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Golf day celebrates 355th anniversary of the Royal Marines corps at the venue of next year's Open Championship, Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich

ByEleanor Perkins

A round of golf in Sandwich was a suitable birthday celebration for the Royal Marines corps which was formed in 1664.

Off the back of a successful 350th anniversary event in 2014, former Royal Marine Duncan Ellis returned to Royal St George’s to host a contest for the 355th milestone.

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Duncan Ellis organised the charity golf day for the 355th anniversary of the Royal Marines Corps
Duncan Ellis organised the charity golf day for the 355th anniversary of the Royal Marines Corps

Held on the corps birthday, Monday, October 28, he invited 17 serving marines who each led a team of three golfers from around the country.

Many of the 68 players paid an event fee with extra games such as 'beat the pro' at the 16th hole helping to raise an impressive £22,000 for the Royal Marines Charity.

There was also a raffle and an auction with lots including a Royal Marines commando experience and tickets to the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall.

Mr Ellis who now runs an independent financial advisory business called Lighthouse (Capital) Limited based out of London has been a member of Royal St George’s since 1987. His parents live in Sandwich.

He said: "We were lucky enough to have General Sir Gordon Messenger KCB DSO and Bar ADC OBE who recently retired as vice chief of defence staff participating. He also handed out the prizes.

"He also said a few words about the charity in his capacity as not only the highest ranking Royal Marine ever, but also the patron of the RM Charity.

"A great day was had by all and raised a considerable sum for a cause very close to my heart as well as a military organisation forever tied to Deal."

While the event was not to mark the tragedy, it fell on the 30th anniversary year of the IRA bombing of the RM School of Music at Deal Barracks.

Mr Ellis was a serving officer at 40 Commando at the time.

He was one of two officers sent by the commanding officer to attend the memorial service at Canterbury Cathedral to represent 40 Commando. The other was Gordon Messenger.

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He said: "My memories are that of being shocked that the Band Service were deemed a target to the IRA and how it brought it home to all of us that we had to be vigilant to the threat of the IRA to all of us 100% of the time on the mainland or wherever we might be.

"Those were the days when we all had to check under our cars every time we got in the vehicle.

"It seems a very long time ago now."

READ MORE: All the news from Deal

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