in February.
  • An enjoyable Christmas Party was held in the Officers Mess with a record turnout of 80 enjoying a carvery meal and a few games enhanced the party atmosphere. The Regimental Dinner in May was attended by Charlie Hobson, Lt Col Dave Nicholson, RSM Tim Jules, Corps RSM Phil Gilby. Membership

    • Although this had slowed the branch continues to attract new members wanting to join the branch and hope to continue this trend.
  • Fund Raising Challenges Summary:

        • Global Challenge: £3048.88
        • Sainsbury’s: £6224 .26
        • The Mariners Families day: £404.72
        • The Long Swim: £1564.24
        • B&M Challenge: £521.99
        • Christmas Appeal: £7303.35 - branch tins dotted in pubs and shops raising over £900.00 of this. We made donations from this total of:
          • £ 5003.35 to the RMA
          • £1000 to Cdo Logs Welfare Fund
          • £500 each to BLESMA North Devon and RNBT
          • £300 to SSAFA North Devon
        • Money requested from Central Office – Nil
  • The Globe and Laurel magazine had published articles from North Devon in every addition
  • The Branch and RMA Website. The branch has tried to reflect everything about the branch even though it is sometimes a struggle to keep them upto date and include documents and Trustee Minutes from Central Office. Hopefully with Roger taking charge it will improve going forward.
  • The RMA Central Office.
  • The Merger. Following approval by the membership work was ongoing for the convergence of the RMA and RMC as one RM charity. Completion is expected to be later this year. This will not affected the operational status of the RMA but will hopefully co-ordinate the work of both.
  • RMA Head Office has a new CEO, Ops Manager – West Region and Finance Manager
  • The RMA website continues to evolve and endeavours to be the main tool of communication for all
  • The Welfare Support arm of the RMA has expanded and more volunteers are being trained up for this vital roll.
  • The President’s Address. Derek started his address by thanking the Chairman for another years hard work and making the branch what it was. He covered many points regarding the branch and Central Office, expanding on what the Chairman had reported as follows:
  • The Merger and that due to some VAT issues with the RNRM Charity will still go ahead but in a slightly different way. There would, however, be no change to the way the branch worked.
  • The RM Shop of which he was now an unpaid Trustee
  • The Trustees who were now unpaid Directors of the RMA.
  • The New CEO – Brigadier Richard Spencer RM
  • The New West Region Operations Manager – WO1 Phil Gilby RM
  • The New President – The Commandant General Charlie Stickland RM
  • The Reunion which should see greater participation from the serving Corps.
  • Election of Officers and Committee. The Chairman said that normally when the Officers were elected and if there was others wanting to stand he would step down and the President would chair the meeting. As there was no other nominees the Chari conducted the formalities of voting in the Committee.

      • With Fran stepping down the nomination for Treasurer was Susan McCulloch. A vote was taken and Susan was elected unchallenged to take up the port.
      • All other committee members hade offered to continue in post.

The creation of new roles which are not direct Officers and therefore do not need voting onto the Committee.

      • Roger Staines: Websites Editor
      • Admin Team: Steve Marshall – Ex-Officio Committee Member, Fran Rivenberg, JC Bowden, Richard Martin
      • It is also hoped to increase the sizes of the Support Team
      • Unit Liaison (Vice Chair in Waiting) – Jacko Jackson
  • The Chairman’s Personal Thoughts.

  • The North Devon Branch is held in high esteem at Central Office and the RMC for the work we do. – quote the RMC – we are a model branch and only one of about 6 who support the RMC.

  • We still punch well above our weight and our relationship with Commando Logs enhances the reputation of the RMA within the serving Corps.

  • Ever mindful of our multiple cap badges within our ranks I want to ensure those from other military backgrounds are valued and hope they feel they get value for money from the RMA and in the event of any needs we will continue to work with them, contacting appropriate agencies where support can be given. We would be alongside them at there every step of their journey.

  • I also want to ensure that all members, but particularly our more active membership, feel we operate the branch in a professional manner and continue to be happy with what we have to offer and how we carry out our duties and responsibilities.

  • My Personal thanks to the Committee for the sterling work they do: I have already mentioned the work of Fran as Treasurer and Bruce for his diligence with the Welfare Support we give. My thanks also go to Colin my 2 I/C for his steady guidance, advice and linkage to the serving Corps, Sue for her spell and grammar checking and the orderly way she takes my jumble of words and puts them into something coherent, ensuring our membership are kept up to date with branch affairs, the Rafflettes- Fran and Jacky who have done an outstanding job again this year and Steve who in an adhoc role continues to find time in his busy life to help the branch operate successfully.

  • My thanks to all members who have supported our branch nights, dinners and fund raising activities. I feel a special mention should be given two Unsung Hero’s this year. Dave Rowland and John Davis, have be stalwarts when I have asked for support particularly out of the area. Also thanks to Pete Johnson who has being doing some handyman work free of charge for branch members.

  • Other Notices + Dates for Your Diary: April’s minutes were very comprehensive but a ”Heads Up” of events, which are just around the corner.

  • Branch Day Out at 11 ATTRM – 7th June – Details. Around 35 places but open to other SW branches. Names to John Peel by 4th June.
  • Arrive 0900
  • Names please

  • The Regimental Dinner - June 9th has around 60+ attending so far with some regulars still to confirm. So we could be up around 70/80 by the dinner.

  • Raffle tickets will be available on the night but they are available tonight. This is an essential way of subsidising the cost of the dinner. There are some excellent prizes on offer.

  • Susan McCulloch the dinner co-ordinator this year mentioned she had forms with her.

  • Torridge DC Armed Forces Flag Raising - June 25th – Victoria Park, Bideford

  • 1800 for 1830 step off – blazers, berets and medals

  • Unveiling of RBL’s WW1 Tommy’s – a 6ft metal silhouette

  • Complimentary refreshments at Bideford RFC following – paying bar.


  • WO&SNCO’s Mess Summer Ball – 20th and 21st July- Details to follow

  • 11 ATT Instow– Families Day – July 28th - £5 per head names please

  • Instow Village Community Open Day July 29th – On the beach-we will have a stand

  • The Mariners Arms Fun Day – August 18th

  • The Barnstaple Marathon – 30th September – We will be providing marshalls again

  • Remembrance Parade – November 11th with Beacon Lighting in the Evening - The branch will support RMB Chivenor with hopefully representatives at other parades. There will be Beacon Lighting at 1900 in Bideford as part of the nationwide commemoration of 100th Anniversary of the ending of WW1.


