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Reporting Network For Week Ending 17th February 2017


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Ladies & Gentleman,


The Corps Family Weekend 2017 – Update


Ladies and Gentlemen,


Many of you will be aware of the idea of a Corps Family Weekend, which began in 2015.  The aim of the weekend is to forge closer bonds between all the elements of the Corps family: Cadets, the serving Corps, the retired community, all their families and, possibly, some guests of the RM.  Planning for the first Corps Family Weekend, to be held over the weekend of 16-17 September this year, is now under way.  While further detailed planning has to be carried out to make the weekend into the success that all wish it to be, the dates are now set in stone.

As far as the RMA is concerned, this is an outstanding opportunity for both the RMA and Reunion to grow and develop while being supported and enhanced by the diversity of the Corps Family.  While most of the components of Reunion will remain in the programme, the intention is that they will be complemented by Corps sport, equipment displays, arena displays, RM special interest  clubs, participation activities and perhaps a couple of humorous entertainment items of the type at which the Corps excels.

Ticketing for the weekend will be ready in April. This is so that we can ensure that when tickets are released the information, price structure and numbers of tickets available reflect correctly what will be on offer across the weekend.  We apologise for the delay  but are keen to get the detail right and assure you that it will be worth it.  Please book your transport and accommodation as you normally would.

We, and indeed the wider Corps Family,  look forward to welcoming you to what will be a new and exciting event wrapped up in the excellence that you have come to expect.

As ever,


M P Ellis OBE

Brigadier Royal Marines (Retired)

Chief Executive


The RMA 1664 Challenge Please Support The Corps Family


Ladies and Gents, Please see below. So far take up has been extremely slow. This is one of our main fundraising drives for 2017. The Royal Marines Charity needs £2.5million a year to carry out the vital work that it does on behalf of the Corps Family.

We are looking for 1664 people from around the Corps Family to raise £100 from now until the Corps Birthday in 2017 (255 days to go!). You can do anything you want to raise the money as an individual or a group. It really is that easy and the Royal Marines Charity can make £166,400.  

Please register your name with Charlie Martin at the Royal Marines Charity now!


Mountbatten Festival Of Music Volunteers Still Required For The Thursday Night.


Many thanks for those of you who have stepped forward to volunteer for fundraising duties at this years MFM. The Friday and Saturday Night are now full but I am still looking for 7 volunteers to assist on the Thursday night of 23rd March 2017. If you are interested in helping out then please let me know by contacting me on the following email. I need your full name, email address and a contact number for you.


The 2017 Graspan Parade, Service and Reception Sunday 14th May 2017 - Warning Order


Detailed timings and information on coach/car parking will be out in the next couple of weeks on Rep Net and the RMA Website.

The Annual Graspan Parade, service and Reception will take place on Sunday 14th May 2017.


This year will have special significance in that we will also pay homage to those Royal Marines who lost their lives during the action in and around Gavrelle, during the battle of Arras in World War 1. This will involve an additional wreath laying ceremony at the Royal Naval Memorial on Horseguards prior to moving round to the Graspan Memorial. Tickets for the Parade and Reception at the UJC are now available on the RMA Website.


Below is an excerpt regarding the action at Gavrelle.



On 23rd and 24th April 1917, during the Battle of Arras, the 63rd Royal Naval Division attacked the village of Gavrelle with the 189th and 190th Brigades of the Division.


The objective of the attack was the village of Gavrelle and the high ground beyond. The assault was largely successful, but when on the night of 24/25th April when the assault brigades were relieved in place by 188th Brigade, which included 1st and 2nd Battalions Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI), the Division was in a pronounced salient.

To push forward into the salient from the line of the 24th April was impossible until the flanking formations moved forward, but it was hoped that something could be done about the dominating German position on the high ground northeast of Gavrelle, which included the Windmill position.

1 RMLI attacked from the 2nd Division lines on the left of the salient, but was held up in the German wire or in the German front line trench by enfilade fire from a position that had held up the attacks on the 23 April. 2 RMLI, fighting independently on the right, were initially more successful and the Gavrelle Windmill was captured by a platoon commanded by Lt Newling RMLI. They held the windmill position throughout the day against multiple counter attacks by the Germans even though the remainder of the battalion was forced back to their starting positions. The capture, defence and holding of the Windmill was described as a “very brilliant operation” which significantly strengthened the hold of the Division on Gavrelle.

