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The Royal Marines Depot Deal

Unit/ Formation: Barracks/ Camps

Location: Great Britian

Period/ Conflict: 1800's

Year: 1861

Date/s: 4th May 1861

The South barracks of the Royal Marine Depot, Deal (also called the Royal Marine Depot, Walmer) opened in 1795 and was first occupied by Marines in 1861.

South Infantry Barracks: the former Officers' Quarters of 1795.

About the 4th May 1861 there appears to have been a detachment of Royal Marines at Deal; but on 7th May of that year the CO, Lieutenant Colonel W R Maxwell is addressed as Commanding Depot RM Deal, so that it is evident that the decision to form a depot for training recruits had been made, and steps were promptly taken to carry it out.

Initially staffed by 2 officers, 12 NCOs and 33 privates, on 8th May detachments from Chatham and Woolwich Divisions were sent for duty, shortly after followed by 100 Recruits from each Division to commence training. They were accommodated in the East Barracks and by August of that year the Depot was in full swing with 400 recruits in training.

A view of the old Royal Naval Hospital (later East Barracks), Deal.

All recruits for the Corps were sent there, those of the requisite standard being allowed to volunteer for the RMA, until the removal of the RMA Company in 1897 to Eastney.

As it expanded they took over the South and Cavalry Barracks, and later the North Barracks was built, the smaller blocks being completed in 1961

The barracks were bombed during the Battle of Britain resulting in 1 Officer and 7 other ranks killed, 6 Officers and 6 other ranks wounded.

At approximately 8:20 am on 22 September 1989, the Royal Marines School of Music was bombed by the IRA, resulting in the deaths of 11 musicians, and injuries to 22 other marines. A memorial garden, built in remembrance of the men that died, is situated in the grounds of the East barracks where the bomb went off.

The depot was largely withdrawn from service in 1991 although the Royal Marines School of Music remained on site in the East barracks until 1996.

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