In an impressive display, Commandos abseiled from a Lynx helicopter onto the Tower to kick start the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF) Campaign - a four-year drive to raise £6m by the 350th anniversary of the Corps in 2014.
The start of the event was signalled by the Royal Marines Band, followed by a briefing from Major General Buster Howes, Commandant General Royal Marines, and Brigadier Simon Hill, Chairman of the RMCTF Campaign Board, on the aims of the campaign.
Serving and former Royal Marines were also on hand to watch the impressive abseiling display which followed, including former Royal Marine and TV presenter Monty Halls, members of the fundraising board, and representatives of Hasler Company, the unit which manages the recovery of wounded and injured Royal Marines.
Brigadier Hill said:
The RMCTF has among the widest purposes of any Service charity, in that it looks after both serving and retired Royal Marines and their dependants. It goes without saying that it seeks to support the wounded and injured, but it also tries to improve the quality of life of those still serving and facing multiple deployments in high threat environments.
It also provides through-life support to those who have left the Corps or have lost loved ones in service.
At the heart of this campaign is the unique spirit and feeling of family shared by all Royal Marines. It’s this spirit that drives them on, helps them conquer all obstacles and sets them apart.
The campaign to raise £6m seeks to harness the energy and goodwill of the 125,000 members of the Royal Marines family and their friends. Large parts of that Corps family are already hard at work and various major events and challenges run by them will help to raise the target amount.
Examples include the Commando Spirit Series of challenge events based on Royal Marines tests; the community-level effort led by the 90 Royal Marines Association branches worldwide and the RMCTF ‘Help Our Wounded’ Facebook page; and ‘The C Group’, which seeks to harness the business community in support of the Royal Marines, especially in mentoring and supporting those leaving the Service due to wounds or injury.
The serving Corps is also playing its part in raising funds, but with 75 per cent of Royal Marines to be operationally deployed over the next 18 months, the RMCTF is encouraging the wider Corps family and the general public to get behind the campaign.