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Early settlers for the Marines on the Green annual memorial concert, Walmer, Deal area

By Sam Lennon

In just a few hours tens of thousands of people will have flocked to Walmer Green for the Marines on the Green annual memorial concert.

And this year is particularly poignant because it is on the 30th anniversary of the IRA bombing of the Walmer Barracks, when 11 bandsmen were killed.

The free show, with a special memorial service, begins today at 2.30pm.

Early visitors to the Royal Marines concert
Early visitors to the Royal Marines concert

A number of audience members have already arrived early at Walmer Green.

Deal cousins Kevin Bennett, and Nicky Noddings, were there as early at 7.30am today.

Ms Noddings said: "This is the 30th annivesary but every year is important and we attend annually, rain or shine.

Cousins Kevin Bennett and Nicky Noddings
Cousins Kevin Bennett and Nicky Noddings

"We knew some of the bandsmen who were killed and I can still remember to this day hearing the news of the bombing.

"I was at work Marks and Spencer at Deal High Street that morning."

Ms Noddings' uncle, Mr Bennett's father, Roy Bennett, was in the Royal Marines until 1965.

Paul and Angela Mortimer
Paul and Angela Mortimer

Angela and Paul Mortimer, of Downs Road, Walmer, arrived at 7.45am.

Mr Mortimer said: "I knew four of the Marines who were killed - I played football and rugby with them.

"My parents also ran the Prince Albert pub in Albert Square in Deal where a lot of Marines used to drink."

Glen Richardson and Helen Rivers
Glen Richardson and Helen Rivers

Arriving at the same time that morning were Ramsgate couple Gled Richardson and Helen Rivers.

Mr Richardson, an ex-member of the RAF, said: "We come here every year for the music but this year is most important because of the 30th anniversary."

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