Former marines visit Blesma

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FORMER Royal Marines who are members of the 45 Commando Association based in Arbroath journeyed to Crieff recently to visit the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association (Blesma) centre where they enjoyed lunch with residents and staff.

One resident, Tom McGrath, told of his exploits with the 1st Airborne Division during the 1944 Arnhem battle and the so called ‘Bridge too Far’ campaign which was later made into a movie.

The Blesma centre was opened by Princess Alice The Duchess of Gloucester in 1963, and has been providing excellent care for injured military men and women ever since.

The visitors heard that the facility receives no government funding and relies on public donations and occasional business sponsorship.

The 45 Commando Association members donated a couple of crates of beer and several bottles of port to give the residents some Christmas cheer. They also handed over a £100 cheque on behalf of The East of Scotland Royal Marines Association.

Wallace Ferrier