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Loved ones remember Royal Marines musicians killed in IRA bomb on 25th anniversary


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A service has taken place to remember the eleven Royal Marines Band musicians killed in the IRA bomb 25 years ago yesterday.

Relatives and colleagues of the men gathered, as they do every year, at the Garden of Remembrance, Canada Road, Walmer, close to where the bomb was detonated in the rec room of Deal Barracks on September 22, 1989.

Chaplain Jane Walker, the sister of musician Bob Simmonds gave the service, telling the congregation she hoped they would be "uplifted in togetherness."

The aftermath of the bombing
The aftermath of the bombing

After the service she said: "It's an honour to come back here every year and conduct the service because it's about the continuation of the story for the Royal Marines to help them get through and seeing so many of the Royal Marines family here it means so much to us as a family."

Mrs Walker conducts the service most years and returns to Deal for the memorial concerts on Walmer Green every July.

Musicians from HM Royal Marines Collingwood Band provided the music to hymns Abide with Me, and Eternal Father. Last post and reveille were sounded by a bugler before the service was closed with the National Anthem.

Rescuers in the aftermath of the Deal bombing 25 years ago. Picture: Mike Pett
Rescuers in the aftermath of the Deal bombing 25 years ago. Picture: Mike Pett
The wreckage following the bombing, in which bandsmen died. Picture: Mike Pett
The wreckage following the bombing, in which bandsmen died. Picture: Mike Pett

Maj Gen Martin Smith, as Captain of Deal Castle, hosted invited guests at a the Tudor castle last night, with HM Royal Marines (Collingwood Band) beating a retreat on the promenade at Deal Castle from 8pm.

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