Royal Marines Association North Devon

ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE

 

The last 5 months Branch news bulletin - published latest first. 


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2019


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Branch Meeting and Monthly News Bulletin:

February 2019.


A Summary of the February’s Meeting at the WO&SNCO’s Mess, RMB Chivenor

  • 32 members attended the evening with a number of apologies including those we know cannot make the meetings.

    • Previous Branch Bulletin was proposed and seconded by Jimmy Headrick and JC Bowden.

  • Branch business came before supper and the Chair covered the following items:

    • Accounts:

      • The Merger and the branch legal declaration and end of year accounts.

      • Branch budget

      • Branch Account

    • Regimental Dinner – 15th June

    • Freedom of Barnstaple – 11th April but could slide.

    • Branch Membership – Free – there are some who are not members of the RMA

    • Branch Website – www.rmand16641664.webs.com

    • Branch Calendar

    • What’s coming up.

    • Graspan 2019.

    • ESS price increases and possible changes to meal plans

    • Chair and Mrs chair are on holiday – 12th Feb to 1st March


Details of everything covered can be found in the main bulletin below.


  • Following branch business members were piped into the Mess for our Mini Burns Supper. Following the Selkirk Grace the Haggis was piped in with the Ode and toast to being recited by genuine “Jock” Jimmy Headrick. Following the main course the Toast to the Lassies was given by our 2nd resident Scot, Vice Chair Col Shearsby with the reply to the Lassies being performed by Treasurer Susan McCulloch after dessert. The amber nectar was provide by JC. Final there was the toast to the Immortal Memory of Burns was scribed by Bob Fergie who was AWOL and read by the Chair. Thanks to all participants. We all then retired to the bar. The raffle raised £94.



Bulletin For February 2019.


Branch Accounts:

  • The Merger. Due to some legal requirements branches have to make legal declaration regarding assets. This is in hand. Also we now know the accounts year will be extended to March 31st.

  • Branch Budget. Branch Treasurer Susan McCulloch and the Chairman are still working on what we need as a minimum in the account to operate the branch – primarily stationary and postage plus a contingency. We will then plan to subsidies more events/meetings as and when. We feel we should keep a contingency fund of 50% of our known annual expenditure on top of the total amount we know we will expend each year. Obvious the number of events and total we subsidise them for will vary, subject to donations we receive in addition to our regular income from raffles etc.

  • Branch Account: £2641.77 Charity Account: £64.19 Social Account: £162.73


Support:

  1. The Passing of Norman Kitchen. After a struggle with health and the onset of aggressive cancer Norman Kitchen sadly passed away recently. His funeral was held at Barnstaple Crematorium on the 14th February and the branch was well represented. For those who didn’t know Norman, he served in the RAF for 37 years. Norman came onto our radar as Paula, his wife of 60years, shopped at Sainsbury’s and regularly donated to our Sainsbury’s Appeal. Paula became one of our “groupees”. After a couple of trips Paula enquired whether she and Norman could join the branch having attended eveings in the Mess as part of RAFA. They have been outstanding supporters of our activities and fund raising work and Norman did comment that if he had to do his service time again he would have join the Royal Marines. They really enjoyed themselves. Norman will be missed but I pleased to say that when Paula feels ready she will start coming to our gatherings again.


  1. Although we have one or two who are less well generally those on our watch list are OK. As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.


Chairman’s Report:

  • Seniors Annual Lunch – Monday 4th February: Our 5th Annual seniors lunch was held in the Barnstaple Hotel. Originally arranged for some of our founder members to keep in touch, it is now felt this event should be open to the branch as a whole. To that end the Committee will look at how this will be managed next year.

  • Regimental Dinner, 15th June: The evening will commence at 1800 and Mess Beatings will be at 1830. We aim to be seated at 1900 for a 4-course dinner with a sprinkling of Mess formalities. Following the speeches and toasts at around 2200 we will have entertainment in the Main Bar, which will remain open until 0100. Further information and costings will come out in the next few months.

  • Freedom of Barnstaple, 11th April (but could slide): It is understood that the branch will be invited to take part n some way. During the branch meeting WO2 Spud Taylor confirmed that when 40 Cdo got the Freedom of Taunton the Taunton Branch of the RMA, including wheelchair veterans, marched. The chair is awaiting an invitation to discuss what part we will play in this event. But it is a one off which will not be repeated so all branch members should take advantage of this unique event and be on parade. Details as soon as.

  • Branch and RMA Membership: As we have been saying for a while this is now free. Looking through the branch membership list there are some who are branch members but have never joined the RMA. We don’t really have an issue with this but by being a member of the RMA you will gain access to the RMA Official Website and be able to get current information and access to ticketing for events. BY JOINING THE RMA IT WILL NOT MEAN YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO DO ANYTHING AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE REGARDING YOUR CURRENT STATUS. So why not join. Sue Searsby, our branch Secretary, Tamsin Stares the Membership Secretary at Central Office and the branch Chairman will, in the coming weeks, be contacting those people to encourage them to join.

  • Branch Website: www.rmand16641664.webs.com . We now believe that all pages on the site are accessible by everyone site members or not. We aim to keep it upto date. So sections including the Calendar, Globe and Laurel articles and Central Office should have relevant information you may find useful.

  • Branch Calendar: In the past branch, regional and national events have been formulated into a monthly calendar style format, which has been sent to all branch members. To ensure we are being economic with paper and printer ink we have changed the format. All relevant dates have been listed by month. It is strongly advised that dates are transposed to whatever diary/calendar system you operate. It should also be noted that as dates may change and events come on and go of our schedule updates for the next 2 months will always appear in this bulletin under “What’s Coming Up”.


