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