Proud Mark in Marine joy

PUBLISHED: 11:30 10 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:38 18 June 2010

ONE member of the 977 Troop passing out in front of Dick Sidwell was a Newton Poppleford teenager. After 32 weeks of gruelling training and tests 19-year-old Mark Smedley became a fully fledged Royal Marine last week. The former Sidmouth College student w

ONE member of the 977 Troop passing out in front of Dick Sidwell was a Newton Poppleford teenager.

After 32 weeks of gruelling training and tests 19-year-old Mark Smedley became a fully fledged Royal Marine last week.

The former Sidmouth College student was only one of six people, out of 32 originals, who completed the course.

Mark, of Four Elms Fruit Farm, said: "It was a special day and it was really quite emotional. The last test we had to do was a 30 miler over Dartmoor, with all of our kit on-it took seven hours and 15 minutes!

"I feel quite proud that I've got through it all. At the end of the day even if you put your mind to it there are only a few people who can do it."

Mark will soon be travelling up to Yorkshire where he will take part in a nine week driving course and following this he will be based at Arbor in Scotland with the 45 Commando.

He added: "I will be there for at least a year and will hopefully get to do Arctic training in Norway and also have a trip to America. I'm probably most looking forward to the life style!"

His proud mum Sue, 46, said: "The passing out parade was fantastic and he has done exceptionally well.


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