What’s Coming Up.

  • March Branch Gathering – 8th – 1800 meeting in the Ajax Bay Bar and dining.

  • March 23rd – Wilkos Challenge for the RMC .

  • April 2nd – Track Day for The RMC – Castle Coombe Motor Circuit – details to follow.

  • April 5th – Branch Gathering – This is a change of date from the 12th. Details to follow.

  • April 11th - Freedom of Barnstaple Parade – this may slide – details to follow.

  • May 12th - Graspan 2019 see RMA website for details.

  • May 28thBoxing Evening at the WO&SNCO’s Mess – details to follow.

  • June 15th -Branch Regimental Dinner – details to follow.


  • A Trip to 1 Assault Group RM, Devonport. One of our senior veterans Cliff Coates is being hosted at 1 AGRM, Devonport and it has been suggested by the co-ordinator and the CO & RSM of 1AGRM that it may be possible to extend the invitation to a group from the North Devon Branch. This is all yet to be confirmed but as soon as information will be cascaded to all.





Other Matters.

  • ESS Price Increases. It is understood the catering contractors are putting up prices and possibly changes to meal plans. When more is known and what impact there will be to the branch it will be cascaded to all.

  • Regional Trip to Spean Bridge and the West Highland Way. This idea is still at feasibility stage with no detailed planning in place as yet. Derek Sargent can be contacted if you are interested – his contact details are below.


  • As always if you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select one of the following below:


Finally.

  • Chair and Mrs chair are on holiday – 12th Feb to 1st March. John will be monitoring emails on [email protected]


Branch Officer Contact Details


Branch Matters

Primary Contact 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

Primary Contact: 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:


    • March Branch Gathering – 8th March – SNCO’s Mess – RMB Chivenor. The format will be as usual – 1800 meet and supper (Fish and Chips) - Ajax Bay Bar/Dining Area followed by Branch Business at 1900 and some form of entertainment at 2000 – maybe a quiz or bingo or something else. As it will be a short time between The Chair returning from holidays and the meeting it would help greatly if he received early notification of your wish to attended and specifically those eating. Closing date for food orders 5th March.




Branch Meeting and Monthly News Bulletin: January 2019.


A Summary of the January Meeting at the WO&SNCO’s Mess, RMB Chivenor

  • 30 members attended the evening with 26 apologies or we know are unable to attend monthly meetings. Following the usual PAYD meal the first business of the branch commenced..
    • Previous Branch Bulletin was proposed and seconded by J.C Bowden and Dave Rowlands.

  • The Chair covered the following items:
    • Accounts: Branch Account: £2604.05 Charity Account: £0.00 Social Account: £162.73
    • Thanks from John Bigwood
    • Remembrance Parades
    • Christmas Appeal
    • Christmas Party
    • SW Regional Meeting

  • Following branch business members adjourned to the bar and then watched a DVD on the Limbang Raid at the start of the Borneo Confrontation in 1962. Present was branch member john Grebby who took part in the raid and Bob Fergie who served in 40 Cdo during the Confrontation.

  • The raffle raised £105.00 for branch funds – thanks to all.

  • What’s Coming Up.

  • The Branch website and calendar

  • Voting for a Chelsea FC Match Day collection for the RMC.

Details of everything covered can be found in the main bulletin below.



Bulletin For January 2019.


Branch Accounts:

  • Mrs Treasurer (Susan McCulloch) and the Chairman have been preparing the 2018 accounts for submission. Notification has now come through from Central Office that the years accounts will now run to March 31st 2019 (a 15 month period) as a result of the pending merger.

  • I can report we have sent a cheque for £8,476.12 to the Royal Marines Charity with requests (approved by both Chief Execs) for donations to BLESMA, SSAFA North Devon, The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust and Commando Logistic Welfare Hub. The balance will be placed in the Royal Marines Charity Benevolent Fund.

  • A £100.00 legacy donation was made to branch funds from the funeral of the late Billy Baverstock.

  • Susan McC noted the revenue from our network of “Charity Tins” raised around £1,352.00 in 2018.

  • A number of RBL wreaths were acquired by the branch for the various Remembrance Parades in November and we made a donation of £100 to the RBL for these.

  • Work on the Charity Tin process has been reviewed and although we have always been compliant the committee felt it could be refreshed and tightened up. This has been done. The Chair and Treasurer are also going to work on understand how much it costs to run the branch, creating an annual budget. This will allow us to fulfil a challenge from the CEO that money raised by members for branch must be used to benefit the members and not horded.

  • Although the Committee doesn’t print off branch account spread sheet (saving the Rain Forest) any branch member who would like to view our accounts are entitled to do so – please ask.


Taking into account the pending payment of the Charity Account cheque the accounts stand at:



        Branch Account: £2604.05        Charity Account: £0.00        Social Account: £162.73



Support:

  • We said our farewells to Bill Baverstock in December and it was a fitting send off for our “Old Soldier”

  • Although we have one or two who are less well generally those on our watch list are OK.

  • As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.


Chairman’s Report:

  • John Bigwoods visit.
    • John sent a “Thank You” to the branch for our hospitality to him during his November visit.

  • December Christmas Support Appeal.
    • Money raised – £6,326.71
    • Thanks to all who supported our efforts or volunteered but who’s services weren’t required this time.
    • A great public response, particularly from Veterans from all the services and the staff at all venues want us back.

