Marine Grant walks in dad's footsteps

APPLES don't fall far from trees in one Ipswich family.

APPLES don't fall far from trees in one Ipswich family.

Proud dad Wayne Canham today told of his pride at seeing his 17-year-old son Grant finally complete nine gruelling months of Commando training in the Royal Marines.

His achievement is especially satisfying for Mr Canham because he achieved the same demanding feat 29 years ago, when he was the same age as Grant.

Training to become a green beret is not for the faint of heart and includes a punishing 30-mile trek across Dartmoor. Only one per cent of hopefuls reach the passing out stage and even fewer manage it in the troop in which they start. But like his father before him, Grant has realised both accomplishments.

Now a PE instructor, Mr Canham, 46, said: “Nobody can comprehend the physical, mental and emotional demands it takes to become a Commando unless you've been there.

“As a father I couldn't be prouder but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned.

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“It's what he has always wanted to do so who are we to stand in his way? All we ask is he keeps safe, does everything switched on and remembers we'll always be there for him.”

Grant explained just how tough it is to become a Commando and why he put himself through it.

“I wanted to become a green beret partly because my dad had done the same and partly because I knew it was the hardest training in the world,” he said.

“The final test is the 30-miler, a nine-mile speed march carrying 32 pounds of weight, an endurance course and a Tarzan assault course.

“At one stage you have to go through a freezing cold lake, up to your neck in water, then it's back to the camp where you have to shoot accurately at a target six times.”

Grant is off to Yorkshire in the New Year to complete driving training at Leconfield barracks before joining 42 Commando but first he gets to spend the holiday at home with his parents in Rushmere.

Have you reached an equally remarkable goal? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

What it takes to become a Royal Marine Commando:

Aptitude test

The short test is designed to find out a candidate's skills with language, numbers, reasoning and mechanical comprehension.

Interview and medical check

An interview to find out why the candidate wants to join followed by a medical check to make sure that they are in good health.

Pre-joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

In order to ensure that candidates are able to complete the three mile run they will undertake the PJFT. This comprises two 2.4km runs - the first to be completed within 12minutes 30seconds, the second within 10m 30s, with a minute rest in between the two runs. The runs are conducted on a two degree incline on the running machine.

The Potential Royal Marines Course (PRMC)

The course lasts three days, during which time candidates are tested in the gym, on the assault course, on a three-mile run, and in the classroom.

At the end of day three, candidates are told if they have what it takes to be trained as a Royal Marines Commando.