Woodlands Garden

In November 2011, the Royal Marines of 45 Commando opened the Woodlands Garden to honour their fallen comrades.

The garden of remembrance at RM Condor is a living memorial to all men from the unit lost since it moved to Arbroath in 1971.

It is a calm and peaceful environment for the men, families and friends within the tight-knit community of 45 Commando to remember those no longer with them.

Woodlands Garden

The original idea for Woodlands Garden came from Lieutenant Colonel Jim Morris DSO RM, the Commanding Officer for 45 Cdo on Operation Herrick 9. The concept was to provide a focal point for remembrance and reflection at RM Condor.

The garden historically used to be the Commanding Officer's vegetable patch, but was unused and had fallen into state of disrepair. It is also central to the living accommodation at RM Condor and therefore deemed the ideal location.

The centrepiece of the garden – which was designed by BBC celebrity gardener Toby Buckland – is an eight-tonne granite memorial stone gifted to the unit by Fyfee Glenrock quarry near Aberdeen.

This impressive monolith, however, serves a sombre and yet proud purpose: for it bears, hewn in stone, the names of the men of 45 Commando who have died whilst in the service of the unit since it moved to Arbroath in 1971. Among them, the 13 fatalities suffered on Operation Herrick.

Woodlands Garden

That dreadful outcome was avoided on Operation Herrick 14 and for that, all at the unit are thankful. But for the wounded, the bereaved plus commando veterans alike, the Woodlands Garden now offers a poignant, peaceful place for reflection.

The transformation of what was the old commanding officer’s kitchen garden into the Woodlands Garden took almost a year and cost around £250,000, the majority of which was raised by the men themselves and through donations by a supportive and appreciative local community.

Other massive rocks dominate the Garden, which has been designed to replicate the Globe and Laurel emblem so central to the Royal Marines ethos. 

Despite overwhelming logistics, these rocks were shipped from each of the lands where 45 Commando men have fallen: Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Each represents a physical feature where the bereaved might harness their grief in a private and yet positive way.

The Royal Marines Association continues to support The Woodlands Garden Trust (Charity Number 206003). 

Donations can be made by cheque, payable to 'Woodlands Garden Trust' and posted to the address below, or online at www.justgiving.com/The-Woodlands-Garden-Trust

The Garden Manager

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