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New Facility for Clyde-based Commandos

15 November 2016
Clyde-based Royal Marines from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group (43 Cdo FPGRM) have a new state-of-the-art facility with the opening of the Harvey VC Building at HM Naval Base Clyde.

The new building, which has been purpose-built for use by Royal Marines from the Group’s O-Squadron, was officially opened on Friday, November 11, by General Sir Gordon Messenger RM, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS).

“I am very pleased to visit HM Naval Base Clyde today and open the Harvey VC building,” said General Messenger.  “It is particularly poignant that the opening takes place on Armistice Day, noting the ultimate sacrifice that the building’s namesake made during the Battle of Jutland 100 years ago. 

“The building presents an excellent facility for the Royal Marines from 43 Commando who are conducting the vitally important duty of protecting the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent.”

The primary mission of the 550-strong unit of Royal Marine Commandos is to prevent unauthorised access to the UK’s Strategic Nuclear Deterrent.  But the Marines also provide maritime boarding and sniper teams as well as the very high readiness Fleet Contingent Troop.

Construction of the building has taken two years to complete with extensive design input from 43 Commando on its layout and facilities.

The building presents an excellent facility for the Royal Marines from 43 Commando who are conducting the vitally important duty of protecting the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent.

General Sir Gordon Messenger RM

The Harvey VC Building provides improved operational facilities for the Royal Marines conducting specialist security duties and includes new accommodation and dining facilities, as well as enhanced IT for training and education. 

Colonel Jock Fraser MBE, Commanding Officer of 43 Cdo FPGRM said: “The Harvey VC building presents a significant improvement in the operational support facilities for the Royal Marines from 43 Commando who conduct specialist nuclear security duties within HM Naval Base Clyde every day of the year.  This substantial investment has provided a state-of-the-art operating base which will assist 43 Commando in our vital role.”

The facility bares the proud name of Major Francis Harvey VC, an officer who served with the Royal Marine Light Infantry during the First World War.  Major Harvey was a specialist in Naval Artillery and was with HMS Lion during the Battle of Jutland. 

Mortally wounded during the battle by a German artillery shell, Major Harvey had the presence of mind to order the flooding of HMS Lion’s Q turret, preventing an explosion which would have destroyed the entire ship.  Although he died seconds later, his final order saved thousands of lives and earned him the Victoria Cross. 

Sir Winston Churchill later said of him:  “In the long, rough, glorious history of the Royal Marines there is no name and no deed which in its character and consequences ranks above this.”

The new building is part of a multi-million pound investment in the Clyde as it prepares to become home to the UK Submarine Service by 2020.

This includes upgrades being made across the Base’s waterfront, engineering support, living accommodation and physical security, as it makes ready to receive Astute and Dreadnought class submarines in the 2020s and 2030s. 

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