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Royal Marines return to Deal for annual memorial concert Marines on The Green

By Beth Robson

The crowd has already begun forming ahead of today's musical spectacular on Walmer Green - the return of the Royal Marines Band.

The keenest revellers arrived as the sun was rising, setting up camp to ensure the best possible position is bagged.

Among them was Vernon Gidman, who makes the trip back to Deal from Sweden every year just to watch the musicians play in his home town.

Vernon Gidman set up camp at 5.10am to secure the best spot for the Royal Marines Concert

This year, Lt Col Nick Grace OBE, brings the Portsmouth (Royal Band) to Deal memorial Bandstand for the annual musical tribute to the 11 Royal Marines killed in the IRA bombing at Deal barracks in September 1989.

The memorial concert, known as Marines on the Green, starts today at 2.30pm but those wanting to see the Spitfire flypast should arrive in time for it's estimated arrival, 1.05pm.

There will be a variety of music throughout the afternoon, with an act of remembrance and re-dedication service, before the rousing finale.

Marines on the Green, the Royal Marines (Portsmouth Band) comes to Deal

The annual concert, which is free to attend, is organised by Deal Memorial Bandstand Trust, which was set up in the aftermath of the atrocity.

The Mercury has produced a 24-page souvenir programme detailing the full programme of music.

It also remembers bandsman David McMillan and has a foreword by trust chairman John Perkins.

Lt Col Grace bids us a goodbye in the programme ahead of his retirement.

The Marines on the Green concert at Walmer last year with the Royal Marines (Porsmouth Band)

Volunteers will have copies of the programme, which people will be able to obtain by donation on the day.

Proceeds will go to the upkeep of the bandstand.

The concert will finish at about 5.30pm.

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