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● C/Sgt Baz Gray (centre) is joined by other Royal Marines near Lympstone during his 176-mile non-stop run between Poole and the Commando Training Centre RM, and back again

stopping Baz There’s no ONE hundred and 76 miles. Two days. £5,000.

One Royal Marine. Non-stop. On foot. They’re the bare facts of a gruelling charity challenge that C/Sgt Baz Gray completed in mid- September for Corps good causes.

The senior NCO from CTCRM ran from Poole to Lympstone and back in one go – hence the name: the 176 Miles Non-Stop challenge – with the goal of raising at least £5,000 for his fellow Royals (he’s already collected more than £3,000). For the final stages he was joined by some of the

green berets badly wounded in action in recent years – some of the very men his run will hopefully help. Baz’s run takes its inspiration from the commandos’

annual 88-mile Lympstone to Poole race which is run in stages by Royals, mainly along the coastal route between the two RM bases.

The colour sergeant is a mountain leader chief

instructor at CTCRM. He doesn’t claim to be an ‘enduro athlete’ (although he did ski for 24 hours on behalf of the Royal British Legion earlier this year), but he does believe his experiences in Arctic conditions (including lengthy spells awake) did prepare him. There were no sustained breaks, no 40 winks to recharge batteries (nor pill popping to stay awake). Apart from what Baz calls ‘Formula 1-style pit stops’ for food, calls of nature and changes of socks and running shoes, he was indeed on the go non-stop. “It’s all about diet and keeping your mind busy.

The first 12 hours will be physical, after that it’s all in the mind,” he said before he set off. If the challenge wasn’t hard enough already, the senior NCO was carrying a baton throughout the run.

OCTOBER 2 will see motorcyclists gather

support to the Armed Forces. The riders will gather at the

National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire at the end of their ride for a memorial service. Find out more at www.rttw.

AND if you prefer your cycling with less engine power, the RBL held its annual Pedal to Paris fundraising bike-ride in early September,

some 300 riders to fundraise for the Royal British Legion Back Challenge Centre. Find out more at

Bikers... Riders... And diallers

together to THE Royal

collecting old mobile phones for its Poppy Appeal. If you have one lurking in a drawer, please send it to WO2 (SQMS) Stuart Gee, HQ London District, Horse Guards’ Parade, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX. Please note postage must be paid by the sender.

British Legion is calling together Raj runs for BLESMA

SURGEON Cdr Raj Shah, who featured in our September edition raising money for Arthritis Research, is on the run again. This time he (pictured above training on a carrier) is pounding

the streets to complete the Birmingham Half Marathon in aid of BLESMA. Surgeon Cdr Shah said: “Unfortunately a great number of our Armed Forces have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with significant injuries including loss of limbs. “The cost of rehabilitating them is immense but it is vital and BLESMA is doing superlative work in this respect and needs as much support as possible.” To donate, go to

show their

Not any old baton, but The Baton – the handle of a stretcher used to carry wounded personnel in Afghanistan which is now used to spread the word about the sacrifices our Servicemen and women make by being carried around the country on high- profile fund-raising events. As well as a support vehicle accompanying the

Royal throughout, he was joined by quite a few friends and supporters for various stretches. Baz set out from Poole at midday on September

14, and along the way he encountered many of his brethren. At Lulworth Cove he met up with members of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, before heading on through the night and enjoying dawn at Seaton. The NCO arrived at CTCRM Lympstone in the early afternoon of September 15, where a brisk massage to relieve some of the lactic acid bolstered him for his return trip. He arrived in Sidmouth in the afternoon, where his support crew bolstered him with another quick massage and fish’n’chips – and the news that the lady in the nearby ice-cream shop had donated her day’s wages. Another overnight run and more support from his crew and other runners helped push the tired Marine (running purely on determination by this point) onwards towards his final goal, arriving at Poole at 6.30pm to a large welcoming committee. If you wish to offer your support – or money

– towards his goal of £5,000, visit Baz’s website or donation site www. Money goes to the Royal Marines Charitable

Trust Fund and The C Group with the emphasis on helping commandos injured in the line of duty.

The British March King and the Band of HM Royal Marines Plymouth Division

These historic recordings by Kenneth Alford include most of his famous compositions especially Colonel Bogey – the theme music of ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’. Also many of his other well known marches: The Thin Red Line, On the Quarterdeck, The Standard of St George, HM Jollies and The Voice of the Guns; a selection of his post horn solos, a xylophone duet, piccolo solo (Bill the Bosun) and many more recordings including Sousa’s marches Semper Fidelis and The Stars and Stripes Forever. ‘Alford

Conducts Alford’ are rare recordings gems - a must for any music lover and serious collectors of military band music

Double Compact Disc, 32 tracks 100 minutes £15.00 incl p+p (UK and Overseas) Make cheques payable to Eastney Collection – most major credit cards also accepted

Eastney Collection, 60 Mayford Road, London SW12 8SN tel: 020-8673-6157; fax: 020-8772-9545: Email:

Picture: PO(Phot) Christine Wood A Talent for rowing

HMS Talent’s ACPO MEM(L) Colin Leiba took advantage of a rare chance for some alfresco rowing training during a stop-off in Aqaba, Jordan (see picture above).

Normally the boat’s well-used Concept 2 rowing


can be found in a narrow pas- sageway in the warmth of the Switchboard Room. All in preparation for the

boat’s Row the Suez Challenge, where 81 members of the crew each rowed a 2,000m leg of the 162km length of the Suez

as HMS Talent journeyed its course.

Their combined efforts raised £350 for Shrewsbury’s Hope House Children’s Hospice, with ACPO Leiba notching up an unbeatable time of six minutes 38 seconds.

Band notch up 7,200 miles

OVER ten weeks 39 members of the RM Band CTCRM ran, rowed, cycled and swam collectively the distance between CTCRM in Devon and Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The final big push came from Sgt Jim Butler, Sgt Mark Phillips and Cpl Andy Wainwright (pictured left) running the Taunton Half-Marathon in April. In total, the Band raised £4,165 which was shared

between the Royal Marines Charitable Trust and BLESMA equally.

The RM Band Collingwood donated £354.87.

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