letters page

S.O.D Campaign

Dutchy fed me when I was a recruit and he saved me from near starvation in the days before four meals. He was often the highlight of my day.

Today Dutchy feeds my recruits for whom I have collective responsibility and continues to be the highlight for many of them. My recruits are just like I was, hungry men in every sense, in need of some good food and at a place where all Royal Marines unashamedly and unwittingly mix. Dutchy gives them that. Many of my recruits eat the four scheduled meals, but on top of that they have Dutchy's too. Why: because they're hungry again by 2300, it tastes good, it's different to Galley scran and because he is open at ridiculous hours in the night and morning. Critically it's because of the camaraderie which exudes from Dutchy's caravan, good banter surrounded by the appetizing smell of his food cooking. But underneath it all Dutchy treats my recruits like Lord's, for a moment they feel great, he calls them “Sir” in a place where almost everyone else is “Sir” to them. And their self-esteem grows and their stomachs are full and warm and they jabber away content as they head for their grots, satisfied that there is another world out there, perhaps not as good as our Royal Marines, but one where they are valued for what they are- satisfied customers in every sense. “Keep Dutchy's for the Corps, he's bigger than the few shillings he gets off my recruits” If you asked my recruits to put their hands in their pockets to save Dutchy, they'd do it. If you asked them to do it for the Galley, or Jim's diner, or any other outlet, well…….they wouldn't.

Lt Col C D B Thorpe OBE RM – OC Commando Training Wing


We, as in members of 3CA CPLS mess 6ASRM where greatly disturbed to hear of the planned demise of the Dutchy wagon at CTC, all of us (as in the hole of 6ASRM) would like to sign your petition, however we cannot download one from our pre-historic computers on board HMS ALBION could you please send us some for us to sign etc, and we will gladly return them with another 80 signatures. Dutchy’s was a great support to me during my recruit training(good food after hours etc) as I am sure it has been for almost every Royal Marine for the past 40 years, weather in training or on course. GOOD LUCK if we can help let us know.
Cpl Dennis & 3CA Cpl's Mess

I served from 1960 to 1969 in the Corps, my last being at Lympstone, apart from the recruit days. There was nothing better then noshing at the late night open house before hitting the hut with its pot bellied stove with a nice sarnie under your belt after a good run ashore.
What a loss it would be to all those Royals to come who join the Corps, This must be a MoD move by some paperless twit who has never done a 30 miler or the scramble course. Keep Dutchy Please. THINK OF ALL THOSE STARVING BOOTNECKS?
Ken Bruce RM 19650
We are losing corps traditions all the time if you go it's a big chunk out of our last 40 years of CTCRM history, don’t let the B*****d’s get us down we will get through this just as you and your food helped us get through training, we owe you one.
Good luck
L/CPL Hughes
40 Cdo RM

Dutchy's was the only thing to look forward to on a Saturday night after yet again you'd come home plums from 'Ten's'. I left the Corps 9 years ago, travelled the world and still haven't found anything as good yet, keep it going f*** the big boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dan Murphy

After long days & long nights training I was often saved by DUTCHY. Where else would you get scran like that , just when needed...mmmmm Bean Burger, mmmmmmm Mush Burger. I can taste em right now. Keep fighting, keep serving the Nods.

Best wishes
C. Spackman

“I used to eat food next morning when it was cold……………………… A real Commando!”
Regards Thomas Blair

(Proof positive the lads today are brighter as they leave it on their radiators to keep it warm for “Brekkers”)-Dutchy


I hope you can still carry on your (without a doubt), good service to our Royal Marines Commando, I personally know what it meant to me and my mates to have you around.

I am now living and working in Shanghai , and this petition was sent to me by an old friend, I would love to sign the petition form, but due to the Chinese Government, not allowing many files to be downloaded on Expat's PCs, I can only send you this message.

I hope it reaches you in time, and also hope you get what you deserve... and that is to carry on supplying your service to our lads.

Wishing you luck, from somebody who was there.

David Lynch

Dutchy, you are a great guy and business man. I hope that you manage to win these battles with the company's that don't give service to the individual. In my job capacity with the Australian Army I have been working with these plonkers for some time and they are causing us some real hard grief - and do they provide a service? - no they don't and they will never! they are only in it to make a profit and close messes down and have one functional mess in every barracks – roll on the revolution!!!!!

