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SLIDESHOW: Speed marching in bid to raise Marine funds

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 01, 2014

  • 30/06/14 Royal Marines challenge Royal Marines 1664 challenge, National Memorial Arboretum....

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MORE than 60 Royal Marine Commandos took a breather from speed marching across the UK to stop off a centre of remembrance near Burton.

People taking part in the Royal Marines 1664 Challenge visited the National Memorial Arboretum as part of a mammoth bid to mark 350 years of the elite group of fighting men.

A special parade took place at the Royal Marines memorial located at the site, in Alrewas, before the speed marchers headed to Whittington and then across the area until reaching Birmingham.

Captain Paul Burnham, of the Royal Marines Reserve Birmingham Detachment, who is also an area commander with West Midlands Fire Service, said: “Our 1664 Challenge is all about marking our 350th year in true style with a significant mental and physical challenge, in support of our charitable trust fund - Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF).

“The Royal Marines are one of the finest regiments in the British military and have served in just about every campaign.

“Thousands of former and current members live in the West Midlands.

“The fund helps our wounded and injured to begin their transition back into civilian life.

“It also supports those still serving and facing successive tours in high threat environments.

“The National Memorial Arboretum provided a very fitting starting point.”

The speed march has involved skiing, sailing, cycling and canoeing in aid of the RMCTF.

The event, which is set to raise more than £500,000 for the fund, is an exercise created for Royal Marines across the UK to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the formation of the Corps in October 1664.

The commandos initially set off in February to ski 1,664km across Norway, they then sailed 1,664 nautical miles to Cadiz in Spain, cycled 1,664km to France, and also kayaked across the English Channel before joining Royal Marine Units across the UK to run the remaining 1,664km around the country.

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