This page will be for used for “Sue’s Quiz’s” and “items of interest” until the virus has been crushed!

“Item of interest” from our President John Elms.


Quiz No1

Five from the 1940’s

Who “originally” sung these songs.

  1.  Boogie Woogie  Bugle Boy.
  2.  Kiss Me Goodnight Sergeant Major.
  3.   There’ll Be Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs of Dover
  4.  Give Me  Five Minutes More
  5.  I’m Always Chasing Rainbows


  1.   Which river is said to divide Kent into two parts
  2.  Which seaside town is famous for its Oyster Festival
  3.   Which castle did Henry V111 transform in 1519 for Catherine of Aragon
  4.   The village of Coxheath hosts which amusing  sort of World Championships each year
  5.   Kent is also a variety of which fruit


  1.   Which vitamin Is the only one that you will not find in an egg
  2.  Samuel Longthorne Clemens is better known by what name
  3.   Where in the UK do the Army train it’s officers
  4.   Which country has the worlds longest coastline
  5.   Which 3 football club grounds have the biggest capacity

Answers with another Quiz Monday 6th April


Medway Queen PS (1)

I first met the Medway Queen as a delicate teenager in 1960 when, with my girl friend Jos’e, later to become my wife and mother of three, we took a trip on her down the river Medway to Sheerness, quite an adventure for a lad who had only ever been on boating lake in Gillingham Park!

Little did I know a good many years later I was to become a life member of her Preservation Society.

The Medway Queen was built at Troon in 1924 specifically for the New Medway Steam Packet Company Ltd. for operation on the River Medway. The ship was ordered in 1923 at a cost of £21,500 for completion in 1924. She was built by the Ailsa Ship Building Company of Troon on the river Clyde using a traditional frame on plate technique. The hull was flush riveted and the internal joints on bulkheads were secured using round head rivets. The engine was also constructed by Ailsa, being a compound diagonal steam engine (with two cylinders working at different steam pressure and set at an angle between vertical and horizontal). A bow rudder was later fitted, in 1936, to better enable the ship to manoeuvre in harbour and the boiler was replaced and converted to oil firing in 1938. The new boiler was constructed by Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Company in Newcastle and installed in Chatham Dockyard.

To be continued




Flag Lowering

A good crowd were there to witness the Union Flag being lowered from the Flag mast in the now closed RM Depot Deal.                                                                         
The flag is raised with due ceremony when the clocks go forward and lowered when they go back, this simple but moving ceremony has been carried out over many years by a dedicated band now residing in the depot with good few “outsiders” in support!


Fancy a walk on Normandy Beach? click the link for all the info!


Did you serve in Malta? have you any connection with Malta? then the following may be of interest. (the link is dated 2018 but the report is for 2019)


“TIME MARCHES ON” a project to mark the 30th anniversary of the Bombing of the Royal Marine School of Music in Deal.


If you have served in HM Armed Forces please take a few minutes to complete the survey below. Thank You!



Full details in the invitation letter below, please contact me for a booking form and menu. Last chance to book 30th August!  OR 07885110384  OR  01304 363947


The Poppy Event on Walmer Green Saturday 29th June proved to be a great success as the photo’s go to prove!

Deal Army Cadets assemble the Branch marquee

“Spiv” Brian Walton of Dover Branch.

Downs committee member Lydia (L) with her “assistant”

Branch Vice Chairman John Elms with his fabulous paintings, John kindly donated a percentage of his sales to the Poppy Appeal

Poppy organiser Anne Hill and husband Peter

Err? branch member Lindsay Thacker??

Committee member Sue Andrews sells a cake or two to Sheila Watson

Deal Army Cadets set up camp!

Branch member Rosemary Baker on her book stall

Poppy Tombola with Branch member Kath Jarrett

Members Gwen Boucher and Sylvia Roberts

L-R members Sheila Watson, Jenny Gibbons & Anny Elms

Branch Chairman Edward Barkway trying to look useful!!

