Swire pays tribute to Exmouth marine "family"

PUBLISHED: 08:23 06 July 2013

Exmouth War Memorial with wreaths laid during the town's re-adoption of the Royal Marines (Sat 22 June). Photo: Paul Strange

Exmouth War Memorial with wreaths laid during the town's re-adoption of the Royal Marines (Sat 22 June). Photo: Paul Strange

Archant

East Devon MP reflects on the town's re-adoption of the Royal Marines

A WEEK on from Exmouth’s readoption of the Royal Marines, Hugo Swire – the East Devon MP and a Minister of State for the Foreign Office – has been reflecting on the ceremony in The Strand, held as part of the town’s Armed Forces Day celebrations.

Mr Swire laid a wreath on behalf of all his East Devon constituents, in memory of those who had lost their lives while serving in the armed forces.

“The weather was overcast and I think we would have had a bigger turnout if it had been a really sunny day, but it was a nice service, with a family feeling to it,” said Mr Swire.

“Not only the families who turned out, but the fact that the Royal Marines are very much part of the Exmouth and East Devon family.”

How important did he think the day’s events were, especially considering the Royal Marines’ work in Afghanistan?

“Very. Our armed forces, as Colonel Dave Kassapian [Commandant, Lympstone Commando Training Centre] said, take part in two roles – one is peacekeeping forces around the world, and the second when they’re in armed conflict.

“I’m afraid we’ve got so used to hearing horrific stories about our soldiers, killed and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, that it’s dulled our senses.

“It’s very important to remember how brave they are, what they are doing, on all our behalf, why they are doing it, and to remember those who have paid with their lives.”

Mr Swire said he thought that Exmouth’s readoption of the Royal Marines was a ‘symbol of an enduring relationship, a re-confirmation of what the original arrangement was about’.

“You will rarely find a family in Exmouth – or East Devon – who hasn’t got a connection with the armed forces in some way, even if it’s just somebody they know. It’s something we’re very proud of.

“So it’s good to reaffirm our support for the armed forces and for the Royal Marines in particular, and to reaffirm the high esteem that we [in Exmouth and East Devon] hold the Royal Marines and their families”.

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