However, the strength and determination of the Germans had been underestimated and both Royal Marine Battalions paid the cost, suffering disastrous losses. There were more than 500 casualties in 1 RMLI, including the Commanding Officer and six other officers; in 2 RMLI, 10 officers and 200 other ranks were killed and the total casualties for the battalion were nearly 600. The casualties of both battalions represent the greatest loss of men on land in a single day by the Royal Marines throughout the Great War, (the deaths at Jutland on 31 May 1916 totalled 589 officers and men). The total casualties for the Division between 15 April and 29 April were 170 officers and 3,624 other ranks of which 40 officers and 1000 other ranks were killed.




In addition to marking the centenary of the Battle of Gavrelle within this year’s Graspan Parade on Sunday 14 May, a small service will also be conducted in Gavrelle, France, at 1400 on Friday 28 April. It will be attended by a couple of senior RM and RN personnel, a RN chaplain, a RM Bugler and the RMA National Standard Bearer as well as local dignitaries, members of the public and possibly members of the French military. The main ceremony will take place at the Naval Trench Cemetery but, due to the proximity of a dual carriageway, only a small wreath laying will take place at the 63rd Naval Division monument. RMA members are welcome to attend but those wishing to do so are requested to inform WO2 Wayne Rogers RM on so that he can inform the French authorities of likely numbers. RMA attendees should note that there will be no parking along the track leading to the  cemetery.


Can You Help Lima Company, Cpl Drake and the Royal Marines Charity?


HMS OCEAN ‘LIFT & SHIFT’ CHALLENGE.  HMS OCEAN ‘Lift & Shift’ challenge 17 Feb – 13 Mar 16 the first challenge of  the ‘1664 Global Challenge’, 100 Challenges in 100 Days!  Now live on social media:


·            Twitter.  @RM1664Challenge & @theRMcharity

·            FB.  Royal Marines 1664 Challenge

·            Web. homepage


The Global Challenge is now set up as an event on justgiving and a RM Global Challenge team page has been created with Lima Coy 42 as a member.

Please distribute, retweet, like, tag and all the other things you cool young kids do  to start receiving donations.

Please see image one at the top of the page. 


A Message From RM Veteran and Yeoman Warder Andy Merry


In early June 2017, a team of six men will attempt to climb Mt Blanc, France, in order to raise at least £60,000 for two charities; The Royal Marines Charity and the MS Trust.  It is the intention to split the money raised 70/30 in favour of the MS Trust.

Five members of Team Mt Blanc for MS are former Royal Marines Commandos and between us we have extensive experience in operating in mountainous regions. The sixth member is my 20-year-old son Luke who at the time of the attempt will have completed a 4-month ski instructor’s course in Banff in the Canadian Rockies.

In March of 2016 I was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS), while another team member, David (Mac) McCullough MBE, has had Relapsing – Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) for 10 years.  My MS affects me in a number of ways and so far only down my right side.  My ability to grip or manipulate items in my right hand is greatly reduced and my right leg becomes heavy and floppy after walking for more than half an hour causing me to struggle to lift it and therefore regularly tripping over.  I loose balance on occasion, my vision can sometimes be affected and while fatigue isn’t a major factor for me, I do get more tired than I expect on occasion.  MS affects Mac McCullough MBE in a very similar way although he suffers severely from fatigue.  Climbing the highest mountain in Europe therefore is going to be a huge challenge for us both.

The Team will travel to Geneva on 5th June 2017 arriving in Chamonix later that day.  We will then have a ten-day window during which we will complete our challenge, flying home on the 15th.  It is our intention to spend at least two days sorting out our kit and equipment and conduct any final planning and rehearsals that may be required before making the attempt.  The exact route we will take is yet to be decided and will depend on the abilities of Mac McCullough and me, the two MS sufferers.  Before we arrive in Chamonix, we will have climbed Slieve Donard, Skafell Pike, Mount Snowdon and Ben Nevis, partly as a training tool but also to assess our capabilities and the impact our MS will have on them.

We are under no illusion that this is going to be a massive undertaking, particularly for the two MS sufferers who have mobility problems.  80 to 100 rescue interventions are made each year; sometimes several per day, and 80% of these are due to exhaustion as a result of poor physical preparation and/or lack of acclimatisation and the ever-present dangers from altitude sickness.

Apart from reaching the summit of Mont Blanc, the aim of our expedition, and something that is very important to both myself and Mac, is to show other MS sufferers that no matter what their difficulties, abilities or aspirations, they can always push themselves harder and further than they thought possible.  It doesn’t have to be Mont Blanc or even a mountain, but what ever your mountain is, take it on, tackle it, climb it and overcome it.  To achieve this we intend to use the four elements of the Commando Spirit; courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity.  Things we have all lived by during our service in the Royal Marines.

