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41 Commando RM Reunion Deal 7-9 July 2023



Me and Mrs J, Pete Tolmie and Paul Dyer from the Poole & District RMA attended the 41 reunion in Deal over the weekend of 7-9 July 23. It was of course very unfortunate that our Chairman Dave Sippitt could not attend as planned due to his recent heart surgery. Nonetheless, Dave briefed me up and we were able to represent Poole RMA on his behalf with the presentation of a 41 Independent Commando plaque to RMA Deal on the Friday night social in the RMA Deal.


Having not seen oppos from 41 since 1978, Friday was a unique opportunity to catch up and play the guessing game of putting faces to names. Paul Dyer soon found fellow D branch oppo Sticks Heyworth, Pete Tolmie found Norman Wareing and I stumbled across numerous former G Company members (Dan Richmond, Scottie and Tug Wilson to name a few) to chat away with. Many more old acquaintances were renewed during this great social evening at RMA Deal.


Saturday was a free day but we took the opportunity to walk the RM Deal Heritage Trail (RMHT) under the excellent guidance of Paul “Chalky” Hardy. Having first tried to arrange a trip to Deal for Poole RMA in 2019 it was very satisfying to finally experience it and it really is a fascinating tour. On completion we retired to RMA Deal for refreshments and to double check the timings/locations for transport to the reunion diner which was to be held at the Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club over-looking the ranges. I managed to catch-up with RMHT expert Bill Butler who has kindly agreed to send us our copy of the Pictorial History of RM Deal which we ordered and paid for back in 2019.

41 Cdo was formed at Deal in 1977 it undertook major NI deployments to Belfast and Crossmaglen as well as to the ranges in Canada, a UN Peacekeeping tour to Cyprus and a spell on London duties before being disbanded in 1981. The main players were the companies of E and F, Support Company and a G Company drawn together from the wider Corps at the time – including the recently returned from NI 45 Cdo elements - to make up the full compliment for the first major deployment to Belfast in 1978.


It was at this time I came from 42 Cdo and joined G Company. We narrowed it down to either 7 or 8 Troop during this weekend but memories were hazy. Pete Tolmie joined after this deployment and recalls his deployment on INTERKNIT along with Norman Wareing. Both Pete and I subsequently deployed to sunny Malta to join Salerno Company until it too disbanded in 1980


The dinner was a majestic affair refined over some 25 years worth of 41 reunions. The organisation was superb and committee members; Mick St-Pier, Graham Dear, and Mac McLennan were very much at the fore-front of making the event such a success. Joseph did a sterling job on the photography front and his work will surely be testament to the fabulous night filled with camaraderie, commando spirit and warm friendship amongst the former 41 members and wives, partners, friends and family present. The combined rendition of “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” the 41 anthem, by all present surely brought a tear to some eyes as we remembered absent friends.



Massive thanks have to go out to the committee and all others involved in making the weekend so special. My wife Jenny said to me as we returned to Poole that she couldn’t recall a more pleasant and enjoyable evening. I very much agreed and we will be returning in 2025, god willing.

Paul Jobling

RMA Poole and District Branch

RMAVSO

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David Sippitt
David Sippitt
Jul 18, 2023

Paul, thanks for presenting the plaque for me, it was a real disappointment that I could not attend but hopefully I will in 2025.

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