  • The Branch Christmas Party.
    • 60+ attended
    • CO enjoyed the evening
    • A great raffle. Thanks to all who procured prizes, bought raffle tickets which help support our branch. The best yet with over £700 being raised to benefit the branch. Well done Fran and Jacky.

  • SW Regional AGM and Central Office Business.
    • The Chair and Branch President, Derek Sargent – who is also the Regional Trustee and Chair attended.
    • Phil Gilby, the new Regional Ops Manager and Richard Spencer, the RMA CEO were in attendance.
    • A letter from the CE, Richard Spencer has been published on the branch Website and the Committee are aware that those without access to a computer (postal Members) received a Christmas card with the shorter version from of this letter.
    • Because of the ending of Membership Subscriptions - don’t forget to cancel your Standing Order. All Direct Debits have already been cancelled. Please consider making your old membership fee an annual donation to the RMC instead.
    • It can be confirmed that a new category of membership for anyone joining going forward and is not RM related will be classed as “Supporting Member”. They will have the same benefits as Associate members.
    • All future fund raising will be sent to the RMC Benevolent Fund.
    • There is a new logo which will be introduced on the merger date:
    • General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – New regs were brought into force in May 2018. The statement form Central Office was read out at the branch meeting and a copy has been placed on the branch website under Central Office section. In summary data isn’t being used for anything it should be.
    • There was a brief discussion about the funds currently held in the Regional Account and whether a Regional trip to the Spean Bridge Parade in July would be an option to include a walk on the West Highland Way. The branch is waiting for further details.


What’s Coming Up.

  • February Branch Gathering – 8th February - A Mini Burns Supper – so looking at 1800 meet, 1830 Branch Business, 1900 Eat – kilts and other tartan welcome. Full details at the end of this bulletin.

  • March Branch Gathering – 8th – details to follow.

  • March 23rd – Wilkos Challenge for the RMC – To be confirmed

  • April 2nd – Track Day for The RMC – Castle Coombe Motor Circuit – details to follow.

  • April 11th - Freedom of Barnstaple Parade – It is understood that the branch will be invited to take part n some way. During the branch meeting WO2 Spud Taylor confirmed that when 40 Cdo got the Freedom of Taunton the Taunton Branch of the RMA, including wheelchair veterans, marched. The chair is awaiting an invitation to discuss what part we will play in this event. But it is a one off which will not be repeated so all branch members should take advantage of this unique event and be on parade. Details as soon as.

  • April 12th – Branch Gathering – details to follow.

  • Branch Regimental Dinner in May/June – this is a key event and once we have discussed possible dates with the Mess the Committee will be able to update the branch calendar.

Other Matters.

  • Branch Websitewww.rmand16641664.webs.com
    • Work to refresh and create a user-friendly sight is underway. It is felt this should not necessarily be a membership site but more of a News and Information site – accessible by anyone.
    • Those with access to the Internet please try “Googling” the above website address and have a look at what we are trying to create. Feedback is very welcome and encouraged.

  • Branch Display Cabinet in the Mess – we have a small display cabinet opposite the Ajax Bay Bar and will soon populate it with relevant items. The size of the cabinet will restrict what goes in it so we will be unable to use it to display items that are too historical. The aim is for that Serving Mess Members can see at a glance what we do.

  • Branch Calendar This year in an attempt to save on printer ink, paper etc we are changing how we produce the branch calendar. To that end Sue is in the throws of putting together a one page events Calendar for the year for you to transpose onto your own calendar. BUT PLEASE REMEMBER THESE DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

For those with computer access to the calendar on our branch website will be kept up to date and can easily be accessed by “Googling” the link above. We will continue to publish changes in the monthly bulletin and any key events will be highlighted as a ‘news item’ in the minutes. The committee is committed to ensure you are aware of branch meetings, functions and events that are both branch and national and any updates and changes. We cannot emphasis enough that to keep up to date please read your monthly bulletin or view the calendar on line then please check and update your own calendars as and when.



  • Regional Trip to Spean Bridge and the West Highland Way - Derek Sargent, Branch President and Regional Chairman is proposing RMA SW Region trip to the Spean Bridge Parade on 7th July preceded by walking the West Highland Way – a 96 mile off road walk from Glasgow to Fort William. The following itinerary is proposed:

27th June 2019                   Travel to Glasgow

28 June to 4th July             Walk the West Highland Way

5th  July                                Climb Ben Nevis or day in Fort William

6th July                                 Visit Spean Bridge Memorial, Spean Bridge Commando Museum, Visit Achnacarrie

7th July                                 Attend the RMA Spean Bridge Parade and Reception

8th July                                 Travel back to West Country.


If you are interested in taking part (you can do as much or as little as you feel able to do) please contact the Branch Chairman or Derek Sargent who can provide further information initially by February 11th. Derek requires final numbers by the end of February to make the necessary arrangements . Please note the cost of travel to Scotland and the Spean Bridge Commemoration Ceremony and the social activities will be covered by the Region. During the walk you can camp or for a more comfortable nights sleep B&B - the cost of which (including all meals) will be at your own expense. This is a regional event and not being organised by the branch.


As always if you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select one of the following below:


Branch Matters

Primary Contact: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email [email protected]

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

Primary Contact: Bruce White on 01271 346611 or email [email protected]

Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]lub.net

Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]



Next Meeting:


    • February Branch Gathering – 8th February – SNCO’s Mess – RMB Chivenor. It is planned to have a Mini Burns Supper (Kilts are not mandatory but welcome or any other tartan attire) so meet as usual at 1800, very brief Branch Business at 1830, piped into the Mess at 1900 followed by:
    • Welcome and Selkirk Grace
    • Pipe in and “Address and Toast” to the Haggis.
    • Self-service first course – Cottage Pie and Veg with a small potion of Haggis for those who want.
    • Address and Toast to the Lassies
    • Hot Dessert
    • Reply and Toast to the Laddies
    • Final words/toast to Robbie Burns.
    • Retire to bar.


