As I have mentioned in the past, I live in the town of Taunton in Somerset, in the south-west of England. More particularly I live in the “village” (which every year becomes more and more a suburb) of Norton Fitzwarren. Just over the hill from me lies Norton Manor Camp, home to 40 Commando.
I do not actually know personally any member of the marines, but they figure large in the town. To say Taunton is proud of being the home to these brave men is a bit like saying I am proud of my baby girl. There will be many people in Taunton today who are worried that they will not see some of these brave men return.
I do not wish to get into a debate on the rights and wrongs of the Afghanistan war. Just here, in my own little place, I wish to mark in my own way that I hope they make a safe return, and to honour the sacrifice they make – and their loved one’s make in their absence.