Branch Secretary Malcolm Gibbons makes an announcement.

Victory War Time Band in full swing

Royal Marines & Royal Navy Cadet Band marching display

Deal Army Cadets Drill Display

A few more photographs follow….


My thanks to Bob Davies & Janet Barkway for their photographs.



Poppy Event this coming Saturday 29th June see poster below NOW!

See you there for a great day out!


Fancy some excellent food at a good price, good company and a great venue? seek no further see below and book NOW!                                       

Come to our meeting Monday 6th May and book your places with Lydia!


WW1 Walmer Aerodrome Evensong at St Mary’s Church Walmer, 19th May scroll down for full info on previously published poster.


“Cake Maker” Kaitlin does it again!

Committee member Sue Andrews with husband John were very proud Grand parents at a presentation evening last night Thursday 4th April, See Sue’s full report below.

Ruby 99! a deputy Lord lieutenant and Kaitlin.

Harry Chapman, branch Secretary, Kaitlin and Mayor of Swanley.

                                            Our grand daughter Kaitlin was invited to the British Legion Swanley, Crockenhill and Hextable awards presentation last night.
The ceremony was held in Hextable village hall and was attended by the many Poppy sellers, Cadets and other volunteers who were awarded certificates.
We joined our grand daughter and her family for the presentation.
Kaitlin has for the past two years made ‘Poppy’ decorated cupcakes and sold them at her school to raise money for the Poppy appeal. Her school had given the money she raised  to the local British Legion branch and told them of her efforts.
As a family we were made really welcome. Kaitlin especially!!! She was met by Harry Chapman branch secretary and he then introduced her to the Mayor of Swanley. They both chatted to her and thanked her for her efforts. The branch Chairperson and Poppy Appeal organiser both took time to chat with her too.
Kaitlin was presented with a certificate for her contribution to the Poppy Appeal and was also given a beautiful British Legion necklace, together with a British Legion Poppy   Cake recipe book.!!!
Kaitlin had her photograph taken with Ruby, who is the Branches oldest Poppy seller aged 99!!!
It was a really lovely evening and wonderful to see her being really made a fuss of.

Sue Andrews


Flag Raising at former RM Depot

This short but meaningful ceremony to raise the Union Flag took place at 11.00 Sunday 31st March, it will fly proudly until the end of British Summer Time 27th October when it will be ceremonially lowered. 

Colour Party L-R John Elms, Peter Hall, Dev Jennings and John Hardy.

Bob Davies RM (Far Left)

A good Job done!

My thanks to all for the photographs.



There will be a short ACT OF REMEMBRANCE at the entrance to the RM Rifle Range at Kingsdown, Monday 1st April Muster at 10.00 for 10.20 SCROLL down to see the full story below at………. 

“Royal Marines Rifle Range Kingsdown”


Walmer Aerodrome

See the open invitation poster below and the potted history of our local WW1 Fighter Defence Station that follows.

Walmer Aerodrome closed to flights in early summer of 1919.The last Squadron at Walmer (233 RAF) was disbanded on May 15th 1919, but it took some time to remove planes, personnel and equipment. It had been opened in Spring 1917 as a Royal Naval Air Service aerodrome and was one of the busiest aerodromes in this part of Kent. From an Aerodrome with only a flight of planes, usually six and seventy supporting staff, Walmer was to increase in size to accommodate a full Squadron of up to twenty four planes. The last German Aeroplane raid on England by daylight took place on 22nd August 1917. Three planes took off from Walmer mid-morning, along with planes from Dover and Manston to successfully engage the enemy. After this, German tactics changed with future air attacks on England taking place at night. On the first of April 1918 at the height of World War One the RNAS and the RFC were combined to form the Royal Air Force. RAF Walmer now had a new Fighter Defence Flight with Captain W.M. Alexander as Commanding Officer flying Sopwith Camels. Their primary mission was to engage enemy fighters originating from Belgium and by the 20th October 1918, the Belgium Coast was completely reoccupied by Allied Forces. After the signing of the Armistice there was a reduction in the necessity for air power in this part of the world and although the numbers of planes at Walmer was increased in March 1919 when all 233 Squadron arrived from the Guston Aerodrome the plans were already being considered to withdraw and within three months Walmer Aerodrome was closed. The last plane to fly out of RAF Walmer was the Airco DH.9

RAF Walmer was also open during WW2, but was not used operationally for aircraft.


