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Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog: Terrorism back then

Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Terrorism back then

I played with the band at Walmer bandstand today. It was the last one of the season and a nice day too. A little breezy but quite warm. I reckon there was around 200 folk sitting out on the grass listening to us.

Deal memorial bandstand was built in 1993 to commemorate the 11 Royal Marine bandsmen that lost their lives following an IRA bomb at the Royal Marine barracks on 22nd September 1989. These days we talk of the threat of terrorism from Al Qaeda. Back then it was the Provisional IRA. The targeting of non combatant musicians was one of their more extreme examples during their campaign.

I remember the day that happened as being a day at the office as a shipping clerk. I was talking to another agent in Dover and I could here the sound of sirens over the phone as emergency services from Dover made their way to Deal Barracks. It was only about another 10 minutes later that the news broke on the office radio. As a musician that could easily have decided to opt for a career in the services and did seriously consider it, the news was a shock. The were and are a fair few ex Royal Marines in Betteshanger band. I was playing at Betteshanger back then too. There were at least 2 guys back then who had left the RM's only weeks before that bomb.

The bandstand is a fitting tribute. There are plaques round the base of the structure naming each of the casualties. It's hard to believe that 18 years has now passed.

There is further information about how the bandstand was built for those that may be interested click here

The Royal Marine school of music closed some years ago in Deal. They continue to be based in Portsmouth.

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