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Former Royal Marine gifts memorial bench to 45 Commando

20 June 2017
A former Royal Marine has kindly donated a memorial bench to 45 Commando which has been placed in the Unit’s Woodlands Memorial Garden at RM Condor in Arbroath.

Steve Baker, who was a Royal Marine from 1979 to 1990 and is currently a funeral director, purchased the bench in a recent charity auction to raise money towards the Commando Monument at Spean Bridge.

He said:  “I thought it would be something that everyone could benefit from and it’s good to be able to give something back to my own Unit.”

The bench is made from a pew taken from the now closed Lintrathen Parish Church near Kirriemuir and has been refurbished and painted by former member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service, Fiona Laing, and former Royal Marine Robert Harris.

Depicting First World War Commandos entering a field of poppies, it also features a short poem and the Royal Marines’ motto: Per Mare, Per Terram (By Sea, By Land).

I thought it would be something that everyone could benefit from and it’s good to be able to give something back to my own Unit.

Steve Baker, former Royal Marine

Fiona, who runs Heather Cottage Crafts in Arbroath, said:  “I decided to raise money for the Commando Memorial after a visit last summer.  I noticed there wasn’t anywhere for people paying their respects to sit and have a think.

"So I decided to paint this bench and auction it to raise money for a new bench to be placed at the Memorial.  We still need to do a bit more fundraising but the new bench at the Commando Monument should be in place for summer next year.”

 The bench was handed over to 45 Commando’s Second-in-Command, Major Simon Giles RM, on Friday, June 9.

The Woodlands Memorial Garden is 45 Commando RM’s place of reflection and remembrance, built within the old walled kitchen garden adjacent to what is now the Commanding Officer’s house.

It provides an invaluable and tranquil location at the heart of a busy Unit for the families of the fallen and those serving ranks to reflect and decompress.

The Garden’s upkeep costs £20,000 a year and is reliant entirely on charitable donations.

Visit the Woodlands Garden Trust Fund on Justgiving.com to offer support.

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