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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.


Lt Gen

Sir Robert Fulton

KBE (rtd)


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.


David Harris

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. 


Norman Saints

Welfare Representative

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.


Graeme Golightly

Chairman &

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.

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Stephen Gilkes

Treasurer &

Membership Secretary

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. His father Bernard served with the Corps from 1938 to 1954 and saw action while serving on board HMS Warspite (Battle of Crete and Salerno) and HMS London (Yangtze). He was awarded his "green lid" in 1944.

Having returned from overseas Stephen joined the branch in 2012. He took over the role of branch treasurer in 2013 and following a wholesale review and overhaul of the branch’s membership function took over the role of membership secretary in 2016.


Stephen has spent his career in the financial services industry and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers and also a Freeman of the City of London.

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James G Ellard


Chairman Emeritus

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.

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