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40 Royal Marine Commando

Based at Burma Camp Malaya

1962 to 1966


Martin "Scouse" Dowling

Recalls his first day in 40 Cdo


My name is Martin "Scouse" Dowling (PO24167V) . I joined 40 Cdo, C coy, 7 Troop straight from training (837 squad) in June 1966.

Arrival at C coys location was a bit of a traumatic start for me, I had just drawn my weapon from the armoury when I was accosted by a Lt. Todd who wanted to inspect the said weapon. After proving my SLR and handing it to him he proceeded to rip into me for having a dirty weapon and magazines. I attempted to protest my innocence, explaining that I had just been issued with it and that I was still stood within 6 feet of the armoury entrance and not yet had the chance to clean it. But all to no avail, to my first 20 minutes in camp and I had been given an extra duty in the galley. I will never forget Mr Todd who in my minds eye seemed to have a greater girth than height.

Finally being allowed to carry on I was told that my grot was to be 10 Downing St, what a revelation…a hole in the ground reinforced with 50 gallon oil drums and sandbags, I was to share this 4* residence with (I think) Sgt Jan Exelby, Cpl (Torchy) Downs and another Marine I can only remember as Mac. Oh yeh, 2 dozen rats also shared the grot with us.

The memories are many but can anyone confirm that our Sgt Major was Tiny Whitehead who's office was at the top of the hill and was it a house????

Mine was a very short tour, only managing to get in two patrols but it really did set me up for what turned out to be the start of a 10 year career as a Bootneck.

© Copyright Martin 'Scouse' Dowling 2012 ....All Rights Reserved