VETERANS at the Erskine home for ex-servicemen and women gave support to the current crop of heroes as they paid a visit during a fundraising mission.

A team of superfit troops popped into the Erskine base, in Bishopton, while tackling the gruelling Royal Marines 1664 Challenge.

The Marines, from the Clyde-based 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group, took part in one of the legs of the challenge, which saw them run 16.64 miles each day for a week.

Their daily run took them to the Ben Nevis ranges, Achnacarry, the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge, along the banks of Loch Lomond, in the grounds of the Erskine veterans home, through Helensburgh and, finally, along the banks of the River Clyde to Scotstoun Stadium, home of the Glasgow Warriors rugby team.

Over the course of the week, the team from 43 Commando completed nearly 100 miles and brought the two core runners, Corporal Jamie Thompson and Corporal Will Gingell closer to their 1,664-mile target, which they are due to complete at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, August 2.

Colonel Jock Fraser MBE, Commanding Officer of 43 Commando, and Regimental Sergeant Major James Twycross were among those who took part in the Erskine leg of the run.

After crossing the finish line, Colonel Fraser said: “I am delighted to be at the Erskine Veterans Home today to join an element of the Royal Marines 1664 Challenge.

“The Royal Marines of 43 Commando are very pleased to be able to carry out part of this unique 100-day challenge here, as the endeavour highlights the important work of the Royal Marines Charity in supporting those serving and those who have served.

“Our Corps family phrase – once a Marine, always a Marine – is especially apt here at Erskine, where veterans from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and other services are given such outstanding care and support.

“The serving Royal Marines completing the run today have been honoured to meet resident veterans and to exchange stories from times present and past.”

During and following the race, Royal Marines from 43 Commando met veterans, as well as demonstrating some of the weapon systems employed by the unit in its essential role in protecting the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

After members of 43 Commando completed their leg of the challenge, the 1664 baton was handed to 24 Commando Engineer Regiment, based in Chivenor.

Anyone who would like to donate to the Royal Marines 1664 Challenge should log on to the website at

Alternatively, text GLOB17 £5 (or any other amount you would like to donate) to 70070.

For more information about Erskine and its work to support ex-servicemen and women, visit