Former Sidmouth commando recalls passing out parade - 51 years ago

PUBLISHED: 11:31 10 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:38 18 June 2010

A RETIRED Sidmouth Commando attended a passing out ceremony of the squad he once served in-held at the same parade ground he gained his Green Beret 51 years ago. Dick Sidwell, 80, his wife, Rosemary and four others from his squad were invited to the passi

A RETIRED Sidmouth Commando attended a passing out ceremony of the squad he once served in-held at the same parade ground he gained his Green Beret 51 years ago.

Dick Sidwell, 80, his wife, Rosemary and four others from his squad were invited to the passing out of the 977 Troop at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone last Thursday.

Memories came flooding back for Dick, of Roselands, who had not seen the other members of his squad for more than half a century.

He said: "It was a bit like going back in time. It was a rather nice way to spend the day and I was thrilled to be able to see what was going on in the parade ground as it has been over 50 years since my passing out!"

Dick, who moved to Sidmouth 20 years ago, was called up for National Service in 1947 and his passing out ceremony took place in May 1948.

He then transferred to the regular Royal Marines where he completed another period of training as second Lieutenant.

Dick, former Chariman of the Royal Marine Association, has travelled all over the world through the Marines and has spent time in Malta, Singapore and Aden.

With the 40 Commando he was based in Malaysia and fought against the Indonesians in Borneo.

And Dick also took part in the Typhoon Relief in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.

He said: "It wiped all of the cattle out and a number of people. Our job was to get food up to them-everything was washed away."

Among the memorable moments of his 33 year career, Dick highlights his time as ADC to the Queen and taking part in the funeral of the uncle of Prince Philip, Louis Mountbatten, held at Westminster.

He added: "There are so many highlights I could go on forever.


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