Children enjoy a day as Royal Marines

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THEIR expertise has helped protect Britain for more than 350 years.

And a taste of the survival skills needed to be a Royal Marine were passed on to children in a dressing-up game with a difference.

As part of a survival-themed year of activities, The Royal Marines Museum, in Eastney Esplanade, Portsmouth, has been giving families the chance to wear marines’ combat gear for different types of conditions.

Now we’re in the winter months, the challenge to be a part of an Arctic convoy was set this weekend, including camouflaging in pure white snow and choosing the right equipment for sub-zero temperatures.

There was a choice of gear to wear, including jackets and helmets, as well as white mesh worn for colder climates.

Jonathan Steer, customer care assistant for the museum, said: ‘Throughout the year we do these challenges and try to fit them around the weather, so in the warmer months we did a jungle theme and desert dress-up.

‘As it’s winter we focused on how you would dress and what equipment you would take with you on an Arctic convoy.’

Youngsters got the chance to wear a waistcoat with six pouches on it and then had a table full of items, before choosing what they would take on a mission.

Items ranged from compasses, food pouches and bottles of pop, to mugs for hot drinks, first-aid kits, weapon magazines, binoculars and face-camouflage kit. There was also the chance to try on snowshoes to get a real feel for what it would be like to wear military kit in the cold weather.

Keen to have a go was Rebekah Tribe, 10, from Waterlooville, who is thinking about a career in the armed forces or becoming a Lego designer.

She said: ‘My dad said I should be in the army so it is something I have thought about, as well as being a Lego designer.

‘I enjoyed wearing the equipment and it didn’t feel that heavy.’

And Callaghan White, five, from Portchester, went along to the museum with his dad Lee White and uncle Tim Cox.

Callaghan said: ‘I found the helmet heavy and it hurt my head after a bit.

‘I enjoyed holding the gun and that was heavy, too.’

Children also had the chance to make igloos out of marshmallows and stick it together with icing.


Photo: Callaghan White (5) at The Royal Marines Museum, Southsea. Picture: Allan Hutchings (15018-918)

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