Branch Meeting and Monthly News Bulletin: November 2018.

 

A Summary of the November Meeting at the WO&SNCO’s Mess,  RMB Chivenor

  • 27 members attended the evening with 25 apologies.  The evening started with the usual PAYD meal and branch business was started with Jenny Staines carrying out her “Crate Fine” for having her picture in the Globe and Laurel.  Although the suggestion Jenny should carry out the fine was for humour only it was a very pleasant surprise when Jenny and Roger turned up with a bottle of Pussers Rum.  Never wanting to refuse we accepted Jenny’s forfeit and Roger Staines used the occasion to recite the extract from Binyon’s “The Fallen”.
    • Previous Branch Bulletin was proposed and seconded by JC Bowden and Dave Rowland
    •  There were a couple of welcomes –
      • John and Liz Gingell were over from Bournemouth for Remembrance Weekend and it is always a pleasure to see our good friends.
      • John Grebby has fully recovered from his little medical emergency the previous meeting with the expected cracks as “falling over on the job”.
      • USMCL and Associate members – John Bigwood – had come over from the US for a week and joined our merry band for the evening.  Great to see John.
  • The Chair covered the following items:
    • Unit Remembrance Parade – Crow Point
    • The Remembrance Weekend Events in North Devon.
    • The ending of RMA membership fees.
    • The work of the RM Charity including the letter of acknowledgment for the work of the branch from the Commandant General.
    • What’s Coming Up.
    • The “Pages in the Sand” event at Saunton Sands
    • Veterans United Against Suicide.
  • Following the formalities the membership filled their glasses and moved to the main bar area a short film about the US Assualt Training Centre in North Devon in preparation to the D Day Landings.
  • The raffle raised £90 for branch funds – and thanks to all.

 

Accounts:  Branch Account: £3093.78                     Charity Account: £1406.26                          Social Account: £54.98

 

Chairman’s Report:

  • Unit Remembrance Parade – Crow Point – Braunton Burrows.  A good turn out of branch, which was appreciated by the CO, 2 I/C, RSM and Unit personnel. The standard was on parade but sadly as there had been no provision due to time constraints for the laying of branch and USMCL wreaths these were laid at the Memorial Garden at RMB Chivenor following the service.
  • Remembrance Parades – North Devon.  The branch was represented at a number of Remembrance Parades across North Devon, laying wreaths at Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Marwood, South Molton, Torrington and Bideford.  The Branch focussed on the parade at Bideford where there was an excellent turnout.  It was good to see our more senior members Cliff (Coates), Len (Husband) and Sheila (Parker).  Also great see a few “youngsters” with their Green Lids - Simon Cobb, Keith Owen, Bill Milster and Neil Gibbet.  Wreaths were layed by Derek Sargent for the Branch and John Bigwood, ably assisted by Nita Marshall and Liz Gingell, for the USMCL.  2 standards were paraded – the branch and the USMCL standard carried by Bob Martin. Following the church service some of us partook in a “swift half” at the reception.
  • The 100th Anniversary of the WW1 Armistice Beacon Lighting Event.  As part of the 100th Anniversary - Pipes paraded at 0600 playing The Battles O’er.  2 branch members – Bob Fergie and Bob Winslow attended.  At 1500 the main event at the Pollyfields Centre got under way.  The branch had a Military Book stall, Tombola for the kids and branch stand with a WW1 significance.  The build up to the beacon lighting started around 1800 with the reading of the names fallen from Bideford.  Last Post sounded at 1855 with the beacon lit at 1900 followed by a proclamation by the Town Crier.  Bob Fergie recited the Exaltation.  The event closed with a reception.  A huge well done to Pat Fergie ably assisted by Bob and the team from Pollyfields.  It should be noted this was the only major WW1 event held in Bideford.  A total of £125.05 was raised from our activities.

 

  • The Ending of RMA Membership Subscriptions.  It has been widely publicised that membership fees ended 9th November.  At the branch meeting the chairman summarised the thinking behind this and encouraged as many as possible to continue their support for the RMA/RMC by consider making their current fee an annual donation to the charity as suggested by Central Office.  This can be done by visiting www.royalmarineassociation.org.uk - Click on “Support Us”. If you need help or advise contact John Peel.
    • All were advised that DDR’s will be cancelled by Central Office but those paying their subs by STO should cancel with immediate effect.
    • The Chair also said, from a branch perspective, it will be business as usual with no changes to the way the branch operated and the benefits available through the RMA/RMC.
    • One of the big wins would be the ending of VAT through membership fees which will allow the transition, from two charities to one, to be completed on schedule December 31st/January 1st.  This merger is seen as a very positive step for the future of both organisations.

So to clarify – if and when you receive a letter from Central Office, which some will have done already, advising you that your DDR has been cancelled there is nothing you need to do.  Your membership status hasn’t changed and will continue.  When your card is due for renewal you will receive a new card, which will have a 10 year expiry date.  Similarly if you have a Standing Order, which you must cancel – your membership status will not be affected and again when your card is due for renewal you will receive a new card with a 10 year  expiry date.

