Today marks the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marine Corps, or the Royal Marines, part of the Naval Service.
Formed in the reign of King Charles II on October 28, 1664, as the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot (or Admiral's Regiment), the name "Marines" first appeared in the records in 1672 and in 1802 they were titled the Royal Marines by King George III.
The Marines are a maritime-focused light infantry force of commandos that operate in all environments and climates. IBTimes UK has compiled 10 facts about the force.
1. Napoleonic Wars in naval battle
During the Napoleonic Wars the Royal Marines participated in every notable naval battle on board the Royal Navy's ships and also took part in multiple amphibious actions
2. Second World War used more than 70,000 Marines
At its height in 1944 during the Second World War, more than 70,000 people served in the Royal Marines. Following the Allied Victory the Royal Marines were quickly reduced to a post-war strength of 13,000.
3. Motto of the Marines
The Royal Marines motto is: Per Mare, Per Terram, meaning By Sea, By Land.
4. Queen Elizabeth II is head of the Marines
The overall head of the Royal Marines is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in her role as Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces.
5. Defending Antwerp in the First World War
During the First World War, in addition to their usual stations aboard ship, Royal Marines were part of the Royal Naval Division which landed in Belgium in 1914 to help defend Antwerp. It also served on the Western Front.
6. Active role in the Gallipoli campaign
In the World War One campaign the Battle of Gallipoli, the Royal Marines were the last to leave Gallipoli, replacing both British and French troops in a neatly planned and executed withdrawal from the beaches. It even required some Marines to wear French uniforms as part of the deception.
7. Suez Crisis participation
Notably they were the first ever military unit to perform an air assault insertion by helicopter, during the Suez Crisis in 1956.
8. Training takes place in Devon
The Royal Marines are the only part of the British Armed Forces where officers and other ranks are trained at the same location, the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) at Exton in the Parish of Woodbury, Devon.
9. Post-war figures
Post-war demobilisation had seen the Royal Marines reduced from 55,000 (1918) to 15,000 in 1922.
10. Number of Royal Marines
The Royal Marines have a regular manpower of 7,420 personnel. Additionally, the Royal Marines have a part-time volunteer reserve force of 970 personnel, giving a total of 8,390 Royal Marines. This makes the Royal Marines the largest force of its type in the European Union.