Bill Dunham

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Mark William "Bill" Dunham

Bill Dunham
Born 1961
Education Boston Grammar School (1972-79)
Occupation Royal Marines (1979-2013), Director of Stategy and Corporate Services
Employer Royal Marines, Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Parents Geoff Dunham
Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Brig Mark William "Bill" Dunham CBE was educated at Boston Grammar School (1972-79).

Bill joined the Royal Marines in 1979 straight from Boston Grammar School and had a long and varied career including command at every level up to Brigadier. His career culminated in roles as Commandant of Commando Training Centre, as Chief of Staff of the NATO Training Mission in Kabul and finally Deputy Commandant General. He left the Corps on 31 March 2015 and now works as the Director of Strategy and Corporate Services at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency[1].


While at school, Bill Dunham was a member of the CCF and was the vocalist with a band called the Reginald Bosanquet Swing Band. He served as Deputy Head Boy in the 1978-79 academic year, alongside John Cridland.

Higher Education

Bill gained a BSc in Systems and Management from City University London.

Later links to BGS

Bill presented the prizes at the Boston Grammar School Speech Day in 1992. He also proposed the toast to The School at the Old Bostonian Association Annual Dinners in both 2002[2] and 2016[3].

In his 2002 speech at the Old Bostonian Association Annual Dinner, Bill Dunham summarised his career to that date[2]:

"I started at the school in 1972 and left in 1979 with a fistful of 'O' and 'A' levels, much to the amazement of my various teachers; went straight into Officer Training and after 12 fairly interesting and occasionally physically demanding months was cast into the big bad world of Regular Officer Service. Since then, I have amongst other things served for a total of 8 years in Commando Forces, ... picked up a BSC degree, fired a variety of bullets and shells a few in anger but mostly not, been to about 25 foreign countries, selected young officers, ridden parade horses, got married, shouted at lots of recruits, seen the truth about Northern Ireland at close quarters several times, gone bald, played lots of rugby at a pretty decent level, completed the Army Staff Course at Camberley, gone grey, trained overseas armed Forces and British army Captains, gone balder, been instrumental in defining the Royal Navy's future operational concepts, worked in Whitehall and been amazed that government practices ever allow anything to happen and run a £250M budget. I currently command and have done so for 3 months, an organisation known as the Fleet Protection Group that is based at Faslane in Scotland. I have approximately 450 men under command. They are employed on a variety of operational and largely classified tasks worldwide and as I speak to you tonight about a third of them are so deployed. It is a hugely enjoyable task to command such an organisation and I feel tremendously honoured to do so. I also feel incredibly humble when I witness the quality and sheer professionalism of the men that I command, which is often quite exceptional and in far from pleasant conditions most of the time, and often quite wonder what I have done to get away with it!"

Realistically, he noted that his school life wasn't without its down-sides, but he did feel basically content with what it provided.While acknowledging that he was in danger of sounding old fashioned, Bill suggested that BGS provided him with a combination of learning, sport and team value.


Bill Dunham was included in the 125 UK service personnel who were granted state honours by Her Majesty The Queen in the 2015 New Year Honours List. He received a promotion in the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from OBE to CBE.

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