Stephen joined the branch in 2012 and took over the role of Branch Treasurer in 2013. With support and assistance from the Committee he quickly set about introducing new governance and administration regimes that brought the branch’s financial affairs into line with the financial standards that are adhered to by banks and corporate institutions in the City of London, The Charity Commission, as well as those of the RMA-TRMC.
Stephen then undertook a comprehensive review and assessment of the branch’s membership function. Again, and with the committee’s support and approval, he developed and implemented a raft of long overdue operational changes that materially improved the effectiveness, efficiency, overall performance and capabilities of the branch’s membership function. He formally took over the role of Branch Membership Secretary in 2016.
Stephen has a long association with the Royal Marines as his grandfather and father served as Royals in both world wars.
Stephen’s grandfather, William James Gilkes (CH15525) served with the 4th Battalion RMLI and saw action in the St George’s Day Raid on Zeebrugge in 1918 and was balloted for the Victoria Cross (VC) for his part in the action. He was finally awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM).
Stephen’s father, Bernard Norman Gilkes (CH/X 2475), served with the Corps from 1938 to 1954. During WWII his father served in four different campaigns, and saw action while on board HMS Warspite at the Battle of Salerno when the battleship sustained a direct hit from a 3,000 pound FX 1400 glider bomb, and a near-miss from a second glider bomb that burst under water amidships abreast of the bulge on the starboard side. His father was awarded the coveted green beret in 1944 and saw post-WWII action in 1949 while serving on board the heavy cruiser HMS London during the Yangtze Incident.
Stephen has spent his career in the financial services industry and has worked for a variety of banks and financial institutions in more than five different countries. He is a Liveryman (WCoP), and a Freeman of the City of London. He actively uses his City connections to raise funds for the Branch, the RMA-TRMC, the NFA and other elite military units