Royal Marines ‘erase’ the memory of Jimmy Savile

16:03 19 October 2012

Jimmy Savile

Jimmy Savile

Archant

The room named after shamed TV star Jimmy Savile at the Commando Training Camp, Lympstone, has been stripped of the presenter’s memory.

Royal Marines at Lympstone Training Centre have shunned disgraced television star Jimmy Savile amid allegations he abused underage girls.

Savile had a long-standing affiliation with the marines after being awarded the coveted Green Beret in 1966 – which he was buried with when he died in October 2011.

This week, the Savile Room within the camp at Lymsptone has been stripped of any trace of the honorary marine who maintained links with the corps - often attending parades and ceremonies - right up until his death, aged 84.

A framed photograph of Savile, which once hung proudly on the wall, has been removed, along with the room’s nameplate.

Bosses at the camp are holding talks to rename the room, eradicating four decades of links with the shamed TV personality.

Serving personnel calling for Savile to be stripped of his coveted Green Beret – awarded after he completed a ‘gruelling’ 30-mile march across Dartmoor carrying heavy kit - have been assured the honorary accolade is no more.

A Royal Marine spokesman said the prestigious Green Beret status died when Savile did, so it could not be tarnished by the recent sordid revelations.

He said the corps was sensitive to public feeling and had acted accordingly when the allegations of Savile’s perverted past were made.

The spokesman said: “The honorary green lid dies with the man so his honorary award doesn’t exist. It died when he did.

“The renaming of the function suite called the Savile Room is now under consideration and the framed photograph of Savile has recently been removed.

“The room is used for family functions and we are trying to listen to, and be sensitive to, the public and if taking the picture down does that, then we should absolutely do it.”

Such was Savile’s admiration of the marines, he was buried clutching his Green Beret, in his gold-painted coffin, which was angled overlooking the sea at Scarborough.

He was awarded the honorary title after Savile and his brother Vince, then a serving officer with the Royal Navy, completed the marine’s arduous 30-mile speed march test over Dartmoor, which must be done in eight hours while carrying 30lbs of kit.

After Savile’s death, his possessions were auctioned for charity.

Among items going under the hammer was his Royal Marines’ flying suit, bearing his name Jimmy Savile OBE, and a bottle of 15-year-old single Highland malt from the Officers’ Mess at the Royal Marines’ Commando Training Centre, Lympstone.

When Savile died, just days short of his 85th birthday, he was carried by Royal Marine pallbearers.

● What do readers think about the Royal Marines’ actions? Email phil.griffin@archant.co.uk

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