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Royal Marine veteran honoured at Wandsworth Barracks

Royal Marine veteran honoured at Wandsworth Barracks

The Royal Marine Reserves (RMR) held a special parade and presentation at Wandsworth Barracks to recognise a 95-year-old war veteran who had dedicated his life to serving his country.

Ernest Harvey fought in a second world war naval battle between the Royal Navy and the German Kriegsmarine, which took place on May 24th 1941 at Denmark Strait.

It subsequently resulted in the sinking of HMS HOOD.

The beret was presented Royal Marine Warrant Officer Class 2 Richard ‘Chippy’ Thornton, who is based at Wandsworth Barracks, in recognition of his service as a Ships Marine during the second world war.

Ernest joined the marines prior to the formation of the Royal Marine Commandos. He then went on to wear the highly regarded Green Beret, which is still worn today. 

Honouring the brave war hero, Richard ‘Chippy’ Thornton, said: "We greatly enjoyed hosting Corporal Harvey and it gives us great pleasure to see him holding the dark blue beret with pride.  It is very important to us that we look after those who served in the Corps. The Corps family is something that we take very seriously, from cradle to grave.”

In 1941, Ernest volunteered for the Royal Marines at the age of 20, following in the footsteps of his father and brother who had both served their country as part of the Armed Forces.

Ernest was drafted into HMS Suffolk within a matter of months on the night that the German Bismarck was spotted. 

Recalling that night, Ernest said: "We were all aware of the sinking of HMS HOOD and the huge loss of life.  I considered myself to be very fortunate that I was still alive.”

Recently, Ernest moved into a Wimbledon nursing home on the advice of his medical health team due to deteriorating health.


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