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Author Topic: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham  (Read 66811 times)

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Offline Lyn L

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #76 on: July 25, 2018, 18:35:50 »
A great shame the Barracks were demolished. The Royal Marine Barracks at Deal have been made into lovely homes from what I've seen. I know my brother, who was in the RM band, was in Dock road at some point . No idea for how  long though.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

Offline smiffy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #75 on: July 25, 2018, 16:21:43 »
A nice view across the parade ground. If nothing else, imagine what a beautiful and exclusive apartment complex these buildings could have provided.

Offline smiffy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #74 on: July 22, 2018, 12:55:38 »
Aerial view from 1936:

Offline Melville

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #73 on: July 21, 2018, 23:51:22 »
I remember as an eight year old in 1948, on Sunday mornings, standing outside the main gate of the Royal Marines Barracks in Dock Road with some pals hoping that the Drum Major would toss the mace over the main gate arch.  He would hold us all in suspense.  Sometimes he would just march through the arch, but every now and then he would toss the mace over the arch to the cheers and delight of the gathered crowd.

I was that impressed that ten years later I joined the Royal Marines.

A few years ago I was at my local Royal Marines Association in Lancashire (I've lived there for the last fifty years) when a new member joined the branch, his name was Pete Skinner and he was about ten years older than myself, and during the evening he mentioned that he was a bandsman in the Chatham Division band in the late 1940's.  I mentioned that it was that band and the Drum Major that convinced me to join the Corps.  Of course I mentioned the tossing of the mace over the arch and he remembered it well and even told me the Drum Major's name.  I have forgotton the name and Pete Skinner has since 'crossed the bar'.  Another interesting thing he told me was that when the Barracks was closed all the Marines were transferred to Eastney Barracks but the band was disbanded and many of them, including Pete Skinner, crossed the road and joined the Royal Engineers Band Service.


After I had finished training in 1959 I, like everyone else in my squad, hoped to be joining one of the commando units, all of which were serving abroad.  Malta, Aden and Singapore. 


My first draft chit?  Melville Barracks!   I joined to see the world, and ended up back in my home town of Chatham.  I was there when the barracks finally closed in 1960 and we all moved down to Eastney.  We moved from the superb stone built barracks into wooden huts at what was called Hutment Camp.  They changed the name to Melville Camp but they were still wooden huts.

Offline smiffy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #72 on: July 04, 2017, 12:33:34 »
Looking at the IKS videos it looks like it was a really dangerous place to visit unless you were an experienced explorer.

Offline HenryB

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #71 on: July 04, 2017, 10:50:44 »
I went down this morning / last night 03/07/17 - 04/07/17 and it has been welded shut around the edges. I literally missed it by hours as I looked in the day and it was fine. I could completely wrong but I spoke to a person who's been down before and he said it's the correct one.

Just to confirm - WELDED SHUT as of 04/07/17

Offline conan

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #70 on: July 02, 2017, 19:17:55 »
Does anybody know if the Royal Marines Deepshelters at Dock Road Barracks that were/are still accessible?
 I understand that when the council offices were built in the 1960`s the top 2 levels were still intact.with 4 entrances
 I wonder if they are used by the council to store archives or just sealed off.

They are still there grandarog

https://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/underground-sites/35152-royal-marines-deep-refuge-chatham-kent-july-2017-a.html
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #69 on: January 23, 2017, 10:57:30 »
Many happy and sometime frightening hours spent down the Deep Refuge. In the 1960's the power was still on for a short while just after the RMPRO departed Melville Barracks. They were in pristine condition then! These tunnel were built just before WW2 and were first used on Sunday 3rd September 1939 when the false alarm was sounded for an air raid. (Info from BBC Peoples War website)


Offline Leofwine

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #67 on: November 12, 2016, 17:33:25 »
As far as I know they are still there but sealed off.
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Offline grandarog

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #66 on: November 12, 2016, 17:31:48 »
 Does anybody know if the Royal Marines Deepshelters at Dock Road Barracks that were/are still accessible?
 I understand that when the council offices were built in the 1960`s the top 2 levels were still intact.with 4 entrances
 I wonder if they are used by the council to store archives or just sealed off.

Offline conan

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #65 on: July 16, 2015, 14:13:59 »
There's a Pathe news reel about the barracks filmed in 1940 here..

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/king-at-chatham-aka-king-at-chathah/query/royal+marines+chatham
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline Davecee

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #64 on: July 15, 2015, 19:45:08 »
A few more here for possible “car dating” evidence

(Image removed from quote.)


(Image removed from quote.)

DMC
 :)

OK, that photo was taken in 1972, I was one of the cadets in the photo, having just read the lesson at a service at the Church inside the main gate.

As for the question about the drum major tossing his mace over the arch, it was true and if you visit the RM museum in Portsmouth where the mace is on display you can see the result of one drum major "dropping the catch" resulting in a large dent.

Incidentally, my uncle was in the RM band at the time, in the photo mentioned before all the other cadets had standard gilt cap badges whereas I had an original brass badge given to me by my uncle - the globe had been polished so much that the details on the globe had been completely polished off

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #63 on: February 27, 2014, 09:07:47 »
Hi Sheppey Kingmaker, I think you probably mean the pictures on Reply 14 as there are none with Reply 15?
The pictures Leofwine has posted are almost certainly taken at the Royal Marines Gun Drill Battery in Chatham. This was located on the east side of the hill behind Melville Barracks.

Offline The Sheppey Kingmaker

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #62 on: February 26, 2014, 15:28:22 »
Looking at the first photo on '#Reply 15', the photo looks more likely to have been taken at HMS Wildfire in Sheerness Dockyard as the Glass window and the stairway look like the ones on the Small Basin side of HMS Wildfire.   

 

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