Royal Marines musicians join Portsmouth's Great South Run to honour comrades killed in IRA bombing

Members of the Royal Marines Band from Portsmouth who will be taking part in this year's Great South Run. Photo: Royal Navy
Members of the Royal Marines Band from Portsmouth who will be taking part in this year's Great South Run. Photo: Royal Navy
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MUSICIANS from the Royal Marines are gearing up to hit the streets of Portsmouth in memory of fellow bandsman killed in a terror attack.

A team from the Portsmouth (Royal Band) will be running this year’s Great South Run to honour their comrades and predecessors killed in the Deal Barracks bombing 30 years ago.

The musicians-turned-runners will be among the 20,000 people lacing their running shoes up to tackle the famous 10-mile route.

The squad, affectionately known as ‘the bandies’, was inspired to tackle the challenge while performing during the annual concert at the memorial bandstand in Deal, Kent, in July.

‘We were humbled – and inspired – by the huge crowds that turned up for the concert and so a few of us thought we should look for a way to honour those killed,’ said Band Corporal Jamie Wardle.

In 1989 Deal was home to the Royal Marines School of Music before it moved to Portsmouth in 1996.

At 8.22am on September 22, 1989, an IRA bomb exploded in the staff band rest room as members gathered at the start of a day’s practice. Eleven musicians were killed.

‘The current generation of the Royal Marines Band Service understand the importance to remember and honour those who were killed, and I know they’d be proud to see us take this on – either that or they’d think we’re mad.’ added Jamie.

The musicians hope to raise £2,000 before the race begins, on Sunday, October 10. To support them, see justgiving.com/fundraising/RMBandPorts