Darell’s Day is the Regional Event for the RMA East Anglia Region. This year the event will be commemorated on Sunday 3rd July 2016 and will take place at Landguard Fort, Felixstowe. The Region has been working with the Landguard Fort Trust to organise what we hope will turn out to be an interesting and enjoyable day. Invitations have been extended to Corps Family guests and to local dignitaries.
Nathaniel Darell received a commission in the Duke of York & Albany’s Maritime Regiment as Captain, with command of a company. In 1666 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War he was stationed at Harwich, and with his company, was engaged on board the fleet in the great naval battle against the Dutch of 25/26 July. On 8th September 1666, Darell’s company arrived at Landguard Fort for duty. In April 1667 Nathaniel Darell was appointed Governor of the fort.
Darell’s Day dates from the events that occurred on 2nd July 1667: The Dutch landed a force of 1500 men on the beach at Felixstowe and advanced on Landguard Fort, at the mouth of the River Orwell. The Dutch plan was to clear the way for an attack on the English Royal Navy anchorage at Harwich. After repeated attempts, the Dutch attack failed, repulsed by the garrison of just 400 musketeers and 100 artillerymen of the Admiral’s Regiment led by Captain Nathaniel Darell. Only one English defender was killed and Darell, who was wounded, was hailed the hero of the day. The successful defence of the Fort meant that the Dutch fleet were denied access to the shipping channel into Harwich and so the Dutch were foiled in their attempt to enter and sack Harwich Harbour.
Since 1667, ‘Darell’s Day’ has continued to be celebrated locally and is focused around Landguard Fort. The action is also notable as the last opposed seaborne invasion of England and the first land battle of the future Royal Marines.
This Year’s Darell’s Day:
Opening times: 10am to 5pm.
Telephone: 01394 675900
We have endeavoured to build this into a truly Corps Family event as well as being open to the paying public. There will be demonstrations by the Royal Marines Reserve, displays by the Bury-St-Edmunds Sea Cadet Band and performances by re-enactors down through the ages. Throughout the day, we will be running a hotly contested, inter-unit competition for the RM Cadets. Also, there’s the opportunity to try out the air rifle range.
There will also be the static stands, a raffle, vendors of RM merchandise, refreshment services and of course the opportunity to explore Landguard Fort – a vast building of historic interest owned by English Heritage and managed by the Landguard Fort Trust. The Fort boasts an audio tour, plus maps, models and displays and please take the opportunity to view our own RM Display Room.
Timings. Landguard Fort is open to the public from 10am, so stands and static displays will be ready to be viewed from that time. The day’s activities will commence at 11.30am with a ‘march-on’ and opening ceremony. Those involved in the ceremony will include the RMR, the Sea Cadet Band, RM Cadets and the Royal Marines Association Standards and Members. The RMA National Standard will be on parade.
All RMA Branches, their Branch Standards and individual Members are welcome to participate; please join us for the day. The dress for the parade is blazer, beret and medals. The ‘march-on’ will be followed by a short Service of Remembrance and the RM Corps Prayer. On completion of the service the parade will march off and the remainder of the day’s activities will commence.
The day will start to wind down at approximately 4:00 – 4:30pm. The winners of the Grand Raffle will be drawn and prizes presented to the winning RM Cadet Team, to be followed by the Closing Ceremony
Admission to the Fort. Landguard Fort is owned by English Heritage and is therefore open to the paying public and EH Members. Darell’s Day is classed as a special event and the following prices of admission agreed for the day.
RMA Members (in possession of their RMA Membership Card) – Free Entry
Children 5 – 15 years: £3.00
Children under 5: Free
English Heritage Members: £3.50
EH Member Children: £1.00
Parking. There is ample parking for cars and coaches, although any group considering the use of a large coach (40 seats or more) should inform the Fort in advance (tel. 01394 675900) so that a suitable parking space may be arranged and reserved. On the day, marshals will be helping to direct the traffic and assist with the parking.
Directions – How to find Fort Landguard:
For SatNav or GPS use postcode IP11 3TW to drive to the fort.
For further directions or information, refer to: