News: The modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border", or possibly from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook"
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Author Topic: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham  (Read 60272 times)

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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #57 on: February 20, 2012, 23:25:10 »
Kentish Gazette - Tuesday 26 February 1861

CHATHAM.
The distribution of the prizes awarded to the non-commissioned officers and men of the Chatham Division of Royal Marines Light Infantry for excellence in rifle firing, on the completion of their annual course of musketry instruction, took place on Tuesday on the parade-ground of the barracks, at a full parade of the officers and men of the battalion. The number of prizes taken by the non-commissioned officers and men of the Chatham division is 68, but only portion of that number were decorated on Tuesday, the remainder being absent from headquarters, either serving afloat or on duty. The presentation of the prizes was made by Lieut.-Col. R. J. McKillop, six men being awarded a gold badge with crossed muskets, to be worn for one year, the wearer being granted 2d. per day additional pay during that period; and 22 men receiving a less expensive kind of badge, which carries with it 1d. per day extra pay. The remaining 40 men will be decorated on their return to head quarters, a few them who proved themselves to be first-class shots receiving an addition of 3d. per day to their pay.
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Offline 101sean

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #56 on: December 02, 2011, 23:51:27 »
Only just signed up here but been wondering about this for years -

Quote
The tunnel Ubique's sister mentions was the RM Deep Refuge. There were two entrances just inside the Dock Road wall of the barracks, an exit into Melville Barracks and an exit into the Gun Drill Battery. It was (still is) on two levels. The lower level was all accommodation with triple level bunks. The upper level was admin offices, plant rooms and a casualty clearing station. The main air intake for the tunnels was via a huge galvanised metal chimney next to the Gun Drill Battery entrance

When I had a crew checking drains on Dock Road around 1998ish we lifted a manhole cover close to the garage and it was over a steel flight of stairs down in to this. I didn't go in but one of the crew did, said it was an immense space and full of bunk beds. Last time I looked a couple of years ago the cover was gone, presumably sealed off when the garage was rebuilt.

Offline kyn

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #55 on: May 29, 2011, 15:10:14 »

ubique

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #54 on: February 09, 2011, 23:42:53 »
Oh dear Oh dear I seem to have openned a can of worms with this one.On one hand I have the R.M.'s museum laughing at the claim and on the other hand I have people who have actually seen the feat.In addition to this I have copied below are some postings made on the Military Forum back in 2003 with more tales about the truly heroic feats of D.M.'s at Eastney Barracks.
Has anyone got a picture?   
Can I suggest that if this quest is to be pursued we move it to a new thread and clear the way for leofwines research

Please note the weight of a military ceremonial mace and remember that it had to be tossed to approx 25ft. and would be travelling at a devilish rate of knots when being retrieved

Posting from Military Forum cica 2003

Sticky

I seem to remember an old Corps tale of a Drum Major who, when marching through the main gate at Eastney, would throw his mace (?) over the arch, and catch it on the other side! 

True or false?

TRUE!
The Drum Majors, that I know who could do it, from memory were all DLs and these were the only ones who did it for real on an official parade! Others had done it on their own but never on parade in front of a band.
Colin and Charles Bowden (Brothers)
Jack Daycome

The practice of 'throwing' the staff was stopped in the early 60's by decree of CGRM because too many staffs were being broken. The staff is a solid silver and Mallace Bamboo cane and weighs about 6-8 pounds. When I was in Deal I had one of the heaviest because I was the sprog... not much fun on a long parade I can assure you!
Jack Daycome said, words to the effect of, "I used to practice the arch in the early hours of the morning with a staff I had made for the purpose then one day I did it on parade with the real staff. I lobbed it up and took very big steps as I went under the arch to make sure I was waiting the other side. I looked up and caught it, more by luck than skill. Needless to say, I never had to buy a pint in the mess for weeks!"

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2011, 17:50:51 »
Wardy is correct. My dad came to Chatham in 1946 and saw the feat performed and told me about it when I was old enough.

Offline Wardy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2011, 14:13:38 »
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Ubique but I've actually seen the Drum Major perform this feat and even at a very young age I was still amazed, sorry again but perhaps the guy you spoke to had it hit him on the head when he tried it

ubique

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2011, 22:58:52 »
 Drum major tossing his mace.Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but according to an ex-drum major at the RM museum tossing the the mace over the entrance to chatham barracks is a myth.A story told in every town that has a military band
The RM's still produce the best military bands in the world.
(But to march with massed pipes and drums puts a swagger in your step)

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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #49 on: January 31, 2011, 18:13:12 »
Hill House would have been gone for almost a century by 1876, and was on the other side of the road. I am guessing that might have been the army pay office associated with Chatham (Kitchener) Barracks, and it looks to be about where the statue is now. 