Dutchy all the best mate,

Yours Aye,



Darwin Australia

Hello Dutchy, 

From Capt "Gorgeous" George Wiseman 45 Mortars 81-92.   Mortar Troop was always envied by “Gravs” for our "Fry ups" in the field...but where do you think we pinched the technique from?? 

Dutchy's....teaching Mortar men how to make Egg Banjos since 66!

Good Luck



There was many a time when a KK Special with the old onion rings was the only flicker of normality in an otherwise mad period of YO training. It was an escape within the camp and the reason many of us stuck with it rather than throw in the towel - and thank God, we did because we now appreciate what a fantastic institution Dutchy's is.

Far be it for the grown ups to close you down, they need to offer you some proper accommodation!!!

Very best of luck Dutchy, do not dare give up without a fight.


 Steve Percey

YO Sept 92


Capt RM

Hi Dutchy

My two daughters remember with fondness the free hamburgers they always received from you, believing that I carried you out of the jungle during the SCC in Singapore .

Best of luck

Yours Aye  

Neil Fisher

Hi Jim ,

In 1972 I first walked through the gates of C TC RM; one of the first tasks of the training team was to give us a guided tour around what was to be our home for the next 6months.  They showed us the galley, the NAAFI, the QM store, the cinema, the Sgt's and Officers Mess the launderette, which we were not allowed to use and an empty area where, we were told, "Dutchy parks his van every night," which we could use.  In fact we were encouraged to use it.  It only took us 1 visit and we were hooked.  There were only 2 places, where a recruit could get respite from the training if only for a few minutes.  One was our weekly visit to the Padre for tea and bikkies, the other was Dutchy.  OK, at least we didn't have to pay for our tea with the Padre, but that was just once a week.  Dutch was every night and like the Padre he guided us through our time at C TC RM.  His advice always sounded better with a double egg burger. 

Since I left the Corps, and joined the RMA my Annual pilgrimage back to Lympstone would not be complete without my double egg burger and chips.  My wife accompanies me to the Reunion and to Dutchy's.  I have nurtured the more elderly members of our Branch, who passed through those gates many years before I to join me a burger with "little Jim ."  In fact on the occasions when I won the National Standard Bearers Competition, after a few celebratory drinks we always completed our evening with Dutchy.  My association with Jim and latterly Jim Jnr has spanned over 30 years. Part of the family. Part of the Corps

Dutchy's is an Institution.  He has his place in Corps history.  Almost 40years of dedicated service to The Royal Marines at Lympstone alone, with only a small incident with a gas canister to blot his copybook.

I fully support you in your fights with the beurocrats , it's a shame you can't take them to the Gym.

Good Luck and Best Wishes


Save Our Dutchy

Dutchy served me well for my 37 years in the Corps, and he should be allowed to continue in C TC RM.

Col Peter Babbington CBE MC

Dutchy hi,

as a marine from 670 troop I can only curse the levels of bureaucracy that would remove such a living legend from C TC .

Tell the powers that be that their pass out rates will fall dramatically as the "night scene" around the van is the place to have your moral fibre strengthened by something hot in a polystyrene box. Even with the advent of the 9 o'clock scoff we still frequented the van at least 3 times a week running up monstrous lines of credit which decimated our dosh come pay time. Basic training has many memories, mostly good but a few bad, but one of  the abiding memories is of hot chips and every other type of lard imaginable, normally with double egg on top...

Absolute heaven for young marines, especially after 12 pints in the Nods Head.

If the worst comes to the worst you could always ring Aldershot and ask them if they have any space!


Craig G.


Keep Dutchy's


After Eight years service with the Royal Marines in all of the Corps fighting units and across the globe I have come to the end of my career. My final act as a serving Bootneck before I go on C.O.'s and leave the Corps is to post this petition to you in hope that it makes a difference.

It is the way in which all Marines, new and old can come together that separates us from the other services and keeps the Corps de Espirit that is so integral. In keeping with that tradition I have been proud to watch the lads eager to sign and help out.

All the best for the campaign and here's to the greasiest chicken and cheesiest chips I ever had!


Dave Clements (PO53962E)


Just been reading all the news about the proposed closure.

Daft lot those up in London , they don't know an egg banjo from a can of pop. They haven't a clue what the guy on the ground requires. I joined up Aug 73, 52tp and spent plenty of time getting a bite to eat before hitting the sack.

How you remembered all our names is amazing. I've even been down on the Sigs Reunions and you still remember the names as we queue up

Your part of the Corps and should not be closed down. I bet the civvies won't be available late at night cooking to order.

All the best for the S.O.D. campaign

Graham Ransom

Dutchy Junior,

Please find enclosed a short list of former Royal Marines supporting your cause.

I remember your Father well, always looked after us, long into the night with good "Booty Nosh" after a "Run Ashore", Best of luck from M.G.S Staff, H.M.S Raleigh.


Fincher Martin

I am an ex-marine who spent several terms at CTC RM and enjoyed the Duchy special after a few beers. 

This is a tradition for recruits and trained marines to enjoy a meal and a chat.

I wish to voice my concerns over the new measures taking place to remove competition from forces base camps.  This is not fair in our society.

Hope things go well.


Andrew Aiton 


I first used your facility in 1979 when I was a young marine in the RMR, I used it again on countless occasions when I was a young officer under training in 81/2 and a visit to C TC never seems the same without a 'double mush burger'.  I fully support your appeal to keep the wagon on the basis of freedom of choice and who else would be open during those late evenings whilst in the middle of a commando course when you have an insatiable appetite, a Dutchy Burger is the real highlight of the day!

Pete Cook

Maj RM


I recall Duchy's as a Young Officer under training in the 50's, as Adjutant in the 60's and as OC Specialist Wing in the 70's. Many of the staff and most of the students were regular patrons and I cannot believe this has changed. C TC RM trains Royal Marines who are crucial to the future defence of this country and their choice of recreational facilities should be respected.

Nick Vaux. Major General RM (Retd)

Save Dutchys

I hope you win this one against the 'big battalions'.

Julian Thompson

Hi Dutchy,

From a cool spring morning in the Falkland Islands !  I have downloaded your petition and am busy getting willing signatures. The very first one is from the most southerly British Burger bar in the world Fred and Vera's Burger Bar Stanley.  I was working there on Saturday night from our pitch just outside the Victory Bar. Majority of our customers that night were servicemen and some of them we saw twice that night in various states of disrepair (no changes there!). I was also having a beer on Sunday with a couple of my ex bootneck mates and we are all behind your efforts to keep Dutchy's in Lympstone.  Our business down here is only yards from the local Brasserie and a cafe but there is always a niche and a requirement for our type of grub from the lads who don't want to sit down and be posh but just get a good feed when they want it and quickly.

I will pass on your regards and get the petition back to you as soon as possible.

Best regards from all ex bootneck's in the south Atlantic !

Geoff Pring


If PAYD is brought in who is doing the messing? Are the chefs still cooking or have the multi-nationals taken over, if this is the case what are our chefs doing now, guard duty? 

I was in 1971-94 still remembering your dad bringing round the sarnies on a Sunday morning to our grot as well as a jar of tea and coffee for a reasonable price. See if he remembers that. All the best on the war.

Can you not get private venders pitch out side the barracks as in the early days? Say at the entrance to heart break lane or even the edge of the field near where the road is from the local farmer, although it may not be the best option it also does not take away the human rights of the individual to purchase off camp (yes we still have basic human rights) even under military law. They could try to stop the recruits from using your van but that would then become restrictive practices as laid down in EU law and this is forbidden under this as well.

This is just a small idea that I was thinking of. Recruits writing to their parents that they are being denied rights of movement and being told that your van out side the base is out of bounds that would soon make the papers, as did the piece in the mirror the other day. The camp command had to say what they did all political pressure for promotion as well as clearing the air. If the NAAFI cannot service the camps requirements, can this new venture from 2200-0300!

Tom P ex RM 29704b  

Hi Dutchy,

I would like to voice my support for your campaign. From late night snacks when the NAFFI was closed to late Sunday morning breakfasts when the galley was closed you where there to feed us. If the big boys want PAYD let them bring it in but why are they afraid of some competition? The answer is the food won't be great and it won't be available when we want it but when they want to serve it.

Keep on Frying!

Sandy Woods

(Ex Bootie)

Dear SOD Campaign

I have been asked if I would like to add my support to the "Save Our Dutchy's" campaign, but first must declare a conflict of interest, young Jim is my Son-in law. Should this affect my support, No! I would happily have written this had Dutchy, just been Dutchy.

As a young recruit in 1971 I had the pleasure of locating Dutchy's after a particularly good run ashore, I'd had a few and of course knew what I was talking about (sic) when referring to the political situation in South East Asia, it is unfortunate that Dutchy, the patriarch of the Holland family seemed to know more than I. This became a challenge, not one I was to win. Dutchy's knowledge of all things astounded me not only because of his current affairs and of all things Bootneck orientated but his social conscience, this guy wanted to help me? Seriously he did, he offered me counselling and a ready ear when I was down after a good rollicking (this happened frequently), offered advice on how to overcome the "should I go of should I stay syndrome" which I am sure a number of us go though and even offered me FREE banking yes FREE banking in not cashing my cheque until the end of the month, when the chancellor took more than necessary leaving me short to enjoy my social life which oddly enough took place around Dutchy's during the training week.

Will the new multi million pound contracts for Pay as you Dine and Ancillary Services for CTCRM be conducive to a training establishment, my answer is give it a chance the corps must move with the times. Will the evening service and catering they offer AT A PRICE be superior to, or equivalent to, the service provided by Dutchy's for 39 years? I do not ask others to take the view that I hold, but I have seen a reduction in the quality of service from Multi National Companies of all persuasions and will categorically state that the service offered and provided will be inferior to that which I have known and enjoyed over 32 years.

A question that must be asked is "will the dis-enfranchisement of Dutchy's improve or will be equal to the high morale that the corps prides itself on", I think we all know the answer. Dutchy's serves a myriad of people from Recruits, Command courses, Trade courses, Officer training, and visitors be they RMA, Reunions or Functions in respective messes. Is the food unhealthy? I have yet to see an overweight recruit or officer leave CTCRM on completion of training. Remember Dutchy's (young Jim) tenet " You don't cook a burger you create a burger", and of course there is a lot more to Dutchy's than just a burger.

I ask you all to make your comments on this website in a polite, humorous and forthright manner, the corps will not take notice of vexatious or slanderous "whingeing".

Samuel Johnson (circa 1704-1784) wrote: Claret is the liquor for boys, Port for men, But he who aspires to be a hero must eat at Dutchy's (actually must drink Brandy) but my point is made.

Thank you in anticipation for all your support and to those who have already made their comments.

Nev Weston MBE

Wo1 RM

Oxford CIO

Footnote: The year 2006 was to be the 40 th Anniversary of Dutchy's and a number of events were to have taken place this will now not happen... A fact a number of people may not be aware of is the amount of money donated by Dutchy's to CTCRM over the years though the PRI and the sponsorship that he has assisted in, he helped me raise £600 to complete the Endurance Course at the age of 49 to assist in the running of the Devon Air Ambulance.


An ex - bootie friend has just told me there is talk of banning Dutchy's burgher wagon from CTC. He gave me a website address, which I was able to read, but unfortunately I am unable to access the site in order to register a response.

Hopefully this email will get through:

I joined The Corps in 1968, and served for over 30 years, retiring and moving to Canada in July 1998. During my time in the Corps, I spent as little time at Lympstone as I could get away with...

Obviously I was there for recruit training, JCC, SCC & ACC, plus my S1's course..... Equally obviously there has always been a Dutchy's...... I am happy to admit that all my visits to CTC were traumatic.... Dutchy and his van, however, were a constant.... I don't mean just the fact that he was open for business at ungodly hours, but the man himself was always willing to listen and offer (good) advice.

I don't see how anyone can think that CTC, or the Royal Marines, will be improved by the removal of the service Dutchy's van provides to young marines.....

I am an avid reader of the Globe & Laurel, and in every issue I am told how good our young marines are...All because of the education and training they receive at CTC.....

Well.... HEAR THIS..... Dutchy Holland is part of that education, and long may he remain so!

I have tried to add my name to your petition, but my steam driven computer can't access the right page (or something like that) but if you need anymore support for your cause, please get in touch with me:

Dave Barrett M.S.M.

WOII (S) RM retd


I have just read on the "once a Marine" forum that Dutchy's is to be Removed from CTC.

My experience of Dutchy's goes back to 1979, when there was nothing Quite like a "snack" from Dutchy's to round the evening off. However not only did Dutchy (Snr) serve that most welcome food, but he Helped me out big time as well.

I was only 16 and I came from the Channel Islands and had only ever traveled on a train once that was from Plymouth to get to CTC. When summer leave came around everybody was going home by train, but I Had to get a boat as well, that was where Dutchy helped me out. I had no idea of how to get from CTC to whatever port I had to go to get home. Cpl. Gilchrist (bless him) just barked at me, "Get on the train and go Home". Dutchy overheard this when I was chatting about it in the Queue, waiting for a burger and told me it was okay and that he would find out all the Times and changes of station etc for me, to say I was relieved was an understatement. Sure enough a couple of days later when I was again at the van waiting for a burger, he spotted me and thrust a piece of paper into my hand with all the travel details written down for me. I will never forget how he helped me out and would love to lend my Support to the campaign to keep "Dutchy's" open at CTC.

Regards Mark E

  Subject: Support

  To whom it may concern,

I served over a period of 24 years in the Royal Marines, during that period of time I spent various periods of my service life at CTCRM / CTCRM Lympstone, going through basic training, on various command courses and two drafts to CTCRM as a SNCO.

  Throughout each occasion that I served at Lympstone Dutchy Holland was always a very much respected trader in the camp, not only did he consistently serve a very high standard of food quality but at a very fair price, every night of the week until the early hours, all qualities that the NAAFI Canteen were sadly very lacking in. The NAAFI closed for food at 2200 hours and during the evening their choice of food offering was limited and of very poor quality but what is more, significantly overpriced. The latter so much so, that as a Junior Marine in training in the early sixties, I could not afford the cheapest end of the NAAFI offering!

Dutchy meticulously maintained his Trading Van and equipment in a very clean and hygienic condition, on many occasions as Duty SNCO I have witnessed him carrying out his rigorous cleaning process as late as 0400 hours, he never cut corners on his food hygiene or cleanliness of his equipment, again something NAAFI frequently had problems with.

As an Instructor and SNCO I was aware of many instances where Dutchy represented a sympathetic ear for so many disillusioned young men that were so demoralised and often set on "opting out" of basic training or Junior Command Courses. Dutchy offered unsolicited arbitrary advice and frequently managed to encourage those young men to reconsider and go on contribute something more positive to the Royal Marines. Dutchy was 100% Royal Marine and this was keenly displayed in the manner that he treated every one of his customers, not only with respect but as a fellow Marine, regardless of rank!

There were Young Officers that also benefited from the advice of Dutchy and whom went on to greater heights and hopefully they in their own time and manner will contribute to supporting the "save Dutchy campaign" long may his son and successor continue to provide the second to none service that our young men of today's Royal Marines continue to appreciate.

TC Newstead BEM.

Ex - Colour Sergeant Royal Marines

Dear Dutchy,

I recently spent a week at a forces base where they had implemented pay as you dine and found it to be abysmal . The CORE meal as they call it which will cost us the same as we pay presently consists of one choice per meal time (if you do not like this choice TOUGH LUCK )!

As an example Dinner consists of:

•  Starter, always one type of soup, if there's none left TOUGH LUCK you do not get anything else and you still pay the same amount.

•  Main course consisting of one choice, if you arrive towards the mid-end of the meal there are usually few to no vegetables left TOUGH LUCK!

•  Two slices of bread

•  Pudding, again one choice if there's none left TOUGH LUCK! you do not get anything else and you still pay the same amount.

Water is free, however cordial juice costs extra.

We were informed by the kitchen staff that all food was prepared in the one galley, any food orders received from the officers were dealt with first followed by the seniors and then the other ranks.

From asking around we discovered that in general people were ordering pizzas and burgers and paying the extortionate prices the galley was charging for them. Not quite the healthy living advertised on their website.

The service was slow and food quality substandard (as we're already used to), as mentioned earlier food on the CORE meal ran out and was not replaced and anything specifically ordered cost much more and took ages to arrive.

CPL Jessie Owens

Formerly of G Block