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Retracing the route of the Cockleshell Heroes

Five amputee soldiers, four of them injured in Afghanistan have retraced the route of the Cockleshell Heroes who kayaked up the Gironde to Bordeaux in 1942 to plant limpet mines on German ships.

The men covered 90 miles in 5 days - a gruelling journey particularly for one former soldier who lost both legs and an arm. Kerry Swain went with them.

Click here for the Pilgrim Bandits website

  1. Kerry Swain

Lord Paddy Ashdown launches daring mission honouring WWII's Cockleshell Heroes

Former Royal Marine and ex leader of the Lib Dems Lord Paddy Ashdown has officially launched a daring expedition by injured war heroes.

Members of the Pilgrim Bandits charity, many of them amputees, plan to recreate the famous World War Two mission Operation Frankton which was made famous in the film Cockleshell Heroes.

Also at the launch in London was the great niece of one of the original Cockleshell Heroes. Kerry Swain was there.


Cockleshell Heroes inspire amputee soldiers

A group of amputee soldiers are training in sea kayaks off Poole preparing to retrace one of the most heroic missions of the Second World War. Operation Frankton saw Royal Marines paddle into Bordeaux and plant mines on German ships.

It inspired the film the Cockleshell Heroes. This expedition's been organised by New Forest charity the Pilgrim Bandits, which helps injured soldiers through physical challenges.

We spoke to Mike Witt from Pilgrim Bandits.

  1. Sally White

Lord Ashdown unveils memorial

Lord Ashdown unveils the memorial to the Cockleshell heroes today Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A memorial will be unveiled later today in honour of the so called Cockleshell heroes. In December 1942 ten Royal Marines travelled in canoes to launch a raid on enemy ships in Bordeaux. The marines trained and lived in Southsea.

Lord Paddy Ashdown will unveil the memorial in the grounds of the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney to mark the 70th anniversary of the Cockleshell Heroes formation.