Royal Marine receives Long Service Good Conduct medal

A Royal Marine has received his Long Service and Good Conduct medal atop an ice floe in one of the world’s most remote and hostile locations.Lance Corporal Leon Brunning was presented with his medal – marking 17-and-a-half years unblemished service – in sunny Antarctica.

Vehicle Mechanic Lance Corporal Brunning joined the Royal Marines in 1997 at the age of 16. Since then he has deployed in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is now serving with 43 Commando (Fleet Protection Group) and joined HMS Protector in Autumn 2013 ahead of her current deployment to Antarctica.

Assigned to the ship throughout the Austral Summer, L/Cpl Brunning, as a member of the Royal Marine detachment charged with providing cold weather expertise, is responsible for maintaining Protector’s small vehicle fleet.

With almost perfect weather conditions, this (Antarctica) is a most fitting location for such an important and memorable event

Captain Rhett Hatcher

L/Cpl Brunning, from County Durham, was presented with his medal by Captain Rhett Hatcher, HMS Protector’s Commanding Officer.

Capt Hatcher said: “With almost perfect weather conditions, this (Antarctica) is a most fitting location for such an important and memorable event.”

HMS Protector sailed from Portsmouth in October, travelling to the Antarctic Peninsula via Cape Verde, Rio de Janeiro and South Georgia.

She will spend the first of her four work periods in the ice providing logistic support to sites across the Peninsula, conducting research on behalf of the UK Hydrographic Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office and provide logistical support to the British Antarctic Survey organisation.

Image by LA(Phot) Vicki Benwell