From now on if you are a recruit at Lympstone it will be part of your memories of training here

Retired Royal Marines Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Rogers

Present at the opening ceremony was Gibraltarian MP the Honourable Neil Costa. 

“It’s a real pleasure to represent the Government and people of Gibraltar here today,” said Neil Costa. 

“Gibraltarians do not part with homeland lightly but we had no hesitation in giving a piece of our rock to the Royal Marines. It was an Anglo Dutch fleet that captured the Rock in 1704 and so it is a very valued relationship that we have with you.” 

The stone has several plaques commemorating the Royal Marines connection with Woodbury Common these were generously mounted by Mossfords Stonemasons in South Wales. 

The stone overlooks the area which was covered by Dalditch Camp in WW2. Here Royal Marines trained in preparation for the D-day landings. It stands above an old rifle range which was part of the camp and also over looks the modern day endurance course which is one of the Commando tests

The stone has been laid with the consent of Clinton Devon Estates and Natural England.

“This is a well loved and beautiful common and it’s a Site of Special Scientific interest. What’s interesting about its history is that marines have been training here for many decades,” says Dr Sam Bridgewater, Nature Conservation Officer for Clinton Devon Estates.  

“When we were approached about having a memorial it seemed like the right place to have it as it overlooks the endurance course. We are very confident that way it has been done is not going to impact on the wildlife,” says Sam. 

Military activity in this area pre dates the Royal Marines training that started in WW2 as the Battle of Woodbury Common took place nearby during the Prayer Book Rebellion in 1549.

“From now on if you are a recruit at Lympstone it will be part of your memories of training here,” says Alastair Rogers. 

“Either as a checkpoint on night navigation exercises or if you’re struggling up the hill on the endurance course. Hopefully it will become a focus for the retired Corps family and for their families so they can reflect on what they’ve achieved.”

Funding for the project was provided by the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.  

One of the plaques lists the components of Commando Spirit taught to all recruits. They are: courage; determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity.

Birth of the royal marines 1664

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