Deal Memorial Bandstand
At 8.20 am on the morning of Friday 22nd September 1989, just as the band were finishing their morning practice, an IRA bomb exploded in the North Barracks, killing eleven young bandsmen and wounding several others. The explosion was heard across the town, followed by a hushed silence, then the wailing of sirens as the emergency services went into action.
The people of the town reacted instantly; on Saturday morning, hundreds queued for up to four hours in the hot sun outside the Drill Hall to donate blood for the injured.
The memorial bandstand, opened on 2nd May 1993, was erected, by public subscription, on Walmer Green, in front of the Royal Marines Association club in the Strand. The names of the 11 bandsmen killed by the IRA bomb are recorded on plaques the faces of the bandstand, clockwise from the entrance steps, as shown.
Since the closure of the School of Music and the sad departure of the Service from the town on Friday 22nd March 1996, the band has returned each summer to play a Sunday afternoon concert on the bandstand to packed audiences in the August sunshine
A memorial garden was created in the barracks, close to the site of the explosion; the local Council has taken on the responsibility of maintaining this for the future.
The band and the school have gone; the barracks are being converted into houses, shops and industrial units, but the bandstand and the memorial garden will remain to remind future generations of the part played by the Royal Marines in the history of our town.
The Chapel was destroyed by a fire, started deliberately by children. It had to be demolished. Pictures and further information will be added soon.