 

  • RM Charity Presentation Event at Stonehouse Barracks. The chair reported on this event and highlighted a few key points.
    • Over 1000 individuals and families were supported in 2017.  Every day 3 new cases are referred to the Support Team. 
    • Invictus Games was again a huge success for former RM’s
    • £1.9 million was given out in support in 2017.  Out of every £1 donated - £0.93 went directly in benevolence – this achievement is enviable by other major charities who cannot meet these levels.
    • Research suggests that PTSD manifests over 7-10 years.  This is now becoming evident post Afghan. 

 

  • The Commandant General’s Letter to the Branch. As reported last month the key extracts from the letter were “the branches fund raising achievements makes the North Devon branch the most generous geographical branch donor to the charity” - “The branch continues to set a high bar and is the epitomy of what an Association Branch should be” -  “You should be rightly proud of this magnificent achievement.”  These were the words of The Commandant General, Major General Charlie Stickland RM. 

 

  • Hosting John Bigwood, USMCL and Branch Member.  After week of hosting visits to CTC, CLR and 11 ATT Instow not to mention the Remembrance events we said a fond farewell to John.  It was a pleasure having him with us and we look forward to his next trip across the water – Semper Fe and Per Mare Per Terram.

 

  • SW Regional AGM .  This was held on the 25th November, attended by branch representatives from the regions branches.  With Phil Gilby, the new West Regional Ops Manager and the RMA CEO Brig. Richard Spencer present the future of the RMA in it’s new merged role with the RMC was the main focus of the meeting.  Once the Chairman has absorbed what was discussed he will report back to the branch.

 

  • What’s Coming Up.

 

  • December:
    • Branch Christmas Appeal – various dates locations from the 3rd to 18th as follows: 
      • 3rd/4th – Tesco Braunton: 5th/6th/7th – Morrisons, Bideford: 10th/11th/12th/13th – Barnstaple –Pannier Market/High Street: 17th/18th – Tesco Ilfracombe
      • We now have a happy band of helpers and Unit Support from serving personnel.  However if you would like to help out for a couple of hours or go on the stand-by list please contact the John Peel with location, date and time you would be available.

 

 

 


    • Branch Christmas Party – 14th Officers Mess
      • The raffle plays a key role in funding this festive evening. We have at least 20 excellent prizes on offer with current top prizes being a holiday voucher for £100, a portable DVD player and a Luxury Christmas Hamper.  So as always raffle tickets are now available at £5.00 per book and will be available on the night.  If you would like to order a book or two please contact John Peel.
      • Anyone who is planning to attend and has either stated this but not sent the form or money back or who hasn’t yet done anything we have an absolute cut off of the 5th December.

 


    • THERE WILL BE NO DECEMBER MEETING

 

  • January
    • 11th – Branch Evening – WO&SNCO’s Mess. Meal Orders by 8th Jan.  Info at the bottom of this bulletin.

 

Other Business.

  • Veterans United Against Suicide.
    • The chairman has received a request for an on line campaign to vote for funding for Veterans United Against Suicide.  This group was started by a former RM in support of veterans suffering PTSD and the request is that people cast an on line vote for funding from Aviva Community Fund.  The link is below:
    • www.community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/4-901
    • Please take a minute to have a look at this.  Also note we are not asking for donations.
  • RMA Chief Executive’s Letter regarding the future of the RMA – What was covered.
    • The Merger a Timeline
    • RMA Central Office Financial Procedures & Consolidating of Branch Accounting
    • New Branding of the Merged Charities
    • Events 2019
    • RM Branded Goods/Products
    • Future Communication
    • GDPR
    • Fund Raising and Branch Funds
    • The Membership Categories
    • Honouring Members
    • Functions of the Operations Managers

Following the AGM the chairman will summaries at the next branch meeting and in future branch communications all relevant points.

 

If you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select one of the following below:

 

Branch Matters

Primary Contact: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email [email protected]

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

Primary Contact: 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: 11th January – WO&SNCO’s Mess – meet in the Ajax Bay Bar.  Eating at 1800 to 1900 – Home Made Chicken Kiev, Chips and Peas + cold dessert at £4.25.  Branch Business 1900-1930’ish followed by a DVD on  “The Limbang Raid at the start of the Borneo Conflict by L Coy, 42 Cdo” + a Q&A on the Confrontation from 2 veterans who were there.

Branch Meeting and Monthly News Bulletin: October 2018.

 

A Summary of the October Meeting at the WO&SNCO’s Mess,  RMB Chivenor

  • 35 members attended the evening with 31 apologies.  The evening started with the usual PAYD meal and a summary of branch business.
    • JC Bowden was thanked for providing the “Pusser’s Rum”.  It has been 60 years since he joined the RN  as an Artificer Apprentice on 8th September 1958.  He acquired 4 bottles for the 50th anniversary somehow managed to keep one for his own consumption.  But when he knew the branch were celebrating the Corps 354 th birthday, along with Trafalgar Day he thought “What better way to celebrate and crack the seal” - so donated it for toast for the evening’s entertainment.   It can be reported it went very down well.
    • The Chair reported on the success of The Barnstaple Marathon and B&M Challenge.
    • Jacko Jackson gave a short summary of why CLR are holding the Remembrance Parade on the 8th and what is likely to be happening.
  • Following the formalities the membership filled their glasses and moved to the main bar area where Jacko had put out seating in preparation for the band concert by the Appledore Sliver Band celebrating Trafalgar Day, 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1, 100 years of the RAF and of course the Corps Birthday – 354 years old.  Short passages about the Battle of Trafalgar, WW1, RAF 100 and of course the Royal Marine Convening Order preceded each musical section.  The history of the Conveying Order is that the proclamation was announced to raise an army of whom, at that time, were called The Duke of Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot, which is now recognised as the birth of the Royal Marines.  Charles 2nd made the proclamation on the 28th October 1664  at the Court of Whitehall.  As is tradition  in Royal Marine Senior NCO Messes, the youngest Senior NCO must recite the words from heart.  Jacko, who happened to be the only serving Royal Marine and a warrant Officer to boot, was therefore considered the youngest (don’t let it go to your head Jacko) was pinged at short notice by the Chair to announce the Proclamation.  Jacko did point out the selected individual generally gets a number of weeks to learn the words,  emphasising that as the Chair had given him 5 minutes notice he apologised for reading it rather than reciting it.  The raffle raised over £105 for branch funds. Thanks to the attendees for their generosity.

