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Neil Laughton - Retracing the steps of commandos


Neil's team will be dropped off at the same point in the Gironde estuary where the marines disembarked from their submarine in canoes. They will then attempt to paddle along the river for 30 miles a day (48km) battling the strong tidal currents. After that, they will walk for 100 miles (160km) to reach the hotel from which the survivors of the original operation were rescued by the French Resistance.

Of the 12 marines, only two came back alive, the rest falling victim along the way to German forces and hypothermia. But the operation was deemed a success, with Winston Churchill saying that he believed it shortened the war by six months.

The expedition starts on July 7 and will be raising money for the Stroke Association and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust.