Sort file:- Walmer, May, 2023.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 10 May, 2023.


Earliest 1971

(Name from)

Drum Major

Latest 1994

(Name to)

Open 2023+

42 Dover Road


07557 472133

From the East Kent Mercury, 4 March 1971.

Drum Major sign, Walmer

The "Drum Major" - this is to be the name of one of Walmer's most famous public houses: The "Cambridge Arms" in Dover Road and opposite Jubilee Gate at the Depot, Royal Marines, takes the name. A new inn-sign has been painted by Bass Charrington artist, Mr. Bill Pearce, an the model was the Corp's Senior Drum Major. Drum Major Charles Bowden. Bass Charrington say they are happy to perpetuate their links with the Royal Marines, who first came to Deal in 1664 as the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment.


A new inn-sign will swing in Dover Road, Walmer, next month when the 150-year-old Bass Charrington public house, the "Cambridge Arms" changes its name to "Drum Major." On the bright new inn-sign will be the portrait of Royal Marine Drum Major Charles Bowden, the Corps senior drum major.

Bass Charrington is re-modelling the public house and its interior will be decorated with Royal Marines relics and items of historic interest.

District manager, Mr. Peter Stevens, says; "We are looking out for any items of interest, especially instruments, which old Royal Marines may have."

The "Drum Major" inn-sign is the work of Walmer Brewery artist, Mr. Bill Pearce, who painted it from colour pictures of Drum Major Bowden, supplied by Basil Kidd.

Drum Major Bowden, who lives in John Tapping Close, Deal, says: "The likeness is excellent - there couldn't be a better portrait if completed by as academician."

He joined the Royal Marines in 1940, following both his grandfathers, his father and three uncles, and was a sergeant within three months.

He took part in the battle of Crete, was taken prisoner, but escaped and then reached a point near Sidi Barrani after nine days at sea in a damaged landing craft with little food and water.

He has been Drum Major since 1950 and has taken part in almost every ceremonial occasion since.


He was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1957.

Says Mr. Stevens: "There could be no better subject for our project. Drum Major Bowden epitomises the three-hundred year tradition of the Marines."

One bar in the "Drum Major" will be called the Gibraltar, the other the Zeebrugge: both commemorating two epic battles in which Royal Marines fought.

The manage is an ex-Royal Marine, Mr. Clarance Boulder.

Opening date of the "Drum Major" is Monday, April 26, 1971, when Drum Major Bowden will unveil the new inn-sign.

The "Cambridge Arms" was built over a century ago and was named after the first Duke, a son of George III, who visited Walmer Castle in 1839 as guest of the Lord Warden, the Duke of Wellington.

But, emphasises Mr. Stevens: 'The "Drum Major," for all its historic interest, will be anything but a historic pub.'


Drum Major sign, WalmerDrum Major sign, Walmer

Above picture shows the sign of the "Drum Major" (left) I believe produced after the original in 1971. This has recently, (May 2013) been seen during renovations at the pub, (right) thanks to the keen eyes of Tony Wells. It appears though, to have lost some of its detail.

Drum Major sign 1978

Above sign 1978.

With thanks from Roger Pester

Drum Major sign 1990Drum Major sign 1990

Above signs, 1990.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Drum Major sign 1987Drum major sign 2015

Above sign left, 1987. Sign right, 2015.


The pub has now reverted back to being the "Cambridge Arms."

June 2013, it was rumoured that the pub had changed name yet again to this one.

Fire damaged the pub closed for some time in 2023, and after refirbishment is due to open again at the end of April 2023.



BOULDER Clarance April/1971+

STEVENS Peter J & BOULDER Clarence B 1974+ Library archives 1974 Charrington & Co

NORTH Arthur & Joan 1977-80 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

DUNKERLEY Ian 1979-81(The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers ran the restaurant)

TYRELL Ray 1982+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

JONES Gareth Oct/1984+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

WATTS Peter Dec/1984

SALMON Clifford & NETHERCLIFFT Mark May/1989 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

WRIGHT Shaun Oct/1989 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

DYE Leonard & DONNELLY Theresa Mar/1992 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

SPARSHOTT Ian & DOBSON Susan 1994 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

Changed name back to "Cambridge Arms" 1994

This pub is yet again to change name back to the "Drum Major" from the "Cambridge Arms" and is hoping to open on the 18th May 2013.

SIGGINS Karen & LOHAN Stephen 17th May 2013+


Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and RogersThe Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-