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Royal Marines from 43 Commando, based on the Clyde, added an extra element to this year’s Royal Marines Association (RMA) parade, held at the poignant Spean Bridge memorial on Sunday July 10.
The monument, originally built to mark the sacrifice of Commandos during the Second World War, dominates the surrounding countryside, much of which was used as a training ground for the famous wartime soldiers.
The serving marines, who joined members of the Royal Marines Association for the parade, came from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, Royal Marines Band Scotland, as well as runners taking part in the RM 1664 Challenge.
The RM 1664 Challenge, in aid of the Royal Marines charity, sees two runners joined by personnel from Royal Marines units across the country to complete 16.64 miles per day for 100 days.
The number 1664 has always had symbolic significance for the Royal Marines, as it was the year of the force’s birth, and this year marked their 353rd anniversary.
The parade, which also saw a number of veterans taking part, consisted of a short service conducted by the Reverend Richard Rowe RN, followed by a march past.
Taking the salute was Brigadier Richard Spencer OBE, deputy commandant general Royal Marines and vice-chairman of the Royal Marines charity. Lieutenant Ryan Taylor, who was in command of the serving contingent, said: ‘It’s really important that we support the RMA and the wider corps family and today has been an excellent day despite the weather.’
43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines is a 550-strong unit based at HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane.
Its primary mission is to prevent unauthorised access to the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent through the provision of specialist military capability.
Additionally, maritime boarding and sniper teams and the very high readiness Fleet Contingent Troop are deployed worldwide to conduct specialist maritime security tasks in support of the Royal Navy.
On completion of the parade, all attending were invited back to the Ben Nevis Hotel, Fort William, for lunch and a chance for the serving personnel and veterans to exchange stories.