On Wednesday 4th October, 13 intrepid pupils – 7 boys and 6 girls – left the Stonehenge School promptly at 0730hrs to head for Kingston Maurwood College in Dorchester for a day to “Meet the Marines”. With a total of 120 pupils from around the county, this was an opportunity for the Royal Navy to provide pupils with an insight into various roles carried out by the Royal Marines Commandos.
After an introduction to the day ahead the pupils set of for their first activity, Physical Training. After forty minutes of circuit training, the pupils were hoping that they had done the last press-up of the day, but in this they were to be somewhat disappointed!
The second activity saw the pupils’ abseiling down the side of the four-storey Elizabethan College building, with the Commandos at the bottom trying to gently guide the pupils to ensure they didn’t go through any of the windows on the way down. The highlight of this was the screams from Abigail Churcher every time her feet left the wall to take the next move down.
The pupils were then given an insight into different aspects of Royal Marines life, including that of a chef (her chicken chorizo led to one pupil returning for seconds 3 times), different weapons used by the Commandos, and an opportunity to look at all the different career options available in the Royal Navy.
After a relaxing lunch – with plenty of career and life options questions being asked – The Stonehenge School set off for their last challenge of the day, paddling the Royal Marines Inflatable Raiding Craft (IRC) in a race against other teams to an island and back. The Royal Navy’s joining instruction for the day stated that 2 sets of clothing should be brought, and the reasoning behind this was quickly appreciated with every member of every team being soaked, either by their diving in the lake to re-cover an IRC that hadn’t been tied to the launch pier well enough, or just by the Royal Marines soaking them with water sprayed from the lake into their inflatables. A good final activity to take part in.
The school were finally provided with an unarmed fighting display by a group of 4 Marines to show the various ways that they can overcome armed sentries.
Overall, it was a very rewarding and enjoyable day – physically demanding – but something that will be remembered by those that took part.
More pictures of the day can be found on our Gallery page.