Royal Marines receive the warmest welcome from the people of Deal

Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade returned to the town of Deal in Kent to mark the official opening of the Royal Marines Heritage Trails (RMHT), which links historical places in Walmer and Deal to the Corps.

Royal Marines Deal KentAlong with the Band of HM Royal Marines HMS Collingwood, the Guard from 42 Commando RM as well as Cadets, Royal Marines Association Veterans and former WRENs, paraded on Deal Castle Green before exercising theirri ght to march through the Town.

The honour of being able to do so was given to the Royal Marines after World War 2 in 1945. Since then the Corps of Royal Marines has used Deal to train Recruits, Junior Marines and Bandsman as well as the base for 41 Commando RM, who called Deal their home in the 70s and 80s.

Admiral of the Fleet and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, The Lord Boyce, KG GCB OBE, thanked the hundreds of spectators for coming to the event which marked the opening of the RMHT.

"It is a great pleasure to welcome you all here today in the sunshine to be part of this event. In particular I'd like to thank the visitors from Zeebrugge, who themselves have been commemorating this week with ceremonies to mark the Zeebrugge Raid centenary. This event has played a major part in the history of Deal as the Royal Marines 4th Battalion was formed and trained here before the Daring Raid, in 1918."

The Royal Marines connection with Deal, Walmer and the surrounding area is so strong

Major General Charlie Stickland OBE, Commandant General Royal Marines

The Royal Marines march out of what was South Barracks at the start of the event with their Band Playing before parading before Deal Castle, which first saw Marines based there only a year after the Corps was formed, over 350 years ago.

"The Royal Marines connection with Deal, Walmer and the surrounding area is so strong," said Major General Charlie Stickland OBE, Commandant General Royal Marines. "Back to February 1665 when the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot, the forbearers of the Royal Marines, took up duties in the Castle at Deal to protect the Fleet.

"I'm delighted and honoured to be here with you today to launch the Royal Marine Heritage Trails, in front of the magnificent Bastions of Deal Castle. I'm enormously fortunate also be the patron and I can only marvel at the hard work and efforts which have gone into this wonderful community project."

Lining the streets of Walmer and Deal were thousands of well wishes who had supported the project and funding for the trails and cheered the Royal Marines and their Bandsman throughout the Town as they proudly marched with their 'Bayonets Fixed, Bands Playing and their Colours Flying'.