Royal Marines exercise their Freedom of the City

Of all the nice wintery days we have here in Gibraltar, it chose to bucket down on the day the Royal Marines marched up Main Street.

Band of the Royal Marines (Scotland)

Royal Marines from Alpha Company, 40 Commando

Veterans from the Royal Marines Association

Given this was the first time since being granted the Freedom of the City that they had exercised it, the weather put a real damper on things.

However it didn’t stop people turning out to see them as they rapidly marched from Casemates. They then went to the Convent for a public reception held by the Governor of Gibraltar, Lieutenant General Sir Robert Fulton KBE, who is a Royal Marine.

Guests arriving for the reception at the Convent

The unveiling of the monument at Ocean Village was postponed until the following day – fortunately with much better weather.

The monument with the Royal Marines badge, and the inscription below records the important role of the marines in Gibraltar’s history

A close-up of the Royal Marines badge on the monument

Following their visit to Gibraltar the Royal Marines left for the Mediterranean on RFA Mounts Bay to take part in Taurus 09 – a routine deployment of the Royal Navy’s Amphibious Task Group.

RFA Mounts Bay

Also moored at The Tower, HMS Blyth, a Sandown class minesweeper, with presumably HMS Ramsey behind. The two ships left Bahrain – after more than two years operational activity – at the end of January for the journey back to Faslane, Scotland.

HMS Blyth

And apart from the weather – there was another less than glorious moment. On the Sunday night, a police officer arrested a Royal Marine for being drunk and disorderly. However the RM then assaulted the police officer, grabbed the officer’s baton, and caused injuries to the officer’s face and torso.

A taxi driver intervened and the RM was eventually handcuffed when another police officer came to help.

The RM was charge with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct in a police station. He pleaded guilty to all the charges and was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment.

A shameful ending to a weekend of ceremonial events intended to commemorate the close relationship between the Royal Marines and Gibraltar.

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7 comments on “Royal Marines exercise their Freedom of the City

  1. The incident of the Marine’s arrest for ‘drunk and disorderly conduct’ is indeed a ‘shameful ending’ to an otherwise wonderful weekend of celebrations and commemoration of the Royal Marines long association and history in Gibraltar.However, this is an occurence that Gibraltar long ago learned to deal with… and at times suffer, an incident not at all uncommon in ‘Fortress’ Gibraltar’s 300 year history of warm welcome and hospitality towards British (and many other countries’) servicemen.

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  2. Indeed. I understand that over the years, drunkenness has probably been the most common offence in the Royal Navy.Gib may have learned to deal with it, but that in no way mitigates the behaviour during what should have been such an excellent weekend.I guess I’m just feeling slightly embarrassed!!

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  3. You’re embarrassment, while charming and sweet, is misplaced. No need for you to feel embarassed… you weren’t the drunken thug… well, not on this occasion anyway! :)Oh and as I’m sure you are well aware and (did not intend your comment in this way), the issue of ‘disorderly conduct’ and drunkenness (in Gibraltar) is not the sole domain of the Royal Navy of course. All the services have soiled their reputation in this regard… as indeed have Gibraltarians themselves from time to time. Over the last few years, underage drinking has also been an increasing concern in Gibraltar. I guess, when speaking about these issues, this should also be acknowledged.But… as I say, you have no cause personally, for any embarassment… not until we hear that you joined them anyway! lol

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  4. Thanks for the photos and history lesson. I hope to post a video of a parade we witnessed in Brussles, apparently in hono(u)r of putting a new costume on the Pis statue there. Lots of fanfare.(Do you use a European style keyboard? I’m TRYING to use a French/European keyboard. Very frustrating.) James

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