Raid on the Medway - Van Ghent March

The march Raid on the Medway was commissioned by Lieutenant Colonel RNLMC G T J Aben and dedicated to the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy, Major Peter Kleine Schaars, conductor. Lieutenant Colonel Aben is commander of the Marine barracks in Rotterdam, the Van Ghent Kazerne, home of the Marine Band.

The barracks are named after Willem Joseph van Ghent (1626-1672), a Dutch military and naval hero. In 1665, when the English king Charles II declared war on the Dutch following trade disputes (the second of four Anglo-Dutch wars), Van Ghent persuaded leading Dutch politician, Johan de Witt, to form the Regiment de Marine, precursors of todayís Royal Netherlands Marine Corps.

In 1667, following previous unsuccessful attempts, Van Ghent led the Regiment de Marine on an audacious raid on the English fleet, which was laid up in the docks at Chatham on the River Medway in Kent. Three of the heaviest English ships of the line were set ablaze and the Royal Charles was taken as a prize. The Battle of Chatham was the Dutch fleetís greatest naval victory over the English and the heaviest defeat the English Navy would suffer in its history. Van Ghent was rewarded for his achievement by the States-General of the Netherlands with a golden enamelled chalice depicting the event.

Raid on the Medway is in standard march form and the traditional trio is followed by a feature for the Marine Bandís famous Drums and Fifes.