Andy Merry

Yeoman Warder


Team Mt Blanc For MS


Facebook: Mt Blanc For MS


A Message From The Norfolk Branch Of The RMA


The Norfolk Branch are holding our annual Dinner/Dance at the end of March and as usual we will have an auction to help with funds. To spread the word further the following item is being released early on my Facebook page.

The Professional Footballers' Association have very kindly donated a signed Dele Alli Tottenham Hotspur shirt complete with letter of authenticity. This forms part of an auction raising funds for the Royal Marines Charity. I intend to run this particular item with bids up to closing on Sunday February 26th at 2pm - when the highest bidder will take it. There will also be a small additional charge for p&p.  The highest bid at the moment is £100.00, good luck and let's hope that we can make some decent money for a worthy cause.

Or alternatively contact me on

Fraser Wibberley, Social Secretary, Norfolk Branch RMA.

Kind regards



Bootneck 350 Scarf Saves Woman On Bridge........Oh, And Dave Hill Helped A Bit As Well!


A mystery man in a 'business suit and tie' hailed as the 'real hero' of a dramatic rescue attempt by a cabbie who went to the aid of a woman in difficulty on Lambeth Bridge has been revealed as an off duty firefighter.

Talking to the Evening Standard(opens in a new window), black cab driver Steve Teague described how he leaned over the side of the bridge, to grab hold of the distressed woman's arm, while another bystander clutched the cabbie's belt to stop him being pulled over the edge.

Climbed over the bridge 'without a second thought'

He added though that the 'real hero', who was wearing a business suit and tie, turned up seconds later and climbed over to get a better grip of the woman. Mr Teague told the Standard: "Without a second thought, he went over and tried to calm her down. We were all holding on to each other."

The unnamed mystery man in question was off-duty London Fire Brigade Station Manager and Royal Marine reservist Dave Hill.

Dave had been walking across Lambeth Bridge on his way home after an evening out when his wife spotted two members of the public trying to assist a woman struggling on the ledge of the bridge.

Used scarf to secure woman to bridge

With no hesitation, Dave jumped over the side and onto the ledge where he used the Royal Marine scarf he was wearing, and which had been given to him for his 50th birthday, to secure the woman to the bridge so she didn’t fall off.

All the time he was holding onto her with one hand while the other members of the public balanced him by holding onto his belt.

Dave, along with the other two men who had come the woman's aid, then worked together to reassure and hold onto her and each other until the Brigade, police and RNLI arrived.

Once the Brigade arrived on the scene, one of the firefighters joined Dave on the ledge and crews passed him a rope.

Dave used it to tie a one-handed bowline to secure her to the bridge instead of his scarf and a half-hitch around her chest. Dave and the firefighters from Lambeth then lifted the woman back over the bridge to safety.

'Snapped into firefighter mode'

Speaking afterwards, Dave said: "In the Brigade we're trained to help people and I just automatically snapped into firefighter mode.

"When I saw what was going on I just saw it as my duty to help. I spoke to the lady to reassure her and told her I wasn't going to let her fall.

"The main thing is that we got her back over the bridge to safety, unharmed. I'd also like to say well done to the other two members of the public who didn't hesitate to come to the lady's assistance and all the firefighters and other emergency services who did a great job on the night."

Brilliant effort Dave, however the RMA accepts no responsibility for the potential  bad dreams/nightmares and psychiatric problems that showing your picture (below) may cause our more sensitive members!

Please see image two at the top of the page. 


 The Passing And Funeral Of Colonel John David Shallow MC RM


It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of the following Retired Royal Marines Officer.

Colonel John David Shallow MC RM

Col Shallow will have a private cremation followed by a thanksgiving service at 1300 on Fri 17 Feb at St Nicholas Church, Husthwaite, York YO61 4QB.

Further details can be obtained by contacting the vicar below

Rev E C Hassall ( Claire Elizabeth Hassall )

St Nicholas Church


YO61 4QA


The Passing And Funeral Of Veteran RM George Ramm


I have been informed that an ex-Royal Marine by the name of George Ramm (born 5.10.23) has died and that the funeral will be held at Kings Lynn Crematorium, Norfolk, at 1300 Thursday 2nd March 2017. The next-of-kin have asked if the RMA can attend and I am endeavouring to get as many as possible from Norfolk Branch RMA and surrounding areas.

Mr Ramm was a wartime Royal Marine and a member of the RMA, I think the City of London Branch.

Any members of the RMA and Standard Bearers that are able to attend will be most welcome.


Quote For The Week


" I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship."

Louisa May Alcott

1832 - 1888

American Novelist (best known for the novel "Little Women")

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