The City of London Branch was started by some former members of the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR), Bermondsey, London in 1983.
Bob Richmond BEM, who had been the Unit Sergeant Major, together with Terry Brown, Bill Reynolds and John ‘Doc’ Smith explored starting a Branch during a meet as guests in the Sergeant’s Mess Bermondsey.
In the mid 1970s some former Royal Marines (RM) of all ranks held an informal get together as The City of London Royal Marines Club, The Swan Pub, Ships Tavern Passage in Leadenhall Market, once a month.
The President provides advice and support to the Chairman, Committee and members of the Branch.
The Committee under the guidance of the Chairman are the governing body of the City of London Branch and responsible for making decisions in the best interest of the Branch.
Sir Robert Fulton
Sir Robert joined the Royal Marines in 1972. From 1992-1994 he commanded 42 Commando and in 1997-1998 he commanded 3 Commando Brigade. In 1998 he became Commandant General Royal Marines until 2001.
He left the Armed Forces in 2006 with the rank of Lieutenant General as the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff for Equipment Capability and was appointed to be the 63rd Governor of Gibraltar until 2009 where he was Britain’s first Governor to witness change in the Gibraltar constitution since 1967.
Since 2010 Sir Robert has been the Chief Executive of the Global Leadership Foundation. He is also the Chairman of the Governors of the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Schools at Elstree; the President of the Combined Cadet Force Association; President of the Governors of the Corps of Commissionaires and Vice President of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
City Royal Editor and Globe & Laurel Correspondent
David joined the Corps on the 26th October 1953 at ITCRM Lympstone as a member of 844 NS Squad where he was ‘made up’ to ‘Diamond’ and remained an SC throughout his training at Lympstone and CSRM Bickleigh, a total of twenty-one weeks.
From Bickleigh on to the Signals School at Eastney for a further ten weeks to learn how to be a clerk (no choice here as that was his occupation in civvy street). On completion of the course with a rating of C3 he was drafted to 3 Commando Brigade HQ at Ismailia. However, on return from embarkation leave, he was re-drafted to Stonehouse where he remained for the rest of his service.
David maintains that his RM clerk training lined him up for his present position at RMCOL.
Richard has a strong association with the Corps having a great-grandfather who served in the 4th Battalion RMLI and a great-uncle who joined the Corps in the second world war as a bugler and who retired in the 1960s a Drill Sergeant.
Richard completed training with 595 Troop where his signaller instruction was interrupted by a draft to 40CDORM at Norton Manor Camp prior to deployment on Op Haven and Op Warden in N Iraq. On return to the UK he completed signals training and was drafted to Commando Logistics Regiment for a winter deployment. Upon his return he was drafted to HMS Fearless as part of 4 ASRM, enjoying time as the signaller onboard LCU FJ. Richard’s final draft was to 3 CDO Brigade HQ Signals Squadron as part of the Brigade Commander’s Tactical HQ.
Since he left the Corps, Richard worked in I.T. for various government departments over several years, having a particularly busy time at the FCO in numerous offices around the world. He has now moved into the family business and is the maintenance manager for a managed office group.
Paddy Wilkes served in the RM Corps in the 1970s-80s as signaller and tels tech. He served in RM Poole, 42 Cdo, 41 Cdo, REME Arborfield and 3 Cdo Bde’s HQ & Sigs San incl tours in UNFICYP and Arctic deployments. While at university in London in the late 80’s he spent a few years with RMR London where he first encountered the RMA City of London branch at Old Jamaica Road Bermondsey.
Commissioned as an RN Instructor officer during the 1990s, he specialised in technical engineering subjects. He was appointed to HMS Mercury, HMS Collingwood, HMS Sultan, HMS Drake Devonport and lastly FOST.
He finally specialised in IT and emigrated ‘downunder’ for a decade. He was an active member of RMA Western Australia during this time. Returning to the UK several years ago, he now resides in the London and South of England
Veteran Support Officer
Graeme was born in 1962, he knew from the age of 8 he would be a Royal Marine. He joined 255 Troop and passed out from CTCRM in April 1980. Having moved on to join 40CDORM, in Plymouth, Seaton Barracks. Where he served in the Falklands conflict and Northern Ireland, he then went to Comacchio Company, CTCRM, Commando Helicopter Operations Support Cell (CHOSC) and finally 3 Brigade Air Squadron both at RNAS Yeovilton, after which he left the Corps in February 1992.
On leaving the Corps Graeme took up a second career in Facilities Management within the City of London.
In September of 2019 Graeme become Chairman of The RMA City of London, taking over the reins from Jim Ellard MBE after over 30 very successful years. Whilst he knew it was a hard act to follow, he took on the challenge being confident and encouraged that the continued success of this vibrant branch is fundamentally down to our its dedicated members and professional committee.
Stephen has a long association with the Royal Marines. His grandfather and father served as Royals in both world wars. His grandfather, William served with the 4th Battalion RMLI and saw action in the St George’s Day Raid on Zeebrugge in 1918 and his father Bernard served with the Corps from 1938 to 1954.
Stephen took over the role of branch treasurer in 2013. He then undertook a comprehensive review and assessment of the branch’s membership function. Again, 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 membership secretary in 2016. Stephen has spent his career in the financial services industry. He is a Liveryman (WCoP), and a Freeman of the City of London
Norman joined the Royal Marines in 1947 at Royal Marines Depot, Deal in 474 Squad. On completion of basic training he was Awarded ‘Diamond’ then going on to further training at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) and the Commando School, Bickleigh.
On completion of training Norman joined 42 Commando for two and half years which saw him serving in Malta, Tripoli, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan and Hong Kong.
This was followed in 1952 by one and half years at the Amphibious School for training after which he embarked on HMS Zeebrugge to the Monte Bello Islands, Australia for Atomic testing.
James G Ellard
Jim was born in 1933 in a small mining town in Durham but grew up in Kent. He joined 589 squad Royal Marines at Deal in 1951 was No 1 Diamond and on leaving Deal was presented with the Squad Silver Whistle. On final pass out he was awarded the King’s Badge. As a signalman he served with 40 Commando RM and on HMS Salerno for the Suez conflict.
In 1990 Jim received the Freedom of the City of London and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Carmen.
On leaving the Police he and his wife Joy became the licensees of their local 16th century pub in the village of Chelsfield where they enjoyed a delightful 20 years.
Jim joined the newly formed City of London Branch of the Royal Marines Association in 1984, became the chairman in 1988 and took responsibility of promoting the Royal Marines Annual Memorial (Graspan) Parade until 2013. In 2002, in recognition of his services to the RMA he was awarded the MBE.
Upon his retirement as our Branch Chairman after 31 years in 2019, the committee were rightly to award Jim the ‘Chairman Emeritus’ title, an honour he will always keep.