Royal Marines Rifle Range Kingsdown


Please attend if you can.

Thank You!



Holocaust Day, see poster below for full details.

Our Parade Marshal Joe de Zille will be laying a wreath on behalf of the Downs Branch. Everyone welcome!



The Bingo regulars were out in force for the first session of 2019, the second Wednesday of every month in The Alma function room, everyone is welcome to join in the fun from 2pm to approx 4pm.

Thanks to the “crew” including John Elms, Mary Eldridge, Gwen Boucher and Lydia O’connor for all their help in ensuring everyone has a good time!


FREE trip to France for D Day Veterans!

This is a golden opportunity to visit the Normandy D Day landing sites in France, if YOU are a D Day Veteran OR you know someone that is then please click the link below.


World War One lost medal “miracle”

Click the link to read this amazing story!


Thursday 6th December at the RMA Club saw 33 members and friends tucking into a superb lunch prepared by Sue and her “girls” the tables were beautifully decorated to put us all into the true Christmas spirit.

Vice Chairman John Elms warmly thanked Sue and her staff for the wonderful meal and prompt friendly service.

Secretary Malcolm Gibbons proposed the toast to Absent Friends.

Chairman Edward Barkway warmly thanked John and Lydia O’Connor for organising the lunch and Lydia for running the raffle, he welcomed all present and wished each and everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year.


Our thanks to Bob Davies for his lovely photographs.

Don’t forget the Christmas Raffle with buffet on Wednesday 12th December in the function room of the Alma Pub at 18.30 for 19.00 tickets just 50p a go, over 50 prizes!



IMPORTANT! December’s Monthly Bingo (2nd Wed of every month) is on Wednesday 19th December 14.00 to 16.00 NOT Wed 12th.


Just a few of the lucky “winners” at last months games organised by Gwen Boucher tea maker & washer upper’er, Mary Eldridge card checker and dogs body with John Elms money taker, card issuer and all round good egg approaching Molly the caller!


Display at Deal Town Hall

A very interesting display at Deal Town Hall attracted a steady flow of visitors to see the exhibits arranged by Events Manager Jo Harper which included some 150 post cards written by pupils from Sandown School in memory of all WW1 soldiers.

Hosting the event and helping Jo to set up were members John & Anny Elms, Mary Eldridge and Lydia O’Connor.

Our Downs Branch RBL Poppy man welcomed the visitors.

The crosses supplied by Gwen have pictures of just some of the men from Deal & Walmer who died in the Great War.

Some very touching sentiments written by the pupils of Sandown School.

A fascinating history of the 1500 Belgian refugees who stayed in Deal during WW1 researched by Suzanne Green  displayed along the LH wall.

Our magnificent Book of Remembrance inscribed and donated by John Elms in 2015 attracted a good deal of interest.


Our granddaughter Kaitlin spent 2 evenings making  and decorating 70 ‘Poppy ‘ cakes to sell at her school.
She raised over £75 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
She is on the left of the picture. Her friend helped her sell them.
We are very proud of her.
Sue and John
Message and pictures from new committee member Sue Andrews.

Mmmm! they look very tasty, well done and thank you Kaitlin.

(Scroll for three more new pictures)

A small part of the Poppy display in Kingsdown Church.

Well done “Bloody Mary’s” wine bar for flying this flag.


St Andrew’s Church West St Deal

Extend an open invitation to a short service at this lovely old church this Saturday10th November at 7.30pm where you are invited to lay flowers and tributes in memory of the end of WW1 at their War Memorial within the church.