With a busy June it was agreed to cancel the scheduled meeting on the 22nd June. So the next meeting will be the Branch BBQ on the 13th July at the Hoof Inn. It is hoped to have a presentation about Alpacas with a couple of real Alpacas attending. The evening will start at 1800 as usual with a small donation for food and a limited cash bar – beer, wine, soft drinks

Branch Meeting Report and Committee Meeting Minutes: April 2018.

In Sorrow: Those attending held a moment of silent reflection for the passing of Pauline Winslow. In the time Pauline was here in North Devon it would appear the branch made a real impact on her. This was reflected in the messages from Bob and the generosity of not only a donation of a larger Easter Egg for the raffle, but her insistence that no matter what Bob continues to attend and had to come to this meeting. Bob dutifully drove back from Swindon to be with us. Our thoughts are with Bob and his family at this sad time.

Report of Branch Meeting: 25 members attended the meeting with 29 apologies. We had hoped to introduce Peter Scott, former Padre to RMB Chivenor and Graham Hand new member and winner of the Aston Martin raffled off by the RMC a few years ago. Both sent apologies for their late withdrawal. After a BBQ supper we sat down to a brief from the Chair , which was in the new format of asking for comments on points raised at the previous meeting or in the minutes. Following Branch business we adjourned to the bar and had a very interesting insight to life at CLR and what CLR does given by Jacko. However, with the rumour mill in full swing the discussion moved towards the future of Chivenor & the Corps. A lively discussion where there was no shortage of suggestions by would be politicians in the room. Our thanks to Jacko for putting this together at short notice. There will be a Part 2 covering some of the operations CLR as been involved with through the years. The raffle raised £83 for branch funds.

Matters Arising from the Minutes:

  • There were no matters arising from previous meeting or minutes.
  • The adoption of the minutes was proposed by JC Bowden and seconded by Roger Stains.

Items Covered in the Meeting: See main minutes for details.


  • No support issues.


  • The accounts are currently being completed for the declaration to Central Office.

Chairman’s Report:

  • Branch Meetings - The Way Ahead..
  • Cycle Challenge with Wilkos Staff, Barnstaple.
  • Track day for RM Charities:
  • Our Regimental Dinner in June:
  • Making History:
  • Ways to Reduce the Workload of the Chairman.
  • The AGM May 18th & Election of Branch Officers.

Meeting Discussion.

  • Themed Branch Evenings, Talks by Branch Members, Games Nights.
  • Proposed Corps Birthday/ Trafalgar Day/ Evening in October

What’s Coming Up. Any Questions

  • May 13th – Graspan Parade Horse Guards and The Mall – London
  • May 30th & 31st – Beat Retreat by the RM Massed Bands Horse Guards Parade
  • June 7th – A Branch visit to 11 ATT Instow – Details to follow.
  • June 9th – Branch Regimental Dinner – Commencing 1800, Mess Beatings 1830 – WO&SNCO’s Mess
  • July 28th – 11 ATT Instow Families Day
  • July 29th – Instow Village Community Day – Instow Beach

Next Meeting: 18th May the Branch AGM will be held. See below for details.

Committee Meeting Minutes – April 2018.

Accounts: Branch £2410.63 Charity £582.89 Social £286.23


  • Tom (Rivenberg) operation appears to have been successful, which is great news. We continue to keep a watchful eye on 10-12 people.
  • As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.

Chairman’s Report:

  • Branch Meetings - The Way Ahead. The branch meeting was the first month of trailing the new format. It seemed to work very well and with a few tweaks and everyone getting used to it it appears to be the way to go.

  • Cycle Challenge with Wilkos Staff, Barnstaple. This was very successful, raising £817.41 towards Colin Reynolds pledge for the RM Charity to have a place in this year’s London Marathon. Through branch endeavours we have raised £ 1839.74 of Cols £2000 target. Colin has sent his thanks to all who helped with this.

  • Track day for RM Charities: A very enjoyable day was had at Castle Coombe Circuit where representatives of Branch and CLR, including the new and former CEO’s of the RMA, attended a Petrol Head Day out. £1200 +£300.00 (Gift Aid) from the drivers fees was donated to RM Charities.

  • RHS Rosemoor – Wilderness Weekend. The branch had a good weekend at RHS Rosemoor where we had the branch stand, give-aways, RMA shop, Roli’s road Show and a selection of weapons on show. Although quieter than previous years and not a fundraiser, we still had around £113 in donations and £118 sales with the shop. Thanks to the team who came out on the Saturday and Sunday to make the RM presence a good one. Rosemoor expressed their thanks for helping make this a success, saying without the RMA presence the event probably wouldn’t happen.

  • Zeebrugge Parade (Deal) and Spean Bridge Parade: Susan and Finlay McCulloch will be representing the branch at these parades this year.

  • Exeter Chiefs Match for RM Charities: Roger and Jenny Staines are representing the branch at this match and holding a bucket.

Other Matters:

  • Making History: From a proposal by the Committee it was agreed at the meeting that the Branch sponser a brick in the wall at the new Corps Museum. This will cost a donation of £120.00 It you want to personally sponsor your won brick you can find out how by visiting:

  • Ways to Reduce the Workload of the Chairman.
    • It was proposed to create an Admin Team. Their role would be to cover some of the adhoc tasks that come up in the year. It would be a developing role but is perceived as a sharing role with no one person taking the entire responsibility. There has already been a few members who have expressed an interest. If you feel you can spare a little time please have a chat with the Chairman who will be able to provide some clarity about this role. As this will not be an Officers Role there will be no need to vote this team in. However, their names will be announced at the AGM.

  • May 18th: The AGM & Election of Branch Officers.
    • The format for this meeting will be different from our normal monthly meetings as we will be reporting on the branch year , an address by our President and voting in the officers of the branch.
    • With Fran stepping down as Treasurer constitutionally we must have a Treasurer. There has been one person so far placed their name in the hat for this key role of running the branch.
    • Anyone can put his or her name forward for any post. If you feel you want to help run the branch please give the Chairman your name by the 8th May.

  • May 19th: ES Squadron Families Day– A new event just come in. The branch has been requested to have the branch stand at this event to highlight what the branch and the RMA do. It is likely that the shop will also be there. This is not a fundraiser, although we will have a bucket or 2 strategically placed. A couple of volunteers to come along for a few hours would be good.

  • June 7th: Day Out at 11 ATT Instow – The branch have been invited to spend a day, probably starting around 0930’ish at Arromanche Camp, Instow as guest of the Detachment. The day would include an overview of life in the Amphibious Wing of the Royal Marines, look at the equipment at Instow, lunch (pay as you dine) and a go in the Dip Tank (I think) Names to me please. Final details nearer the time.

