The Royal Marines

I know little about The Royal Marines. My paternal grandfather is my only connection to this group, though he never was a member of them (that I am aware of). He lived in Gillingham, now part of Chatham UK, and was the home of Marine barracks.

Officers’ Quarters, Royal Marines Barracks, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, late 19th century (b/w photo) by British Photographer, (19th century); National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK; © National Museum of the Royal Navy.

I recently found on Twitter Clive Holden who is a defence historian, author, researcher, and Chair of the Kent Defence Research Group. As he had posted about Gillingham and so I sent a note to him to ask if he knew about the Royal Marines, for the barracks were closed in the 1950’s and demolished in the 1960’s. He sent me a short note back which gave me enough information to send me back to Google to find further information.

Arthur Edward Waters in the doorway almost hidden on the right

The story related to me by my Dad was that Arthur Edward Waters was in his mid-teens when he met up with The Salvation Army which did not land well with his father. As I understand the expectation was that he would join the Royal Marines but instead his interest in TSA led his father to reject him and Arthur left for Canada having met a young lady whose family was emigrating to Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

What would have happened had he stayed in the UK? We don’t really know and those “what ifs” are weird anyway.

By the way, I’ve discovered that there is a Royal Marine Facebook page! That’s where I found a couple of these current photos!

Royal Marines prepare for insertion to the Montenegrin mountains

I’m going to be following that Facebook group – just for interest sake!

Here’s where in Chatham the dockyards were – and where some of the current facilities are.

Preaching to the troops in Canada

The history of our family is always of interest to me, and as time progresses it can get harder to actually know what the real storyline is. So I was super keen to hear from Clive Holden via Twitter.

Do you have family connections to the Royal Marines? To the UK and another stream of military service?

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