The RBL Book of Remembrance that John Elms inscribed and presented to the branch will be re-blessed.

Everyone welcome.


PARKING                                                                                                                                                          There is FREE parking on the Freedown for the very short Service at 09.00 on Sunday 11th November ONLY.

Please scroll for the poster below the poem.


 Very Special Poem to Masheeda from her Sister-in-Law.

Sq. Leader Anthony Downing RIP 23 Dec 2011 aged 34 Died of wounds from an IED in Afganistan.


Programme from Walmer Parish Council, poster below.


Please support this concert if you possibly can as the organisers are very kindly donating some of the proceeds to our local Legion. Full info below!


Quick Reminder to ALL branch Members there is an open meeting Monday 24th 19.30 @ The Alma Pub in Deal, please come along and have your say!


This thought provoking image entitled “There but not There” was spotted by Bob Davies at the Military Odyssey Show at the Kent County Show Ground.


BINGO!                                                                                                                        These regular 2nd Wednesday of every month sessions held in the function room of the Alma Pub are proving very popular with daytime players!

 Just a few of the regular 30 or so that come along, who at this session enjoyed a surprise buffet kindly donated anomalously, so many thanks indeed to whoever you are!

Everyone welcome!

Many thanks to the organising crew, Mary, Gwen, Lydia & John.


Three pictures of the stalwarts manning the RBL Downs table at Deal Hospital Fete, well done to you all for “flying the flag”


Branch members will be manning a stall at Deal Hospital Fete this afternoon 4th August so please come along and say “hello” we will be very pleased to see you!




Canadian Armed Forces in Folkestone see poster below                                              


Clean plates all round!

Thirty three Downs Branch members and friends enjoyed a very convivial lunch at the RMA Club Thursday 21st June, our President “Aussie” Walker and his wife June and Dover White Cliffs Branch members Chris and Brian Walton were warmly welcomed by chairman Edward Barkway.

The very generous and tasty two course meal with coffee and mints was prepared and served by Sue Cornish and her “girls” at an extremely reasonable cost of £12. no wonder there were “clean plates all round”

The raffle raised £88 so many thanks indeed to all who donated the prizes, thanks also to Lydia and Rosemary for selling the tickets, Aussie managing to draw out his own ticket! and Edward winning a pink Teddy Bear (no comments please!)


Many thanks to everyone that made the day possible, especially to Liz Larner and Lydia O’Connor that recorded the sales and payments and to John Elms for booking the venue.

 A generous well deserved  collection being presented by John to Sue and her staff not only for looking after us so well but also for the splendid table decorations, many thanks from us all!


When a vinyl record was mysteriously handed into the RAF Association’s Flowerdown House hotel in Weston-super-Mare, we didn’t expect to discover such a rare find: A 73-year-old wartime recording made by a serviceman to his wife for their first wedding anniversary.                                  (see below picture)

Contact between the serviceman, identified as Rick, and his wife during the Second World War, likely would have been limited, and the recording demonstrates just one way families kept in touch.
To hear Rick’s message click the “start button” below..
…they didn’t have ecards or Facetime then!!

Many Thanks to member Brian Fawcett for sending me this.                                            Edward


A poignant reminder kindly submitted by member Bob Davies.                                


Are you ex WRAC?

Mrs Mary Clark would love to hear from you, please contact her directly at

Many Thanks,                                                                                                                                                    Edward


Free Holidays for WW2 Veterans!


Remembrance Travel is trying to find all surviving veterans of WWII to participate in funded LIBOR Tours of Remembrance to where they served.

The Royal British Legion has been running LIBOR funded tours for Normandy veterans for the past four years and thanks to additional LIBOR funding is now able to widen the tours to all veterans of WWII.

The Treasury are enabling a series of tours which are being funded by the LIBOR fines, allowing a WWII veteran to return and pay their respects to fallen comrades. In addition, a family member and a carer would be able to accompany the veteran to support and share the experience.