  • June 9th: Our Regimental Dinner in the WO&SNCO’s Mess -: Names are starting to come for our main function of the year. Please help Susan McCulloch by getting your name, guests, money and requirements in sooner than later. It will help us manage the logistical process we have to prior to the evening.
    • The Raffle. Raffle tickets are now on sale at £5 per book. There are some great prizes as usual - lunches, dinners, hampers, a Holiday voucher and many more. If you can’t make the dinner please get in touch with the Chair who will help you buy a book or two!
  • June 23rd/24th: Armed Forces Weekend – Weston-S-Mare - A new event just come in. This event has been advertised to all branches in the Southwest. The Royal Marines Band will be heading the parade and the Weston Air Festival is incorporated in the weekend. For further info please go to:

  • 25th June: Armed Forces Week – Flag Raising – Victoria Park Bideford –1800 for 1830: This has been on the branch calendar for a number of years. It is a Monday evening starting at 1830 in Victoria Park. A small parade lead by the Pipe Band march from the quay forming up between 1800 and 1825 for a Step Off at 1830. Ceremony and short service in the park is followed by a reception at Bideford Rugby Club – all invited.

  • June 28th: 11 ATTRM, Instow Families Day:I have been advised that we have a limit upto 30 people for this social event. Last year there was plenty to see on base, refreshments both food and drinks (a bar). I think the day starts around 1300 and BBQ at around 1700. There is also entertainment into the evening. Tickets are £5 per head. Names to me please.

  • August 18th: The Mariners Arms (Braunton) Garden Party: This is the 3rd year we have been invited to this outing. In previous years we have raised around £450 for Corps Charities. There will be a working group meeting in May to decide what we are taking along and how many volunteers we may need.

Other Events. Any Questions

  • 28th April – RMC Collection at Sandy Park – home to the Exeter Chiefs

  • May 13th – Graspan Parade Horse Guards and The Mall – London May 18th – AGM – WO&SNCO’s Mess commencing at 1800 –food, 1900 – AGM.

  • May 30th & 31st – Beat Retreat by the RM Massed Bands Horse Guards Parade

  • June 9th – The Dartmoor Yomp 2018 – See Fran Rivenberg for details if you want to walk 11 miles across Dartmoor for RM Charities.

  • June 22nd – Branch Mtg

  • July 20th Branch BBQ: Probably the Hoof Inn to be confirmed following a meeting with the Cpl Club Committee.

  • July 29th – Instow Village Community Day – Instow Beach

IMPORTANT INFORMATION - Mr & Mrs Chair Are On Holiday: From the 26th April to 11th May John and Jacky will be away on holiday. Following their return they will be attending the Graspan Parade in London with the Branch Standard, returning to North Devon on the 14th May. Although Mr Chair will be monitoring emails daily and his mobile will be on – it is advised unless it is an emergency phoning may not be the best option. As a first point of contact in this country please use the following:

Branch Matters including attending AGM in May:

Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

Jacko Jackson on 07821 448043 or email [email protected]

Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

Welfare Matters

Bruce White on 01271 346611 or email [email protected]

Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]

Next Meeting: May 18th – The Branch AGM

  • The next meeting is the AGM on the 18th May where a report on the branch year will be read out and the re-election and or election officers will take place. Meal Choice: Beef Stroganoff and Rice.
  • Following the formal part there could be a quiz, game of bingo for cash prizes or just a social chat in the bar your choice. If you haven’t already advised the Chairman of you attendance please do so by 14th May – preferably by email (as he will be away until then) but you can call 01237477438 and leave a message.

Branch Meeting Report and Committee Meeting Minutes: March 2018.


Report of Branch Meeting:  25 members attended the meeting with 33 apologies. It was good to see Paula and Norman Kitchen back.  Paula is recovering from a bout of illness.  It was not difficult to notice that the Mess had been decked out with “Happy Birthday” banners and balloons for Mrs Sec’s 59 +1 birthday – yes Sue - that makes 60.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the Gammon Steak, Egg and Chips and the addition of tea and coffee included in the price (even though Mr Chair’s hot drinks recognition skills were lacking - calling tea coffee - well it was hot and wet!).  No-one could escape Mrs Chair as she scurried around the tables with her book of raffle tickets and as usual the gathering supported this, raising £67 for the branch.   At around 1900 we moved to the Ajax Bay Room – (more Birthday decs adorned the room) for a round of branch business.  When everyone was seated Round 2 of the birthday surprise occurred and in walked Tonia (Sodexo Mess Manager) with birthday cake and candles.  Naturally this triggered a round of “Happy Birthday to You”.  While the Chair commenced the meeting Mr Vice dissected the cake into chunks, which were passed round the table.  Following the usual agenda points and Chair’s report a lively and interactive discussion was had about ideas to streamline the business section of the branch meeting to free up more time for the social part of the evening.  On completion of this raffle prize winners were drawn and the evening finished with some members retiring to the bar and others making their way home.  The Chairman would like to thank all those who attended another pleasant evening – JP and his Committee appreciate the support of this loyal group of members, who make this branch what it is.


Items Covered in the Meeting: See main minutes for details.



  • The Chair reported that Tom Riveberg had undergone brain surgery and his recovery was progressing, although he was still in hospital in Bristol.  We wish Tom a speedy recovery.



  • Subject to end of year audit:  Branch Account: £2884.00   Charity Account: £384.95                      Social Account: £221.32


Chairman’s Report:

  • Our Regimental Dinner in June.
  • The Branch Calendar.
  • The West Region Operations Manager.
  • Speed March Success.
  • Making History.
  • Support for Cliff Coates Great Grandson.


What’s Coming Up?

  • A list of dates & ticket availability for RMA events of interest for the next few months was provided.


Other Matters: 

  • Branch Meetings - The Way Ahead.
    • Themed Evenings
    • Talks/Entertainment
    • Socials
  • Ways to Reduce the Workload of the Chairman.


There was no other business.



Committee Meeting Minutes – March 2018.



  • At the time of publication we are working on year-end accounts and awaiting some outstanding statements.
  • Account amount details will be published on completion of this work.



  • As you may have read in the Chairman’s letter - Pauline Winslow, wife of branch member Bob, passed away after a very sudden short illness on 2nd April.  Our thoughts are with Bob and his family at this time.
  • The Chairman has spoken to Bruce, our Lead Support Officer.  Although he is in good shape, all his immune system has been destroyed through the treatment, requiring a round of injections.  Bruce is starting to get out.
  • The chair reported on a number of people who are currently less well than they would like.  The Support Team are in touch with all.
  • Tom (Rivenberg) had recently had an operation to hopefully combat a condition he has developed.  We wish him a speedy recovery.
  • We continue to keep a watchful eye on 10-12 people.
  • As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.


