Back to News

Corps Family Weekend 2019

10/09/2020

Sadly, due to COVID-19, Corps Family Weekend will not ba taking place in 2020. 

Looking back to the RMA Families Weekend 2019 ...

Nowhere was the strength of the Royal Marines Corps Family more obvious than over the RMA Corps Families Weekend held at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM).  On a gloriously sunny Saturday, the parade ground of CTCRM was filled with over 1500 families, cadets, regulars, reservists and RM veterans who enjoyed a range of activates and displays opened by the sound of the impeccable Mess Beatings by the Corps of Drums with Major General M Holmes CBE DSO, CGRM taking the salute 

The weekend kicked off on the top field with both the RMA Football and Rugby squads playing matches coinciding with a brief from RMA – The Royal Marines Charity on the developing progress of the Messenger Centre. Closely fought matches saw the RMA Football team victorious and the RMA Rugby team lose a closely fought battle to the Navy team.  

As the spectators made their way back onto camp, they were brought onto a transformed parade square, which more closely resembled a fun fair, filled with activities for all. The Drill Shed played host to the Charity Village along with some other activities including Virtual Golf, which show cased the very best support that we have in place for the Corps Family. RMA – The Royal Marines Charity were proud to take centre stage and interact with supporters, beneficiaries and spread the word of the work that we do and the services we can offer.  

The parade square remained the central arena with plenty of entertainment on offer including the Corps Tug of War Championships, where ten teams fought for the accolade of becoming Corps Champions. Winners were 1AGRM who beat YO Batch 2019 (two weeks into training) in a hard‐fought final.  As well as the Cadets’ Corps of Drums display, Cadet Field Gun display, Sea Cadet drill display and an impressive and very popular unarmed combat display from staff of the Department of the Corps Colonel, CTCRM.  

The afternoon culminated in the final award ceremony and the official unveiling, by Maj Gen M Holmes, of a portrait of Ken Parker, a D‐Day veteran of 47 RM Cdo, commissioned by local artist Marianne Gibson. This portrait is the final in a series of six and marks our WW2 Commando heritage and the 75th anniversary of two momentous amphibious assaults, D‐Day and Walcheren. Ken Parker landed on D‐Day and fought with 47 RM Cdo at Port‐en‐Bessin and then later at Walcheren. Ken Parker sadly died last year, but we were delighted that members of his family were with us at the ceremony. This portrait, which will hang in RMR Bristol, is a tribute not only to Ken but also to all our Commando forebears. 

 The evening programme took on a different style from last year where, on a staged platform positioned on the drill square, the RM Dance Band and Capt Paul Fleet RM and his fellow musicians put on a musical spectacular for all to enjoy. Much singing and dancing from the audience augmented a very popular and entertaining evening, on completion of which, further entertainments in the Officers’ Mess, Sergeants’ Mess and Families Room continued until late.  

Day two of the weekend saw over 120 Cadets formed up in the Drill Shed, smartly dressed in No1 Blues uniform, to be inspected by CGRM, DCGRM and Commandant CTCRM before becoming part of the formal Corps Family Weekend Parade. On parade, troops from Units of 3 Cdo Bde RM, CTCRM (YO Batch 19 and 283 Tp), RMA Officers, RMA, Cadets and RMA Bikers Branch, resplendent with Corps regalia, assembled for a Drumhead Service and Act of Remembrance, conducted by Reverend David Wylie RN, Honorary Chaplain to RMA‐The Royal Marines Charity. The Roll of Honour and Binyon’s Lines were provided by WO1(RSM) D Mason RM, Corps Regimental Sergeant Major. Wreaths were laid at the Royal Marines Memorial Wall by Maj Gen M Holmes and President RMA, Mr D Cox, Chairman of RMA‐TRMC and Mr R Bell JP, Chairman of the Royal Marines Association. 

Lots of hard work went into making the weekend a total success including CGRM’s office, the Corps Sec office, CTCRM, 3 Cdo Bde and not forgetting the unrelenting team from RMA- The Royal Marines Charity. To witness all elements of the Corps Family congregating at the ‘home of the Corps’ was indeed a pleasure to witness. To ensure that this event was accessible to everyone, there was no charge to attend making sure that everyone who wanted to come and be part of the weekend could. Since 2017 CTC Families Weekend was amalgamated with the annual RMA Reunion. It is clear to see that the Royal Marines Association has taken another momentous step in its goal to becoming the central pillar of the Corps Family. The weekend cemented the value in bringing all aspects of the Corps together for one inclusive event.