Marines Danny Bottomley (L) ad Iain Syme training at their Condor base
Little or nothing, until now, has been known about Harden Troop which is part of the Arbroath-based 45 Commando Group. Harden Troop is named in honour of Royal Army Medical Corps Lance Corporal Henry Harden who earned a posthumous VC when he was killed while serving with 45 Commando in Holland in 1945.
It was established four years ago - initially to help service personnel suffering from the usual incidents associated with the rough and tumble of day to day life in one of the world's most feared and respected fighting units. Although there is little distinguish the men of this unique sub-unit based at RM Condor, closer inspection reveals that the 30-odd members of Harden Troop are special.
Each Marine has suffered and overcome terrible battlefield injuries and, showing the spirit for which their unit is famed, they are determined to regain as much of their fitness as they can. Most of them are pursuing the ultimate goal of resuming their place in one of 45 Commando's front line fighting rifle companies.
Harden Troop's strength is drawn from those who saw action with 45 Commando Group on their last operational tour of duty in Afghanistan's Helmand province in 2008/9 and who sustained injuries as a result of gunshots or IEDs. These injuries range from shattered limbs and soft tissue damage caused by bullet or bombs to those who have lost parts of limbs in explosions or through life-saving surgery.
Lt. Col. Oliver Lee, the commanding officer said : "Harden Troop has become one of the focuses for our men who have suffered profoundly serious injuries while serving with the commando.
"It brings together several aspects of their ongoing rehabilitation including physiotherapy, physical training, welfare, social work and medical treatment.
"Because of our relatively isolated geographical position compared to the other units of 3 Commando Brigade, it is of great benefit for the lads to receive this sort of treatment on base, where they can be closer to their families and to their comrades.
"The welfare of these men is something I care passionately about and, fro a moral and morale point of view, having them here optimises their recovery.
"As their commanding officer I have to say it is humbling to see the way these very brave men approach their recovery from very serious injuries."
I know the people of Arbroath greatly respect the 45 Commandos and their contribution to the local community and will also wish these lads every success in their aim to of returning to their posts.