The tours will take place from spring to autumn as numbers demand and will give WWII veterans – now mostly in their 90s – the chance to meet up with fellow veterans, visit significant battlefield sites, cemeteries and memorials. The tours will be led by an official Royal British Legion guide and the tours will include:

  • Overnight B&B accommodation pre and post tour (as required)
  • Accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis during the tour
  • Air, rail, ferry or executive coach travel as per the itinerary
  • Visits to war memorials, cemeteries and significant sites
  • Entrance fees
  • Medic
  • Up to £50 per person allowance for travel to and from the tour departure point

Tours do not include lunches, travel insurance and items of a personal nature.

These tours are also open to organisations and associations. If there is a group of 10 veterans (30 passengers) or more, we will operate a coach at no charge from a local departure point to join an existing tour or operate a separate tour. Please note the group would not qualify for the £50.00 travel allowance.

There is no database of veterans from WWII who are still alive today, therefore if you are a veteran or know of a veteran who would like to benefit from these tours, please contact us on 01473 660800 to register your interest or download the registration form and send it to Remembrance Travel, C/O Arena Travel, 2 Betts Ave, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP5 3RH.

Click here to download the registration form >>



This annual event to raise the Union Flag on the flagpole situated in front of the former Officers Mess in the South barracks housing estate took place to-day Sunday 25th March at 1100hrs. Members of the Deal RMA Branch were on parade and a bugler was in attendance to sound the calls. This short ceremony reminds all who live on the estate of the long Royal Marine history of where they live.

A few of the residents ready to witness the event

Flag raising crew at the “ready”

Royal Marine Bugler calls for the colour party

Colour Party to attention

The Union Flag is ceremoniously raised.

Colour Party respond

The flag proudly flying outside the former Officers Mess.


Photo shoot of those in proud attendance at this special occasion.


It is with great sadness we announce the passing last Sunday 18th May of Rev Peggy Fishlock aged 89.

Peggy was a long time member and Padre of the Downs Branch and was loved and respected by us all.

Funeral 10th April 2.00pm at Barham Crematorium.                                                      Photo from Bob Davies.


If you know of a WW2 Veteran please tell them about the info below!


Drumhead Service September 2018

(Information Posted 30th January 2018)

Please Note!

  1. For Downs Branch RBL Members ONLY!

  2. Booking through Mary ONLY  at OR 01304 382235.

  3. Provisional booking NOW please, confirmation will announced in June / July.

  4. Transport depending on numbers interested may be arranged.

  5. Please confirm if you have a wheelchair or a walking frame etc or need assistance.

  6. Details on the poster below.

     Our next Monthly Branch meeting is on Monday 5th February bookings will be taken then on a “first come first served” basis.  Thank You.


Kent County Conference 20th January 2018

Arrival of the Colour Party and Branch Standards

Roll of Honour and Exhortation

Prayers from our County Padre Cannon Paul Kerr

L -R Tony West BEM County Membership & Secretary, Richard Cast Chairman, Leyland Ridings MBE President, Terry Whittles National Chairman, Stephan Gatward FAAT Treasurer & Richard Graham Vice Chairman

Members and Branch Delegates, Mary & Aussie for Downs Branch

Richard Cast investing Richard Graham as the new County Chairman.

Richard Graham Kent RBL County Chairman.

Mary Eldridge with her well deserved County Vice President Award

Joe DeZille Standard Bearers Competition Runner Up (again!) Certificate and shield.

Many worthy winners with their awards

Richard Cast (centre) presenting a new trophy in memory of his late wife Pauline with daughter Sammie Cast, The Pauline Cast Trophy was presented to the County by Richard Cast as an award for Branch Community Support (BCS).  It will be presented each year to the Best BCS Branch, with the Swanley, Crockenhill and Hextable Branch being the first winners.

National Chairman Terry Whittles inspects the Standards

Standard Bearers raring to go!

All photographs very kindly supplied by Ian Lillford White Cliffs Branch Dover.