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Portsmouth Royal Marine celebrates winning top music prize

There was a large audience which was not good for the nerves. The standard was extremely high so it really means a lot to have won the trophy. Hopefully this will help my long-term career as a musician in the Royal Marines Band Service and I am looking forward to performing at some prestigious venues in this country and overseas.”

Top prize for Royal Marines musician from Portsmouth

Sophie Perriam scoops the Cassel Prize - an annual contest at the Royal Marines School of Music Credit: Royal Navy

Royal Marines musician Sophie Perriam from Portsmouth has won top prize in a prestigious solo competition. The saxophonist impressed judges at the annual contest at the Royal Marines School of Music. Thirty musicians entered the competition.

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Royal Marines stage mock dawn raids in California

Marines carry our mock raids in Californian desert Credit: Royal Navy
Live firing exercises Credit: Royal Navy
Forty Commando Royal Marines took part in the mock dawn raids Credit: Royal Navy

Royal Marines have carried out live firing exercises by staging a mock dawn raid on an enemy village.

Forty Commando Royal Marines have taken part in Exercise Black Alligator in the Mojave Desert, California.

Royal Marine wins amateur photographic award

Royal Marines in mountains
Royal Marines on exercise in the mountains of Norway Credit: Sgt Ben Briggs

A Royal Marine from Poole in Dorset has won the Royal Navy Amateur Photographer of the Year 2013 award. The prize is one of the annual Peregrine Trophy awards which celebrate the skills of professional and amateur Royal Navy and Royal Marine photographers.

Sergeant Ben Briggs, 35, entered images of his colleagues taken while they were training in tough terrain on exercise in the Norwegian mountains. He said the win made him even more enthusiastic about furthering his hobby.

Sergeant Ben Briggs
Sergeant Ben Briggs has won Royal Navy Amateur Photographer of the Year 2013 Credit: Royal Navy

Sergeant Briggs said: “Norway was a really great opportunity for me to develop my limited photography skills. I really wanted to capture the aurora borealis or northern lights, as I had seen them plenty of times on previous trips to Norway but never had a camera decent enough to photograph them.

“I really wanted to try and capture a mix of the beauty and severity of the terrain, along with the physical and mental endurance of the Royal Marines.

"I’m really pleased with the results, and that my photographs have been well received by professionals has given me the enthusiasm to start experimenting with other more intricate techniques.”

Royal Marines in a photograph
One of the winning photographs in Sergeant Briggs' portfolio Credit: Sgt Ben Briggs

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Life on the front line laid bare in brothers' diaries

John Thornton was just a few weeks away from the end of his tour with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan when he was killed. He was 22.Five years later and his diaries have been published - alongside those of his older brother - who is still in the armed forces.

Their accounts - of life on the frontline - are both honest and emotional, as Richard Jones has been finding out. He spoke to the brothers' parents Linda and Pete Thornton.

A fitting send off after Facebook appeal

They came to send off a stranger - and they came in their hundreds. Today mourners attended the burial of James MConnell who died of a chest infection. The former Royal Marine had no family and faced a lonely burial - that was until the local vicar sent out a Facebook plea.

Word spread around the armed forces community and - as Sally Simmonds reports - the 70 year old from Southsea wasn't let down.

Facebook plea brings hundreds to stranger's funeral

Hundreds attend funeral former Royal Marine James McConnell Credit: Press Association Images

Over two hundred strangers attend the funeral of former Royal Marine James McConnell after a vicar put out a plea on Facebook amid fears that he would be buried without mourners. The 70-year-old died at a care home in Southsea, Hampshire, and he did not have any close family.

A vicar put out a Facebook plea asking for mourners to attend Credit: Press Association Images
The Last Post was sounded as part of a military procession Credit: Press Association Images
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