I picked up a map from 1719 today that shows Hill house plus Hill House Garden and Field and there is a note on it saying 'repaired and added to in 1703'.  I'll be scanning it soon and will add it here when I do.
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Offline kyn

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #48 on: January 31, 2011, 14:46:15 »
Is this Hill House marked as the Pay Office?

1876

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2011, 23:55:56 »
Thanks for that info Charles, very interesting. I'll have to see if I can find any of the British Library images.

I know the dockyard moved from Gun Wharf to it's current location in 1622, but Pepys was staying there in the 1660s. Any idea whether it served as the pay office and accommodation at the same time? Or when it became the pay office?

Also, you mention that it became a pub 'when no longer required by the Navy' do you happen to have a date (even an approximate one) for this?

Re Pay House Lane, are you sure it would be seperate to Red Cat Lane? I've seen various examples of situations where a street was known by more than one name at the same time, I suppose because there were no street name signs (eg Barrack Hill/Brompton Hill/Melville Hill, or sometimes simpler, such as directory entries that list the same location as Road or Row in different addresses).
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Offline Charles

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2011, 20:54:29 »
I do not know when Hill House was built but the first record of a rental by the Navy is in 1620 from Sir Richard Slingsby who held it on a lease from the Rochester Dean and Chapter. His interest in the lease was bought out for 100 in 1623. The assumption is that the Navy acquired the freehold in 1661 and that the house stood until 1777 which is the year when in readiness for the construction of the marines barracks the lease on the remaining surrounding land was also acquired from the Dean and Chapter.

I cannot say whether the other public houses you mention were in use at the same time that Hill House became a pub but a map of 1763 suggests that this may be so. The troops in the infantry barracks could have provided plenty of customers. Whilst Hill House was demolished to make way for the marines barracks c 1777 the other pubs stood until 1862 and the Act to authorise compulsory purchase of the land on which they stood in order to enlarge the marines barracks.

There is a reference to Pay House Lane as a local name perhaps for the lane that went to Hill House as the Navy pay office and if so this would be separate to Red Cat Lane which was the route adjacent to the church yard.


Offline Leofwine

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2011, 14:01:21 »
With reference to Hill House this was an existing property rented by the navy for the use of its senior officers (Pepys included) when visiting the dockyard which was then located at Gunwharf. When the "new" dockyard was built at the present site Hill House remained in use as the pay office for the dockyard and it is included in Dumner's great survey of the late 17th century with images available from the British Library (perhaps on line). The Brit Lib also has an early 18th century engraving that appears in some published works that shows Hill House as a grand residence. When no longer required by the Navy the house found a new use as a public house including no doubt serving the troops in the infantry barracks across the road. It was lost only when the marines barracks were built.

Thanks for that info Charles. Do you happen to know when it was built and when the Navy acquired it?

I'm also interested in your reference to it being used as a public house. I know that later there were three pubs (Army & Navy, Queen's Head and Red Lion) close by in the little area between the church and Red Cat Lane (I wonder if this got its name from the fact it led from Dock Road/Lane to the Red Lion pub?), and I wonder if any of those were there at the same time.
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Offline Lyn L

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2011, 09:32:24 »
Have to agree with you Wardy, The Marine Band ARE the best in the world, biased as my brother was a bandsman from a boy ( 14yrs) at Deal  and went all over the world, including being on HMS Britannia. Our greatest memory is of seeing ALL the combined bands at the Royal Tournament ( one of the last ones ) when they all streamed into the arena it was a marvellous sight and brought lumps to our throats, not many left now sadly.Can't remember what year that was now.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

Offline Charles

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2011, 07:45:37 »
With reference to Hill House this was an existing property rented by the navy for the use of its senior officers (Pepys included) when visiting the dockyard which was then located at Gunwharf. When the "new" dockyard was built at the present site Hill House remained in use as the pay office for the dockyard and it is included in Dumner's great survey of the late 17th century with images available from the British Library (perhaps on line). The Brit Lib also has an early 18th century engraving that appears in some published works that shows Hill House as a grand residence. When no longer required by the Navy the house found a new use as a public house including no doubt serving the troops in the infantry barracks across the road. It was lost only when the marines barracks were built.


 

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