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History of the Royal Marines

History of the Royal Marines

The Globe encircled with the Laurel should be the distinguishing badge as the most appropriate emblem of a Corps whose duties carry them to all parts of the Globe

— King George IV, 1827

EARLY SEA SOLDIERS

The early Marines, primarily stationed at sea, played a critical role in raiding, boarding and maintaining discipline in the sailing Navy, serving with distinction at a number of now notorious naval engagements - more than one tenth of Nelson’s fighting men at the Battle of Trafalgar were Royal Marines.

They played a significant part in anti-slaving operations, served during the Seven Years War, the American War of Independence, the Boxer Rebellion, the Crimean War and the Boer War.

THE WORLD WARS

Royal Marines - World Wars

During the First World War they served around the globe, at sea in turrets and on land in trenches. They carried-out raiding during the Dardanelles Campaign, fought afloat at Heligoland and the Battle of Jutland and distinguished themselves during the audacious Zeebrugge Raid in 1918.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Royal Marines were again serving their traditional role at sea but from 1942 they played a critical role in maintaining the allied initiative as Commandos, the identity for which they are known and respected today. Taking part initially in the disastrous Dieppe Raid, Royal Marine Commandos went on to fight throughout Europe and in the Far East. Notable achievements include the seminal Cockleshell Heroes raid and the the Walcheren Assault in 1944. Royal Marines also fought in the skies as aviators over Norway, at the Battle of Britain, Taranto, Sicily, Matapan, the Pacific theatre and on D-Day.

 

POST WAR COMMANDOS

Post war commandos

Post 1945 the Royal Marines have maintained their global role through operations in Suez, Malaysia, Aden, Borneo, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan and they have played a significant role in humanitarian relief efforts.

The Corps has ten Victoria Crosses dating from the Crimean, and among countless other gallantry awards are held in the Royal Marines Museum collection.

 

THE ROYAL MARINES BAND SERVICE

Royal Marines Band Services

The Royal Marine Band Service, whose formation also dates to the 1664 Convening Order, are one of most recognisable military bands in the world and are considered one of the most versatile military musical organisations.

The Band Service has also played a critical function on the frontline often suffering casualties disproportionate to their scale. During the Second World War they lost a quarter of their complement, purportedly the highest percentage of any arm of any service.

 

THE COMMANDO SPIRIT

Royal Navy Commando Spirit

Be the first to understand; the first to adapt and respond; and the first to overcome. — The Commando Mindset

Every prospective Royal Marine is required to face the world famous and uniquely arduous thirty-two week Commando training course which if successfully completed, earns recruits the coveted Green Beret. Marines find significant physical and mental challenges in this service; many will suffer setbacks through training; work in hugely demanding environments and some will sustain life-changing injuries and arduous rehabilitation.

There is a great deal in the Royal Marines story to admire and inspire. Royal Marines must consistently display the Corps values of excellence, integrity, self-discipline and humility and the qualities of courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity.

The new Museum of the Royal Marines, its amazing objects and the experiences it offers will inspire us with Royal Marines’ remarkable personal stories, immense teamwork and qualities of resilience that can help us all to navigate today’s complex and often demanding world. This dynamic and inspirational story of human endeavour, comradeship and sacrifice is the heart of our project to open a new Museum of the Royal Marines.

 

 

 

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