Scran in the Sgts Mess
For the first time, in the summer, Go Commando teamed up with The Soldiers Charity, thanks to Tim Jay’s initiative and hosted THE BIG COMMANDO CURRY LUNCH at Norton Manor Camp 40 Commando in Taunton. Allowing for the first time access for members of the public to see what goes on ‘behind the wire’. Over 100 guests joined the trustees by kind invitation of Lt Col Paul Maynard, 40 Commando’s Commanding Officer. The event was hosted in the Sgts Mess with displays by 40 Commando Royal Marines including weapons and marine transport. Royal Marines were in attendance to demonstrate the equipment and answer guests’ questions. CSgt Dale Bedforth headed up the field kitchen where a delicious array of curry dishes were cooked and served to the guests.
The weather did not disappoint. On arrival the guests were greeted by the trustees of Go Commando and served a welcome drink. This was an ideal time for guests to witness the history contained within the Sgts Mess before being called for lunch.
Following lunch our guest speaker, Bob Semple, delivered a sensitive and personal account of his time when he was held hostage. This speech was exceptionally poignant. One lasting memory for me was the description of how Bob concentrated his focus on not what was happening to him, but used his knowledge of longitude and latitude to try and guess the time of day; this enabled him to maintain an element of sanity whilst imprisoned in a darkened cell.
Senior Commissioned Officers of the Royal Marines mingled with the guests selling raffle tickets during lunch, which was drawn afterwards with great enthusiasm, as raffle prizes included spa vouchers, beds, restaurant vouchers to name a few. We are exceptionally grateful to those individuals and organisations who kindly donated to our raffle.
In typical Royal Marine fashion, time keeping was of the essence, and guests departed by 1500 hours. Our guests commented on how much they had enjoyed the event and hope that we run this again in the future. Watch this space!