Chairman’s Report:

  • Our Treasurer is Stepping Down:  After 4 years in post, Fran has decided to step down.  In her time as treasurer the branch has adopted split accounts for Charity and Branch and introduced a Social Account.  Most of all, as we continued to be very successful in the fund raising area with more collection tins dotted around North Devon, more private challenges and more support for Corps related events the job of Treasurer has become more time consuming and complex.  Fran has continued to be vigilant.  Our sincere thanks to Fran.
  • Wilkos Cycle Challenge for RM Charities: In 7.5 hours we completed 259Km and raised £817 for Colin Reynolds Marathon pledge.   Colin sends his thanks for all the help we have given to meeting his sponsorship target.  Through our contacts the branch generated over £1500 towards his total. Thanks to the team who helped on the day.
  • Community Youth Group Presentation: The Chairman and Jacko gave a presentation and demo about training to become a Royal Marine to 2 Youth Groups from Bridging the Gap, 1 in Barnstaple and 1 in Ilfracombe.  All the kids seemed to enjoy the experience, tried some rations and handled some personal kit that Royal Marines carry.
  • Our Regimental Dinner in the WO&SNCO’s Mess -June 9th:  Over the last few years we have benefitted from not paying the VAT.  This charge has been covered by Central Office, who can claim back the VAT. Over the 2 dinners this saved the branch over £600.  Sadly as of now we must meet the VAT costs as well.  To that end the cost of this years dinner will need to go up slightly to £30.00, which the Committee hopes will still be considered good value for the evening. The Invitation Proforma with menu choices, guest requirements and instructions for payment is attached with these minutes.  Please note that returns are now to be sent to Susan and Finlay McCulloch who have taken on this responsibility.  Please get your requirements in as soon as possible.
  • The Branch Calendar: You should all have received a 2018/19 calendar. The idea of the calendar is give some pre-warning of events that the branch maybe involved with.  It is only there as a guide. The dates noted can be either confirmed or provisional and subject to change.  The monthly minutes will confirm what is coming up in the next couple of months.  If there are any doubts and queries please don’t hesitate to ask the question.
  • The West Region Operations Manager: It can be reported that the appointment of a new Operations Manager has been made.  Corps RSM WO1 Phil Gilby will become the West Regions Ops Manager on his retirement from the Corps. 
  • Speed March Success: At the recent Joiners and Leavers Mess function it was announced that not only does the Royal Marines hold the Marathon Speed March World Record achieved around the streets of London late last year; they also won the Team Award for the Commando Speed March from Achnacarry train station to Achnacarry House in Scotland, home of the Commando Training Centre during the WW2, last month. During WW2 recruits were given just 1 hour to complete the 7-mile route.  Those that failed to achieve this time would be returned to their parent unit immediately.
  • Making History:  The Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth is moving from Eastney Barracks to the Dockyard. The Corps has launched an appeal to help fund this project and be a part of history.  They are offering a named brick in the Donor Wall in the new Museum for donations of £120.00.  For more information - visit: .  The Committee thought it would be a good idea for the branch to sponser a brick.
  • Support for Cliff Coates Great Grand-Son:  The Branch has made a donation of £100.00 to Clifford Coates Great Grand-Son’s Crowd Funding page in support of equipment to help Pierce’s ability to communicate.  If anyone wants to support this individually the link is:


What’s Coming Up?

  • April 14th & 15th – RHS Rosemoor Wilderness Weekend – Roli’s Road Show, a military equipment stand & Branch Stand and shop.
  • April 13th - Branch Mtg – This is a change of date from the 20th.
    • The supper will be BBQ Chicken Breast, Chips and Salad.
    • We hope to have a talked.
    • This will be the first go at the new format, which was discussed at the last meeting.  Please help to make this work by making the Chairman aware if you are attending by Monday 9th.  An agenda will be sent out prior to the meeting with limited copies available on the night.
  • April 25th - Joiners and Leavers in the WO&SNCO’s Mess starting around 1830 to dine
  • May 13th – Graspan Parade Horse Guards and The Mall – London – tickets on sale
    • There is a plea from Central Office that if numbers don’t increase the RMA may need to pay for certain services, which are currently free.
  • May 18th  - Branch AGM
    • Everyone is entitled to be considered for any position on the Committee, even those where there is currently someone in post. 
    • With Fran (Rivenberg) stepping down the position of Treasurer is now open.  It would be helpful if those considering volunteering have some basic knowledge of the use of Excel spreadsheets and bookkeeping. When we mean basic, yes it is basic - although not essential.
    • As discussed at the last meeting and with the Chairman feeling the need for more support with the administration work of the Branch we are creating an Admin role - individual or team.  The role will involve adhoc tasks through the year in support of operating a busy successful branch.  This role will develop in time. We haven’t decided how many would be in the Team but, essentially, if there were a group of people the sharing of tasks would be easier.  The Admin Officer would manage the team and it would only be necessary for one member of the team to sit on the Committee.  A few members have already expressed an interest, which is great. As always the Chair would support this position.  So no-one should feel abandoned.
    • Nominations/Volunteers to join the Committee should be communicated to the Chairman or Vice Chair by May 8th.
  • May 30th & 31st – Beat Retreat by the RM Massed Bands Horse Guards Parade – tickets on sale.  The standard will be forming an Honour Guard for a VVIP Guest
  • June 7th – An Exclusive Branch visit to 11 ATT Instow –  The day would start around 0930 to 1000 and following previous visits would involve a briefing of the Operations of 1 Assault Group RM, static displays, lunch (pay as you dine) and hopefully the Dip Tank.  More details to follow.
  • June 9th – Branch Regimental Dinner
  • June 20th – Joiners and Leavers


If anyone wants to know more about these events please get in touch with the Chairman.


Other Matters: 

  • Branch Meetings - The Way Ahead.  Richard (Martin) opened the debate by first thanking everyone for making an Ex Army person very welcome to the RMA.   To summaries what Richard proposed to the branch was that we trial a format used in most businesses, such as Sainsbury’s where Martin was in management.  The emphasis would be on the members accepting that it is everyone’s responsibility to take ownership of running the branch, read the minutes of the previous meeting, the agenda of the next meeting and any reports from the committee’s various activities since the last meeting so they are prepared for the next meeting.

A productive debate followed with various observations being made about how the branch differs from a business, that what is provided at the meeting is information about the branch, it’s activities, future events of importance, the practicalities of sending out the agenda/format for the evening could be costly for the postal members.  However, there was general agreement of the benefits of trailing a version of Richard’s proposal for the next 3 months and then review it.