 

Accounts:  Branch Account: £3247.51                     Charity Account: £1293.86                          Social Account: £25.98

 

Chairman’s Report:

  • Barnstaple Marathon and Cheque Presentation.  Around 15 of us turned to to direct runners around the airfield.  In his usual efficient manner Jacko co-ordinated the event and we don’t think we lost anyone.  My thanks to those who came out.  Brain Mulholland and the North Devon Road Runners also send their sincere thanks.  They said there were many comments of appreciation from the runners for the vocal support they received in what is a pretty desolate part of the course.  On the following Wednesday I went to Chivenor and received a cheque for £200 for branch funds and next year’s event was also announced which will be the 29th September.
  • The B&M Challenge 2018.  A small but adequate group went out to B&M last weekend and set up the bike and stand for a 7 hours fund raising challenge.  B&M staff manned the bike in a rota while we held the buckets.  The virtual route was Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain from Cranford to Barnstaple. The staff completed over @00k and we collected £574.51 for RM Charities.  A worthwhile day out and continues to raise awareness of the work we do and enhances our relationship with B&M

 

What’s Coming Up.

  • October
    • 25th – WW1 commemoration St Magarets Church, Northam.
      • Branch Standard has been invited to be on paraded for this service f remembrance to the fallen of Northam and the branch President will also be in attendance.
  • November
    • 2nd  – WW1 Commemoration at St Mary’s Church, Appledore
      • Over a number of months a group in Appledore have been knitting and crocheting poppies.  They have now accumulated around 4500.  It is planned to create a “Poppy Wave” – Tower of London’esk outside St Mary’s Church in Appledore.  You should be able to view this fitting display to the war dead of Appledore from the 28th October.
      • At the end of the week on Friday 2nd November there is a free concert by the Appledore Band at 1900 at St Mary’s.  A request has come out that a military presence would be welcome and blazers, berets and medals would be appropriate but not mandatory.
    • 8th – Unit Remembrance Parade on Braunton Burrows
      • 50% of the Unit are currently on deployment in various parts of the world and their scheduled return to UK has not been finalised yet.  It has therefore been decide that it is appropriate to allow those who are still on the base to be released to celebrate this year’s Remembrance day with their friends and families in their home towns.  So this can happen the Unit will parade at Crow Point (final RV to be specified) having moved to the Burrows by Speed Marching on mass, where a service of Remembrance will e carried out.  Wreaths will be laid and then recovered to the Memorial Garden later.  It is understood the RMA are invited to attend and Jack Jackson and John Peel will be working out logistics of getting personnel from camp to the Burrows.  If anyone would like to attend please contact John Peel no later than 2nd November, which will help in the planning.  If he doesn’t hear from you he will assume you are not attending.
    • 9th – Branch Meeting – Special Guest Former USMC Veteran John Bigwood.
      • Former USMC Veteran John Bigwood will be coming over from the US for the week.  John is an Associate member of the branch and is very proud of this fact.  He is being hosted by our very own USMC Veteran, Bob Martin and the Chairman during his visit and will be visiting CTC, CLR and 11 ATT Instow.  He will also be attending the various Remembrance parades during his stay.  On the 9th John will be attending the branch evening.
      • To give the evening a US military theme a DVD showing the US Army Assualt Training on Braunton Burrows prior to D Day will be shown.
    • 11th AM – Remembrance Parades across North Devon. 
      • As there will be no Unit parade this year the branch standard will be on parade at Bideford. For those who plan to attend Bideford and march; meet at the carpark on the Pill at around 1000’ish.  The parade does a short march to the memorial by Café du Parc.  Anyone not marching meet at the memorial by Café du Parc.  The branch President will lay a wreath.  After the wreath laying the parade will marches along the Quay to St Mary’s Church for a service and then back to the Pill Carpark.  In the past there has then been a buffet at the Conservative Club but as yet no information has been communicated about this.  The chairman request that anyone attending the Bideford parade let him know and he will then be able to give further information in due course.
      • In addition to Bideford we should have representatives at Barnstaple, Torrington, Marwood & Fremington & Ilfracombe to lay wreaths on behalf of the branch.
      • If anyone is planning to attend elsewhere we can provide an RMA wreath for them to lay – please let the Chairman know in good time.
    • 11th PM/Evening– WW1 100th Anniversary Beacon Lighting Pollyfields Centre, Bideford.
      • The branch has been invited to attend this event, which starts around 1500.   It is hoped to have the branch stand highlighting what we do as a branch and that of the RMA as a whole.  Also it is intended to display a historical commemoration of the Royal Marines part in WW1.  We are planning a bookstall and Tombola – to raise some funds for the branch and charity.
      • The main event kicks off around 1820 following a Dame Vera Lynn set at 1730.  Following this the names of the town’s fallen will be read out by school children prior to Last Post at 1855, Beacon Lighting at 1900 and the ringing of St Mary’s Church Bells at 1905. A VIP reception will follow.
      • With the Unit not available it will be down to the branch to provide that military presence so anyone attending please wear blazers, berets and medals.  Any question contact the chairman.
    • 25th – SW Regional AGM
      • Chairman and President will be attending this important event for the region and branch.  WO1 RSM Phil Gilby RM, who is due to leave the Corps very soon is the new Regional Ops Manager and his enthusiasm is legendary.  He along with the RMA CEO Brigadier Richard Spencer are certain to bring a new strategy to the region.  The chairman will report back at the next branch gathering in November.

