Royal Marines capture quay area

Plymouth based Royal Marines have simulated the capturing of a newly built yacht ramp at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble, in a tribute to their fallen brother in arms, Marine Sam Alexander MC.

The marines, from 42 Commando, stormed the newly constructed ramp using a team of Zodiac fast attack craft before securing the area and taking part in a ceremony to dedicate the landing point in Sam’s memory. 

The new facility, affectionately named “Sam’s Ramp” will be used by the junior division of the Royal Southern, the “Splashers”, of which Sam was a popular member in his childhood, to launch their sailing dinghies into the Hamble River.  

Sam’s mother, Serena Alexander, is still an active supporter of the club and was clearly moved by the ceremony and the part played by the Royal Marines.

For my family, it was a deeply moving occasion in celebration of Sam’s life and courage. Having the corps there to pay tribute to him in such a heartfelt fashion was exceptional, and one that has touched us tremendously

Serena Alexander, Sam's mother

“For my family, it was a deeply moving occasion in celebration of Sam’s life and courage. Having the corps there to pay tribute to him in such a heartfelt fashion was exceptional, and one that has touched us tremendously”, said Serena.

She added: “It gave us a great sense of pride, not just for Sam but for whole Royal Marine family who have honoured him so gloriously and continue to put themselves at risk for the sake of others.”

Sam Alexander was killed, aged 28, when he was struck by an improvised explosive device while serving with 42 Commando in Afghanistan, 2011. He was awarded the Military Cross in 2009 in recognition of he bravery he showed in forcing the retreat of the enemy to protect a wounded colleague. 

The service was also attended by the current commanding officer of 42 Commando, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Cantrill OBE MC, who also received the Military Cross for his own actions during the war on terror in Afghanistan. 

Lt Col Cantrill said: “Marine Sam Alexander was a brave and selfless Royal Marines Commando, with a real passion for life. His early days sailing no doubt contributed to his sense of independence, his determination and his adventurous spirit, and so naming this new facility in his honour is entirely fitting. I hope that it helps to inspire the next generation of “Sams”.”

While the UK has now withdrawn our Armed Forces from Afghanistan, the Royal Marines continue to remain poised to deploy as the premier amphibious force in defense of the UK. 

42 Commando are currently returning from a number of deployments around the globe as they prepare to assume the role of Lead Commando Group in 2016.  This will make them an integral part of the Royal Navy’s crisis response force, ready to deploy anywhere in the world to deliver force, peacekeeping or humanitarian assistance.