The following format will be trailed:

      • All receive Monthly Information Bulletin including Com Mtg Minutes as normal.
      • Members inform Chair by cut off date they are attending the next meeting.
      • When Chair knows who is attending Branch mtg he sends out an Agenda to read by all attending.
      • The Agenda on the night would be a bullet point summary of what was sent out with any additions items that may need detailed discussion.
      • Attendees could discuss any points arising from the previous minutes and agree the minutes.
      • The bullet points would be covered for comments but without details.
      • Any new items would be discussed.
      • Any other business?
      • Agree the menu for the next meeting and those knowing they are attending give their names
      • Confirm the date of the next meeting.
      • Go to the bar/Guest Speaker/Social Activity


This approach will cut down the time we spend at the meeting and therefore free up time for other activities during the evenings.


  • Themed Evenings. One concern about the changed format was that with the possible time saving benefit of a shorter business section could result in the evening finishing earlier on occasions.  The Chair pointed out that it is hoped to expand the themed evenings by having a Regimental Birthday Evening in October.  Therefore, including the Regimental Dinner, Xmas Party, the Annual BBQ, Buffet in August and AGM, 7 months of the year are covered, leaving only 5 months where a speaker or games evening could happen.  It is felt that the question –“What Would You Like to Do” – should be debated at a future meeting.  One thought is the members attending may have some great life experiences that would be interesting to share, similar to talks already given such as the Chair’s Offshore Diving Experiences, Bruce’s work in Security or Fergies’ talk on the Falklands before the conflict.  So again part of the new proposed format would be to agree a theme for the next meeting, meal choice etc, speaker, social.


  • Ways to Reduce the Workload of the Chairman.  The Chair has been giving some thought on ways he can reduce his workload without impacting on what the branch achieves.  As mentioned earlier an Admin role would help. Having a specific job description maybe difficult as it is thought this role will develop.  This role could also benefit other Branch Officers like the Treasurer and Secretary.  It was suggested that one thing members could do immediately was be more proactive in letting him know they were attending the next meeting and whether they wanted to eat.  This could be done as part of the business section on branch night.


  • New CEO of the RMA: It has been announced that Brigadier Richard Spencer RM (Rtd) will take over as CEO of the RMA. 


  • RNRM Widows Association:  The Association has been dormant for some time, with the support of the committee, they are going to provide a Newsletter, refresh the website, share information, inspirational stories, offers and events both on the RNRMWA Facebook page (and secret group) and by post for Members not online. Postal address - Sarah Clewes, Conference of Naval Associations (CONA), Room 209, Semaphore Tower (PP70), HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 3LT   Email - [email protected]  Phone – 07462 376850

All RMA Enquiries/Branch business/Welfare: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email  [email protected]

Welfare/Support: Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Welfare Back Up: Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]

Back up to all the above : Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

If all else fails: Our President – Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]


See item above in What’s Coming Up for details about Meeting in April, note the date change.

Minutes Branch Meeting: February 2018.


Report on the Meeting:

26 members attended the meeting with 34 apologies.  As usual we gathered at around 1800 but change to the usual format for the evening was dinner and business reversed.  So at 1803 the branch business agenda was distributed and order called. The Chair tried to speed through the notices (see man minutes) so the gathering could get onto the main entertainment of the evening – the Mini Burns Supper.  A warm welcome to Mike Harper, piper was given.  At 1900 everyone moved to the dinning area where a moments silence was observed for the 3 former RM’s who crossed the bar this month. Following this we had an evening with ”Rabbie Burns” well Bob Fergie and Mike Harper.  The haggis was piped in, ceremonially slaughtered and despatched back to the kitchen.  The gathering enjoyed cottage pie and neeps and a spoon full of Haggis on the side, followed by apple crumble and custard.  During and following the meal Bob and Mike provided Rabbie style entertainment with words of the Bard and music from the pipes.  At conclusion, the toast to the ‘Bard’ was proposed by Bob and a ‘wee dram’ of whiskey downed by all.  Our grateful thanks to JC Bowden for providing the fine malt whiskey.  Finally the Chairman mentioned the outstanding support Mike Harper has given the branch over the years in support of RM Charities blowing his pipes in all weathers.  A bottle of port was presented to Bob and Mike in appreciation for an excellent evening’s entertainment.  The evening closed with members returning to the bar.  The raffle raised £74, which was agreed would be pledged towards a donation from the branch to Clifford’s Great Grand-son’s cause (See the main minutes)


Items Covered in the Meeting: See main minutes for details.



  • The ‘Crossing of the Bar’ of 3 former RM’s was reported. Also mentioned was a progress report on our Support Officer, Bruce. A touching thank you letter from RM widow, Jane Guyer was read out.



  • Branch Account: £2650.00            Charity Account: £7345.00       Social Account: £1403.00
  • Dave Rowland enquired where the £400 which was not now going to the CLR Welfare would be going. It will be going to the RMA.  More about this in the main minutes.


Chairman’s Report

  • The results of the Merger of the RMA and RMC.
  • Paula Heaton’s new born.
  • Update from the Unit.
  • Branch Christmas Appeal distribution clarification.


What’s Coming Up?

  • A list of dates & ticket availability for RMA events of interest was read out.


Other Matters: 

  • Echosave.
  • Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club Comes to Barnstaple.
  • Branch Member Clifford Coates Equipment for Disabled Great Grand-Son Appeal
    • Suggestions from branch members how money could be raised appears in the main minutes
  • Volunteers for an RMC bucket collection at the Exeter Chiefs home game on the 28th April.
    • There was interest shown for this event.  See main minutes for details


  • The Chairman was approach after the dinner had concluded to suggest ways of streamlining the Business Section of the evening.  See main minutes for comments.




Committee Meeting Minutes – February 2018.

The Committee had a meeting by email and agreed the following minutes.



  • Branch Account: £2650.00            Charity Account: £7345.00       Social Account: £1403.00
  • Payments to Sodexo for the Christmas Party and the Christmas Appeal takings to Central Office are still to be made.  On completion of this the Charity and Social Accounts will be reduced significantly.
  • An explanation of the change to the distributed amounts can be found in the item Branch Christmas Appeal under Report on Recent Events.