 

 

 

  • December
    • Branch Christmas Appeal – various dates locations from the 3rd to 18th as follows: 
      • 3rd/4th – Tesco Braunton: 5th/6th/7th – Morrisons, Bideford: 10th/11th/12th/13th – Barnstaple –Pannier Market/High Street or maybe Tesco Rose Lane: 17th/18th – Tesco Ilfracombe
      • If you would like to help out for a few hours please contact the Chairman with location, date and time you would be available. Never wanting to supress the enthusiasm of our members, which is outstanding, we have to be mindful of the public so do not want to appear too over powering at each of the locations.  Supermarket foyers are generally tight for space.  So we need to limit numbers of bucket holders accordingly.   Names to John Peel please.
    • Branch Christmas Party – 14th Officers Mess
      • 1800 Welcome drinks, 1900 seated – starter/2 meat carvery/dessert/after dinner nibbles - £20
      • Steve Valentine is entertaining us again after dinner
      • The raffle plays a key role in funding this festive evening. We have at least 20 excellent prizes on offer with current top prizes being a holiday voucher for £100, a portable DVD player and a Luxury Christmas Hamper.  So as always raffle tickets are now available at £5.00 per book and will be available on the night.  If you would like to order a book or two please contact John peel who will be able to sort this out.  Raffle tickets will be on sale at November’s gathering
      • As you will all have received your invitation proforma please get your returns in as soon as possible to help the organising committee in the admin that is essential to ensure arrangements for the evening are carried out in a timely manner.

 

Other Business.

  • Security Access to Camp – It appears this has now been sorted and everyone attending the last meeting gained access to camp with no fuss.  Going forward for all events on the base where the RMA are attending, as long as the Chairman submits an accurate list in advance of the event the Security Officer on the gate will be able to ticket off individuals and where necessary a temporary car pass will be issued.  However please continue to ensure that proof ID is carried. 

 

And Finally.

  • Literally hot off the press the Chairman has just received a letter from the Commandant General Royal Marines, Major General Charlie Stickland OBE, acknowledging and thanking the branch for the hard work and success in our fund raising endeavours for the Royal Marine Charities. This will be read out at the next branch meeting.  A small extract says it all:

“The total raised since 2011 from the Sainsbury’s Cyclathon – a magnificent £76,000 - makes North Devon the most generous geographical Branch donor to the Charity.”

  • Have no doubt – but for the hard work and steadfast support of loyal branch members this accolade would not have been achieved.  From the Chairman – “All, feel proud and take the day off.  Thank you”

 

If you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select one of the following below:

 

Branch Matters

Primary Contact: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email [email protected]

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

Primary Contact: 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: 9th November  – WO&SNCO’s Mess – meet in the Ajax Bay Bar.  Meal 1800 to 1900 – BBQ Chicken Melt, Chips and Salad at £4.50 with a cold dessert at £0.75.  Branch Business 1900-1930 and “Spirits of the Sands” - a DVD about the US Army Assault Training Area on Braunton Burrows in preparation for D Day.

Branch Meeting and Monthly News Bulletin: September 2018.

 

A Summary of the September Meeting at the WO&SNCO’s Mess,  RMB Chivenor

  • 22 members attended the evening with 30 apologies.  The evening started with the usual PAYD meal and a summary of branch business.  The Chair welcomed Paul (Jan) Newland (although the Chair now realises he has welcomed Jan at least twice!!) and Graham Hand – two members who have recently joined the branch. The previous news bulletin/minutes were proposed as being correct by JC Bowden and seconded by Tom Rivenberg.
  • The Chair reported on the success of The Long Swim Challenge 2018, Mess Beerfest enjoyed by a number of branch members, The RMA Families Weekend at CTC and that he had met the new RSM, WO1 RSM Liam Dowthwaite RM, who had welcomed the RMA to the Mess.
  • The Chair also announced that dates had been secured for the annual Christmas Appeal and as always he would be seeking help with the bucket rattling.
  • Jacko Jackson gave a final brief on the Barnstaple Marathon and volunteers who would be marshalling on the airfield.
  • Following the formalities Bruce gave a very enlightening talk on the Deal Bombing, which occurred almost 30 years ago with the tragic loss of 11 Royal Marine Bandsmen.  Our thanks to Bruce for an excellently presentation.
  • The raffle raised £85 for branch funds. Thanks to the attendees for their generosity and support.

