A FORMER friend in arms is remembering a Royal Marine from Tavistock who died earlier this year and whose memorial service is at the Commando Training Centre (CTC) Royal Marines Lympstone on Saturday (October 28).

Trevor will be remembered by his former training colleague Richard Pennell, also from Tavistock, for his leadership qualities from the very first day of beginning training at CTC. After leaving the Marines he was involved in the rehabilitation of civilian ex-offenders in the South West and met Prime Minister Tony Blair to brief him on his work. He founded a similar innovative organisation for at risk service veterans to prevent offending.

Trevor died aged 76, in July after distinguished service in the Marines, serving constantly worldwide in theatres such as Northern Ireland, the Far East, on board a warship, Brunei where he was in commended for a rescue from a helicopter crash in the jungle, and received the OBE for transforming the standard of Marines recruit training. Trevor was described as having outstanding leadership, really loyal, totally reliable and a thoroughly conscientious officer.

Richard, who became a corporal and served ten years in the Marines, said: “It’s sad that Trevor has died at a relatively young age, he had Parkinson’s and it accelerated later on. He did very well considering he came from a humble beginning in Tavistock and became a senior officer with important roles worldwide. He commanded great respect from senior non-commissioned officers, not only for being a senior officer, but for having gained the King’s Badge during training at CTC which is for the top cadet.”

He had a good start when he was Regimental Sergeant Major of the Stonehouse Royal Marines Cadets in Plymouth and was also fit and very knowledgable about the military. His father also served in the Marines in WWII and his grandfather in WWI in the Marines, so it was in his blood.

“Right from the first days at Lympstone it was obvious he had the qualities needed as a Commando and could go far in his career. He inspired us all and I remember him driving us on during our training expedition when we were lost or thought we couldn’t go any further. He was probably instrumental in many of us staying the course and becoming Marines, so we had a lot to thank him for. He then inspired great respect for the way he brought people with him when he achieved so much.”

He reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, after a commission from the ranks, and was appointed second in command of the Commando Logistic Regiment and deployed to Iraq where he supported the Overseas Development Agency and fleeing Kurdish Refugees. His commanding officer praised his success in ensuring a constant flow of supplies from Plymouth to the Marines brigade frontline in northern Iraq in 1991, saying he had enormous drive, and commitment, dealing well with different cultures and a sensitivity for youngsters.

Trevor was described as being incredibly balanced, straightforward, positive and a delight to work with. Richard, who worked for the police after the Marines, bonded with Trevor while based at RM Deal in Kent aged 16/17. However, they did not meet again for many years until at a Marines reunion. Richard said: “I was really surprised to find out that after leaving the service, Trevor founded C-FAR a highly successful charity rehabilitating young prolific adult offenders in the South West. It didn’t seem like his sort of thing, but obviously his people skills came to the fore.”

Re-offending was reduced by 40% with referrals from prison and courts and backed by senior Government ministers, attracting Blair’s attention.