  • It is my sad duty to inform you that we have lost 3 Royal Marine veterans this month. 
  • Jim Allison served 33 years, finished his service as a C/Sgt and was on operations in Suez, Borneo and Korea.  His funeral is on Tuesday 13th at 1500 for 1540 at the North Devon Crem. If you plan to attend could you be ready to form up at 1520. 
  • Alf Bolt: Alf , who was a long time branch member, crossed the bar after fracturing his hip and was unable to recover.  He was 95 so his general health wasn’t wonderful.  He was a ship’s Marine serving 3 years during WW2 and holds a number of WW2 medals including The Atlantic, Italy and Burma Stars as well as the Legion d’Honneur, presented to him at Chivenor last year by the Hon French Consul to the Southwest.  His funeral is on the 23rd February with a Cremation at St Peters Chapel, Exeter Crem 1000 for 1030 followed by a Memorial Service at St Peter’s Church, North Tawton 1200. It is hoped to take 1 or 2 cars leaving here between 0800 and 0830.
  • RM CSM Spike Hughes: I have been informed that former RM Sgt Spike Hughes crossed the bar peacefully 3rd Feruary.  He was in Pinehurst Care Home, Ilfracombe and his aging health was poor. Spike’s funeral will be held on the 21st Feb at 15400 for 1540 at the North Devon Crem, Barnstaple.


Buglers have been requested for each service and the branch standard will be on parade.  It is hoped to have a few members and serving RM’s to form an Honour Guard at each service. Dress as usual for all funerals, berets, medals and blazers. We appear to be getting good support for the 2 local funerals but very few to travel to Exeter – please consider giving Alf a fitting RM send off.


  • A thank you letter from RM widow of branch member Lt Col Simon Guyer, Jane, was read out at the meeting.  It said she was heartened by the contact we have established with her and the Christmas donation would be spent on a guide book for a forthcoming 600K walk and would be a great help in navigation as Simon would only be there in spirit to guide her. 
  • It should be noted that the Chairman has also received thanks from the other branch widows for the Christmas gift and card the branch sends out annually.
  • Bruce White, our Lead Support Officer, is at home and recovering well.  He hopes to resume his Support role in the next month or two.
  • We continue to keep a watchful eye on 10-12 people.
  • As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.



Report on Recent Events:

  • The Merger:  This was approved by a resounding 90% of those who voted in favour of the merger. Of the 2,377 votes that were cast, 2138 were in support of the motion and only 239 votes were against the motion. Apparently this is actually a good number of votes for campaigns like this.  The work will continue to ensure the merger goes smoothly.  As said no change in the way we operate.
  • Paula Heaton:  Paula, the Sodexo Supervisor who helps us a lot with our meetings etc here has had a boy.  Mum and baby doing well.  A congratulation’s  card was sent on behalf of the branch.
  • Update from the Unit: I had a couple of good meetings in camp with the RSM and his cohorts about our planned year.  As usual there are no dramas and we will get support as and when we need it based on availability
  • Branch Christmas Appeal: We have requested the following split for the Christmas Appeal. £500.00 to BLESMA and the RNBT, £300.00 to SSAFA, North Devon, £1400.00 to CLR Welfare and the balance to the RMA.  Central Office requested that we reduced the amount to CLR to £1000.00 as they had just had grant funding in support of the Families.  On behalf of the branch I agreed with this.  To clarify under Charity Regs the money we collect is technically not ours but belongs to the Charity Number we collect it under.  So we can only request our preference of where it is sent .  It is intended to discuss this further with Central Office so they fully understand our thought reasoning for the percentage split and allocations we request.



What’s Coming Up?

  • March 16th - Branch Meeting: Format will revert to meet and eat at 1800 – gammon steak, egg, chips and peas and a warm dessert, business at 1900 followed by some entertainment - a guest speaker, quiz/bingo.  The Chairman was approached at February’s meeting with considerations of how to streamline and reduce the time spent on the business part of the gathering.  It is proposed to have a full open discussion about this and the way forward during the next meeting.
  • March 9th & 10th – MFM, RM Massed Bands – The Royal Albert Hall
  • March 17th – Fund Raiser Cycle Challenge with Wilkos Staff, Barnstaple, 0930-1700 - 1 or 2 helpers are needed for this
  • April 14th & 15th – RHS Rosemoor Wilderness Weekend, 1000-1600 – Roli’s Road Show, Med Squadron, Branch Stand and Pop Up RMA shop (hopefully).
  • May 13th – Graspan Parade on Horse Guards and The Mall – London – tickets on sale on the RMA Website
    • 1000-1130: Meet on Horse Guards.
    • 1135: Form Up.
    • 1150: Step Off.
    • 1200: Memorial Service Graspan Monument on the Mall by Admiralty Arch.
    • 1300: March up the Mall and back round to Horse Guards.  Salute to be taken by senior RM, Normally the Commandant General RM
    • 1330: Huge Buffet Reception (+ beer tokens) at the Union Jack Club – Tickets £16.50
    • 1700- Reception formally finishes but you can stay as long as you want.

A message from the Operations Manager: The services of the Police and Parks Officers are free to the RMA.  This is based on the size of the parade.  Over recent years numbers attending have been diminishing and there is a danger of this free service being removed – possibly making the parade unsustainable.  Please support this main RMA event.

  • May 30th & 31st – Beat Retreat by the RM Massed Bands, Horse Guards Parade .
    • No information yet.
  • June 9th – Branch Regimental Dinner, WO&SNCO’s Mess – Commencing 1800, Mess Beatings 1830, Take seats at 1900 –
    • Details and proforma to come out towards the end of March/early April
  • June 10th - NMA Parade, Alrewas, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire – tickets on sale on the RMA Website
  • July 21st & 22nd - Spean Bridge Parade, Scotland – tickets on sale on the RMA Website
  • September 15th & 16th - RMA and Families Reunion Weekend – tickets on sale on the RMA Website
    • Programme of the itinerary will be published later in the year


If you want tickets but are unsure how to get them please contact the Chairman who will be glad to help you and even do the ordering on your behalf.


