"A fantastic time was had by all — friendships were made and renewed.”
The Winter Deployment
Five years ago, the Royal Marines Club — a branch of RMA — introduced a ‘Winter
Deployment’ for our wounded and injured Royal Marines and their families by offering
a respite break.
After three previous successful outings to Norway, we were forced to cancel this much-awaited annual trip in 2020 because of strict Covidregulations impacting overseas travel
In December 2021, uncertainty around the situation remained a concern and, so as not to miss yet another year, the RM Club and the Charity decided to take those families selected to Fort William in Scotland for six days of relaxation and winter-themed fun.
Those leading the trip were the first to arrive at the Ben Nevis Hotel in Fort William. They checked everything to make sure everything they had planned to do was all still possible.
“It was a long trip to the Highlands for many of the families so day one was very much low key to allow everyone to recover — however
everyone had the opportunity to visit either the Glenfinnan viaduct (of Harry Potter fame) for a walk and leg-stretch, or go to Fort William for a look around the town.
The week then began with ten-pin bowling, and the option of walking and mountain biking, and a group evening meal was organised each night.
On Tuesday we took the group on an exclusive tour of Loch Ness where the families were very well hosted by the crew. We may have even seen the Loch Ness Monster but it turned out that it was Ray Mead (RM Club Ops Guru) who was just
looking over the side of the boat!
We then went on to pay our respects at the Spean Bridge Memorial where we were treated to some ‘proper’ Scottish winter weather.
We were escorted there by two police motorbikes courtesy of former RM officer and now senior police officer, Conrad Trickett… thanks Conrad, the boys were brilliant.
Wednesday was another busy day with a visit to the local distillery and a Christmas dinner in the evening.
We paid our respects to absent friends and were delighted to be joined by members of the Highland branch who made the trip from
Inverness to join us. A great night was had by all and there were some sore heads on display next day!
Thursday saw us all head off to Glencoe for a morning’s sledging. Everyone got right into the spirit of things and after the sledging, a mass snowball fight broke out where there were no winners... just survivors!
On Friday, we started to say our farewells and make our way home. We were brilliantly hosted by Andrew Liddle and his team at the Ben Nevis Hotel. Huge thanks go also to all the instructors who gave up their time —
you’re a superb bunch of people and
the trip wouldn’t have been the same
We hope very much to head back to Norway in December 2022 but, as a plan B, Fort William came up trumps for all involved.”