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Royal Marine reservists' rowing challenge to new unit

Reservists in rowing challenge to mark 351st anniversary

A band of Royal Marine reservists have been canoeing from their former home in Henley to their new home in Oxford.

The new unit opens today and will compliment the other locations in Portsmouth, Henley and Cambridge. It will become a specialist training centre. Today's opening also marks the 351st birthday of the Royal Marines.

The Royal marines reservists have been rowing through the night

The reservists have been rowing since Tuesday lunchtime and will pitch up near the site of the new centre at lunchtime today for a special launch ceremony.

Wounded war veterans walk 1,000 miles

A group of wounded war veterans has arrived in Kent as part of a one thousand mile walk of Britain. They have visited Aylesford and Tunbridge Wells where crowds gathered to see them.

The ex-service men and women are raising money for the families of those injured in conflicts. A wreath was laid in the recently opened Garden of Honour. It's part of a campaign by the charity Walking With The Wounded. We spoke to Matt Fisher and Kirsty Ennis.


Troops in first Freedom Parade for 7 years

The Adjutant General's Corps were granted Freedom of Winchester Credit: ITV Meridian

More than 150 troops in full military uniform have marched through the centre of Winchester.

The soldiers from the Adjutant General's Corps were given the Freedom of Winchester . It's the first time in 7 years that they've celebrated the ancient honour - allowing them to parade through the city with weapons and a marching band.

Hundreds of people came to support the troops, who have a strong link with Winchester.

Watch Sam Holder's report below:

He spoke with Lt. Col Mark John from the Adjutant General's Corps/ Royal Military Police

Soldiers in 'Freedom Parade' through Winchester

Freedom Parade through Winchester takes place

Soldiers from the Adjutant General's Corps have been given the Freedom of Winchester today. Around 150 of the troops marked the occasion with a 'Freedom Parade' through the city's streets.

The right of "Freedom of Entry" is an ancient privilege. It means the regiment can parade with bayonets fixed, drums beating and colours flying. The tradition dates back centuries, to a time when only trusted military units were allowed to bear arms within a city's boundaries.

Respects paid to RAF airmen in funeral cortege

Flight Lieutenants Geraint Roberts and Alan Scott lost their lives in Kabul, Afghanistan Credit: MoD

They were described as two of the most capable and dedicated members of the air force. Today two flight lieutenants based at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, were flown home.

Hundreds of people lined the streets as the bodies of Alan Scott of 33 Squadron Royal Air Force and Geraint Roberts of 230 Squadron Royal Air Force were brought through Brize Norton. Our reporter Chris Maughan was there.

The interviewees are Councillor Lynn Little, the Mayor of Carterton and Steve Blundell of the Royal British Legion Riders Branch.

Repatriation of soldiers to RAF Brize Norton underway

Flight Lieutenants Geraint Roberts and Alan Scott lost their lives in Afghanistan Credit: MoD

A military aircraft is carrying the bodies of Flight Lieutenant Alan Scott of 33 Squadron Royal Air Force and Flight Lieutenant Geraint Roberts of 23 Squadron Royal Air Force back to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

The two men from the base were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last week.

Three others also died when the Puma Mark Two attempted to land in Kabul.


Ex military being offered roles in the NHS

Service men and women are being encouraged to work for the NHS here in the South.

In the first partnership of it's kind, the 'Hampshire Hospitals Trust' is joining up with the Military, to offer opportunities to those who are retiring or being medically discharged.

Andrew Pate has more.

Former soldiers asked how 'civvy street' measures up

Readjusting to civilian life can be challenging for former military personnel

A new survey has been launched to find out how well former soldiers have adapted to civilian life.

The Kent and Medway Civilian Partnership board wants to hear from the one hundred and twenty nine thousand or so former servicemen and servicewomen who live across the county of Kent. The organisation is made up of representatives from local government in Kent and Medway, the armed forces, and service charities.

The questions asked include issues such as - how well the veterans are adapting to 'civvy street', how they contribute to the local community, and whether they feel well supported within their local communities.

The form is available to complete online from Friday 5th June, and the closing date for filling in the survey is 31st July 2015. The overall findings and results of the research will be published in early 2016.

"In Kent we have over 2,600 serving personnel and 412 reservists who we know we can reach with this survey.

"But we are keen on tracking down ex-service personnel who we have no way of knowing where they are and how their lives have changed.

"The survey will remain anonymous though we do ask for a postcode to help us map needs and opportunities.

"By taking part in this survey, it will help us shape where and how resources can be focused for people associated with the armed forces.

"We want to make sure the Kent and Medway Civilian Military Partnership Board have as much information as possible to inform their decision making."

– Jayne Collier-Smith, Kent County Council Project Manager

Sewing 'could help soldiers' mental health issues'

Sewing requires skill and attention

A soldier from Salisbury enjoys sewing so much that he is now determined to encourage others to take up the pass time.

Lieutenant Colonel Neil State believes it could help veterans with mental health problems overcome their issues. His belief centres around the fact that creating something can give people a boost, and a sense of fulfillment.

"I've done everything from modifying ammo pouches to carry mortar bombs, sniper suits and then making curtains for soldiers' accommodation and of course as you heard in Bosnia I actually started making my driver's wedding dress and then in Afghanistan was helping the female engagement teams with the US Marine Corps to teach Afghan ladies how to sew."

– Lieutenant Colonel Neil State
Col Lt State has been spreading the word about sewing's therapeutic benefits
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