Other Matters: 

  • Echosave:  In conversation with new branch member and local entrepreneur – Jules Swanne – owner of the Surf Academy at Croyde he introduced the chairman to a service he is running where a “Loved One” can leave a video that can be retrieved by the family as a memory.  It is an on-line service but not meant to be an “If you are watching this-I am dead” message.  If anyone feels they would like to know what this free service entails the Chairman can point you in the right direction.  The website is:
  • Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club Comes to Barnstaple: An Ex Army veteran has been in touch with the Chairman to spread the word about this club.  It is a nationwide scheme designed for like-minded serving and veteran military personnel to meet once a week.  The club in Barnstaple meets at the Panniers (Weatherspoons), is free and flexible.  It says Breakfast Club but if you don’t want to eat - no problem.  No membership fee, no subs, no obligations, just turn up for a chat.
  • Branch Member Clifford Coates’ Great Grandson:  The Chairman has been approached with a very sad situation.  Branch founder member, Clifford Coates’ Great Grandson was born with considerable disabilities and was not expected to survive.  Fast forward 18 years and his Great Grandson will be moving into Northam Lodge as a young adult.  One of the difficulties is the only means of communication is by blinking.  There is a computer system available that would provide this means of being able to communicate but it cost £17,000.  RM charities will only consider close relationships/next of kin, our charities cannot help. At February’s meeting a number of suggestions were put forward and the Chairman will follow these up.  One other gesture by the members on the night was to pledge the raffle money (£74) to support this purchase.  It was also agreed that an additional amount from branch funds would be added to this bringing the donation to £150. So if anyone knows of an organisation that may be able to support this in some way, please get in touch with the Chairman.
  • Exeter Chiefs: The Exeter Chiefs have designated the RMC as one of their charities for the Exeter Foundation.  There will be a bucket collection at the game on the 28th April for the Royal Marines Charity.  Volunteers are required to join the bucket collecting team to be there at 1415 for a 1500 kick off.  There will be Free entry to watch the game. If you would like a day out at an excellent rugby match and carry out some vital work for the charity please contact Jo Whitwood at  [email protected]  for details.
  • RMA Support Officer Training: Central Office has advertised another RM Support Officers Course.  It will be held at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre, Amport House, Andover, Hampshire, SP11 8BG – April 9th to 13th 2018.  For more information please contact the Chairman, John Peel.



All RMA Enquiries/Branch business/Welfare: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email  [email protected]

Welfare/Support: Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Welfare Back Up: Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]

Back up to all the above : Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

If all else fails: Our President – Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]


See item above in What’s Coming Up for details about the Meeting in March.

Minutes Branch Meeting: January 2018.


Report on Meeting:

23 members attended the meeting with 33 apologies. Following a meal of spagbol branch business was held at 1900.  There was a moment’s silence held for the recent passing of long time branch member Jen Vickers followed by reports on branch support, branch finances, chairman’s report on recent events, what’s coming up and other business.  Bob Martin thanked the branch for the support at the Christmas Party held at Ilfracombe FC.  Bob highlighted that the serving RMs were well received and a credit to the Corps, making many friends that night.  He passed over a letter of thanks and asked if this could be passed to the CO and RSM as well.  Congratulations were given to Col Shearsby, Mr Vice Chair on his 37 years in the Corps and forthcoming retirement (from the Corps only).  Colin is now on terminal leave.  Roli thanked everyone who supported his “Ride the Somme” for SSAFA and RM Charities.  Mac Grenney reported that Tesco, Rose Lane would like the branch to carry out a collection day.  The Chair will meet with their Community Champion in due course to discuss further.  JC has offered to provide a quality malt whiskey for the next meeting as we will be holding a mini “Burns Supper”.  Jacko reported that work is starting on the “Scruffs Bar” in the Mess and permission to have a display cabinet for the Branch. 



  • Branch Account: £2642.14            Charity Account: £7298.35 Social Account: £To Follow
  • We will soon be paying the bill for the dinner and making our annual contribution to the RMA and other military groups who support our Service personnel less fortunate than us.



  • We continue to keep a watchful eye on 10-12 people.  Bruce and Phil are sharing the work in support for those who need it. 
  • As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.


Items Covered in the Meeting: See main minutes for details.

  • Appointment of the New Captain General RM.
  • Branch Christmas Appeal.
  • Branch Xmas Party.
  • The Mess Christmas Meat Draw and Christmas Party.

What’s Coming Up?

  • February’s Branch Meeting.
  • Branch Meetings 2018 – Confirmed Dates So far.
  • Other Provisional Events of Interest to the Branch.

Other Matters: 

  • Mark Ormrod’s 10 Year Bangaversary.
  • Living Needs Solutions based in Barnstaple.
  • Green Wheelie Bins for Sale.


With the formal part of the evening completed the meeting was closed and a quiz was held in the bar for a bottle of Port, won by Richard Martin.  The raffle raises £75 for the branch.




Committee Meeting Minutes – Januray 2018.


  • Branch: £2713.14            Charity: £7325.13              Social: £824.07


  • Payments from the Social Account for the Christmas Party and the transferring from the Charity pot of £7303.35 to Central Office for dispersal are due.  The committee agreed to request the funds to be divided as follows:
    • BLESMA - £500.00
    • RNBT - £500.00
    • SSAFA North Devon - £300.00
    • CLR Welfare Department - £1400.00
    • RMA - £4603.35
  • There is a new Finance Manager at Central Office – Janette Frankham.  Renee Davis has moved on to pastures new.  The branch sent a card of thanks for her support to the branch over her 10 years with the RMA.  We wish her well.



  • It is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of 2 members. Original founder members of the branch Jen Vickers passed away just before Christmas.  Her family requested a private funeral by invitation only.  Jen and her late husband Dougie were stalwarts of the branch, Doug being Chairman in his time.  Jen took on the Almoners role, carrying out the vital work of keeping in touch with those who were less able to attend.  Jen attended as much as possible, was an Honorary Member of the Mess and was always out there holding a bucket on our annual collections.  However, when her health deteriorated she was no longer able to carry out this support. 

         Dennis Hannen, also passed recently, after loosing his battle with ill-health.  Dennis lived in Spain with Sue (his wife)          and although they couldn’t attend branch meetings attended the Reunion at Lympstone when possible. Dennis never            forgot the branch and he annually laid a wreath at the Remembrance Parade on Gibraltar, representing the RMA and          Branch.  As happens in Spain Dennis’s funeral was held shortly after his death, but was attended by RMA          representatives from one of the Spanish Branches ensuring he got a “Royal” send off.  There will be a dispersal of          ashes here for Dennis sometime in the future.  Our thoughts are with Sue at the sad time.

  • We continue to keep a watchful eye on 10-12 people.   Please get in touch if there is anyone we should know about.


Report on Recent Events

  • The Merger:  The results on the  “1 Man 1 Vote” on the merger have been published and the merger has been approved by the membership.  Work will now continue to ensure there is a smooth transition to the new group later this year.  Updates will be published on Repnet and branch minutes as and when.
  • Appointment of the New Captain General RM: Following the retirement of Prince Phillip as Captain General RM, Prince Harry has been appointed by the Queen to be the new Captain General.
  • Branch Christmas Appeal: Our Christmas Appeal was an outstanding success – thanks to great support from the branch and the serving personnel at RMB Chivenor.  We collected £6461.42.  
  • Branch Xmas Party: 66 (with 2 who couldn’t make it) enjoyed an evening of good food and entertainment. Following the usual Presidents Picture Quiz and Irish Bingo, we had 2 hours of live crooning in the bar by local singer Steve Valentine. As usual an outstanding effort by my Rafflettes, Fran and Jacky and their helpers on the night. 
  • The Mess Christmas Meat Draw and Christmas Party:  Branch members attended these Mess functions.  The Meat Draw evening was very profitable for some branch members with multiple wins of meat and I think cash.  So much so that said recipients became embarrassed and elected for at least two prizes to be re-drawn.  I think there was also more wins at the Mess Ball.


