Chivenor marines in desert marathon

Joseph Bulmer

North Devon-based Commando Logistic Regiment troops go the extra 26 miles for injured veterans and their families

CHIVENOR-based Royal Marines serving in Afghanistan have been taking part in a gruelling nighttime desert marathon to mark their unit’s role in the Falklands conflict.

Around 11 troops from the Commando Logistic Regiment have tackled a 26-mile course around Bastion Two, part of Britain’s main military base in Helmand Province.

Regimental Sergeant Major Barry “Baz” Dawe, Adjutant Iain Sutherland and Physical Training Instructor Bart Ledger were the first to complete the challenge, an effort they timed to commemorate the unit’s Falklands landing at Ajax on May 22, 1982.

The remaining marines ran the same course on Saturday night to mark the recapture of the Falkland Islands on June 14, 1982.

The money they have raised will be spilt between two armed forces charities, the Not Forgotten Association and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

“For the record the first 22 miles were okay but the last four quite painful but absolutely worth it for the cause,” said RSM Dawe.

“Hopefully the money raised will bring a lot of happiness to our veterans, injured and their families.”

Closer to home, shoppers in Bideford have been supporting the marines’ efforts by giving donations outside Morrisons supermarket.

Ted Small, who helped to organise the collections under the Tri-Service Helping Hand charity, said generous shoppers had given �1,027 at the weekend.

Anyone who would like to sponsor the marines or donate to their chosen causes can contact Ted on 07717 524440. Readers can also pick up a sponsorship form from the Gazette offices in Old Station Road, Barnstaple.