 

Accounts:  Branch Account: £3263.48                      Charity Account: £1367.59                            Social Account: £76.38

 

Chairman’s Report:

  • September 8th – Mess Beer Festival – RMB Chivenor.  A few members attended this excellent value for money Mess event where they enjoyed unlimited liquid refreshment, bands, BBQ and a free drinking receptacle for the grand fee of £10.
  • September 15th/16th – Royal Marines Corps Family Weekend.  This is improving each year under the new format and should be better still next year.  Various activities and stands on the main parade and drill shed were available to wander around.  There was a Tug-o-War completion between a number of RM Units, the RMA rugby and football were in action, displays by the RM Cadet Force, The Royal Marine Band-CTC performed Beat Retreat and more.  The concert in the evening was outstanding as always followed by a buffet dance to the CTC RM Dance Band.  Sunday’s parade was well attended with hotdogs and drinks afterwards.  We are please to announce the branch retained the Quiz Trophy, which was great.  However, only 3.5 teams entered. But you have to be in it to win it!
  • September 22nd and 23rd – Supporting the Barnstaple Carnival.  Members of the branch supported Barnstaple Carnival organisers with the placing crowd barriers and gathering them in on the Sunday.  This assisted the organisers greatly and reduced the time and effort considerably.  It is expected the request may come again next year.
  • September 29th – The Barnstaple Marathon. Again this year the branch provided marshalling on the airfield for this event.  Jacko Jackson headed up the co-ordination of this with his usual efficiency.  There were 18/19 branch members including uniforms spread around the course on the airfield ensuring the runners didn’t go astray and helping break up the monotony of running around a pretty desolate circuit of the perimeter.  The ladies, with able assistance from Jan Newland and his ghetto blaster, were a welcome break with drinks and refreshments.  The Chairman would like to thank all those who dragged themselves out of bed at 0700 to help and a big well done to Jacko.  And we get to do it all again next year.
  • October 3rd –Cheque Presentation from North Devon Roads Runners.  On behalf of the branch the Chairman received a cheque for £200 for the branch for this year’s support at the Barnstaple Marathon.  There was also an announcement for next year’s race – 29th September 2019.

 

What’s Coming Up.

  • October
    • 19th - Branch Mtg: Themed Evening in Mess
      • A celebration/remembrance of RM Corps Birthday, Trafalgar Day, 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1 and RAF 100. The Appledore Band will be giving us a 1-hour concert with a selection of military music covering all services.
    • 25th – Branch Standard at Northam Church for WW1 Remembrance.   
      • The branch standard has been invited to attend.
  • November
    • 8th November CLR Remembrance Service – Braunton Burrows: Details to follow.
    • 9th – Branch Meeting – 1800 -food, 1900 - Branch business – details of evening nearer the time.
      • Special Guest – John Bigwood – USMC League & Associate branch member and friend of Bob Martin
    • 11th – Remembrance Parade – More details to come.
      • It has been decided that CLR will allow Unit personnel to take part in Remembrance Services in their home towns this year. THEREFORE THERE WILL NOT BE A PARADE AT RMB CHIVENOR ON THE SUNDAY.  It is believed there will be small detachments attending services in the area.  The branch standard will parade at Bideford.  You are welcome to attend the Bideford parade or, if you choose, attend a parade in your local area.  As always we will provide RMA wreaths for those who would like to lay a wreath at their towns Memorial on behalf of the RMA and in previous years we have laid wreaths at Bideford, Barnstaple, Marwood, Ilfracombe and Torrington.  I will liaise with representatives for those areas in due course.
    • 11th – WW1 100th Anniversary Beacon Lighting Pollyfields Centre, Bideford at 1730/1800
      • This event is running all afternoon but the main event starts around 1800 with the Roll Call  of Bideford’s WW1 fallen.  This will be followed by Last Post, the Lighting of the Beacon, the Pealing of the Bells at St Mary’s Church as happened at the end of the conflict.
      • Bideford is the only town in North Devon taking part in this national event.  The standard will be on parade and it would be good to have branch representation at this event.
  • December
    • Branch Christmas Appeal –  1000-1600 unless stated differently.
      • Tesco Braunton – 3rd/4th
      • Morrison’s Bideford – 5th/6th/7th
      • Barnstaple Pannier Mkt/High Street and/or Tesco Rose Lane (TBD)– 10th/11th/12th/13th
      • Tesco Ilfracombe – 17th/18th
    • Branch Christmas Party – 14th Officers Mess- Welcome drink, 3 course meal including 2 meat Carvery, coffee/mini mince pies and savoury snacks during the after dinner frivolity at the table.  Followed by 2 hours entertainment for “Crooner” Steve valentine who performed last year.  All for  £20 per head.  You should have received a proforma with closing date for returns with this bulletin.

Other Business.

  • ESS/Compass - With the changing of the catering contract from Sodexo to ESS (Compass) prices have gone up.
  • The Mess New “Scruffs Bar” -The branch used the new “Sruffs Bar (The Old Ajax Bay Room) for the first time in September with no change on the dining room but a change on location for Branch Business.
  • Security Access to Camp – We are still experiencing some inconsistencies with clearing Security at the gate.  Going forward it is hoped by providing a list of names in advance of meetings and events there maybe no need to physically go to the guardroom to sign in and get car passes.  However, reporting to the Guard room is currently the procedure. So be prepared to arrive early, get out of your car and check in at the Guardroom.  Don’t forget ID.  The Chairman and Unit Liaison Officer are continuing to work with Security and the Unit and will update you on any changes and the final agreed procedure.

And Finally.

If you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select one of the following below:

Branch Matters

Primary Contact: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email [email protected]

Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email rmb[email protected] 

Jacko Jackson on 07821 448043 or email [email protected]

Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

Welfare Matters

Primary Contact: 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: 19th October  – WO&SNCO’s Mess – meet in the Ajax Bay Room not the main bar.  Meal 1800 to 1900.  Gammon Steak or Veggie Option

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