What’s Coming Up?

  • February’s Branch Meeting: This is being held on the Friday 9th with the usual cut off for numbers by Monday 5th.  It is proposed that we will have a Mini Burns Supper.  Planning is under way but the change to the format will be meet at 1800 in the bar.  Have a brief Branch Business or circulate an Agenda sheet.  At 1900 we will proceed to the dining area where the Haggis will be piped in.  Following the “”Ode” and humane slaughter of the Haggis you will be invited to go through to the hotplate for self service Cottage Pie and veg.  The dissected Haggis will be available on the hotplate to sampling – not mandatory!!!  Following dessert – again self-service – we will be treated to some pipe music and readings from the Great man.  Finally we will Toast Rabbie Burns with fine Malt Whiskey before retiring to the bar.
  • Branch Meetings 2018 – Confirmed Dates So far:
    • March 16th
    • April 20th
    • May 18th - AGM
    • June 15th (possible cancellation due to Branch Regimental Dinner)
    • July 13th –The Branch BBQ
    • August 10th - Bideford Rugby Club
    • September 7th – TBC
    • October 5th – TBC
    • November 9th – TBC
    • No December Meeting
  • Other Events of Interest to the Branch: National RMA Events in Red
    • March 9th & 10th – MFM, RM Massed Bands – The Royal Albert Hall
    • March 17th – Cycle Challenge Wilcos, Barnstaple
    • April 5th – Supporting A Track Day Event at Castle Coombe for RM CharitiesThe branch will be represented at this event. The committee have decided to offer places to CLR in gratitude for their support to the branch and RM Charities.  There should be a few places available for a donation of £20 if anyone would like to be a passenger in a classic car and ride at speed around a racetrack.  You will have to make your own way to the circuit.  If you want to know more please contact the chairman.
    • April 14th & 15th – RHS Rosemoor Wilderness Weekend – Roli’s Roadshow, Med Squadron, Branch Stand and RMA Shop.  The chairman is speaking to volunteers who maybe willing to help.
    • May 13th – Graspan Parade Horse Guards and The Mall – London. 
    • May 30th & 31st – Beat Retreat by the RM Massed Bands Horse Guards Parade. 
    • June 9th – Branch Regimental Dinner – Commencing 1800, Mess Beatings 1830 – WO&SNCO’s Mess.  This date is confirmed. Although not fixed yet it is hoped that the cost for 4 courses, port, Mess Beatings and disco will be around £25 per head.  More details will follow.
    • June 25th – Armed Forces Week Parade – Victoria Park Bideford
    • July 2nd – 6th – Sainsbury’s Challenge 2018 – to be confirmed.
    • July 28th – RM Instow Camp – Families Day
    • July 29th – Instow Community Day – Instow Beach
    • September – Beerfest WO&SNCO’s Mess
    • September 15th & 16th – RMA Reunion and Families Weekend – CTC Lympstone
    • September 30th – Barnstaple Marathon
    • October 13th – The B&M Challenge
    • November 11th – Remembrance Parade RMB Chivenor + 100th Ann WW1 Beacon Lighting in Bideford
    • December – Annual Appeal – various dates and locations
    • December 14th TBC – Branch Christmas Party – Officer Mess.


Other Matters: 

  • Mark Ormrod’s 10 Year Bagaversary: This year it is 10 years since Mark Ormrod was blown up by an IED in Afghan becoming the 1st triple amputee.  We are hoping to arrange an evening with Mark in Ilfracombe for RM Charities.  However, Mark has launch a Just Giving page to celebrate 10 years since being blown up.  Please visit
  • RMA Shop:  Former Royal Marine Captain, Joe Lane – injured in a ski accident developed the shop from the original conception to a fully profitable success story, becoming the Operational Director.  Joe has decided to move to pastures new.  This project was originally a “not for profit scheme” to help the recovery of injured RM’s.  However, over the last few years a profit from sales has started to be generated. The profits are recycled back into the RMA.  The branch has sent best wishes to Joe and his family for their future endeavours.  Back to business – it was always planned to look at running a satellite RMA Shop again this year at 1 or 2 appropriate events.  This is not an onerous task so if anyone is interested in helping out please let the Chairman know.  The benefit of the shop is that it does attract people to our stand.
  • Car Boot Sales: We are running out of space in the container on the airfield and must look to doing some Car Boot Sales this year.  This will generate revenue for the branch, which we can then spend on the subsidising of branch events for the benefit of the members.  What we desperately need is 1 or 2 willing volunteers to help run the stand.  Please contact the Chairman if you feel you can help or would like to discuss what’s involved.
  • The Scruff’s Bar in the Mess: Over the next month there are to be a few changes in the Mess.  Where we meet in the Ajax Bay Room is to become the Mess “Scruffs” Bar where Mess members can dress down and relax.  We are also being offered an area to have a display cabinet.
  • Armed Forces Breakfast Club:  This is being launched in Barnstaple on the 3rd February in The Panniers, Weatherspoons.  It is an all cap badge scheme, which has been running nationwide.  Veterans and serving  meet up to have a chat, have breakfast or what ever they want.  There is no membership fee, no fund raising and no commitment to do anything.  If you would like to go along please do.
  •  Living Needs Solutions based in Barnstaple: They have approached the branch with an offer to do a short talk at some future date on the benefit of daily living aids.  But if anyone would like their support please contact the Chairman
  • Green Wheelie Bins for Sale:  Some of you will know we have a number of almost brand new wheelie bins, which were used for the Shoebox Appeal at the start of the Afghan conflict.  We have I think 8-10 left.  For a small donation of £5 you could benefit from an extra wheelie bin for garden waste.


More information will be distributed in future minutes and at our meetings as these events approach.  However.  If you have an questions please get in touch with th chairman who will be glad to update you.


All RMA Enquiries/Branch business/Welfare: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email  [email protected]

Welfare/Support: Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Welfare Back Up: Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]

Back up to all the above : Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

If all else fails: Our President – Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]


See item above in What’s Coming Up for details about February’s Meeting.