Retired Royal Marine, Colour Sergeant Peter ‘Knocker’ White has completed his final Dartmoor Commando Yomp. He has taken part in the challenge for the last 40 years. He has seen over 7,000 coveted Green Berets presented to Royal Marines recruits and young officers. The challenge is a 30-miler test that requires Royal Marines to carry 40 lbs of equipment and rifle, and cover distance of 30 miles. Being something no one will ever forget, Colour Sergeant White said, ” It’s physically hard and takes guts to do.” Recruits must cover distance in eight hours, while young officers are required to cover it in seven.
Joining the Royal Marines in 1945 when he was only 17-years-old, Colour Sergeant White served during WWII with the Home Guard in Gloucester. In his career, he served in 44, 45, and 40 Commandos and saw active service in several countries, such as Palestine, Borneo and Korea. After retiring, he started working with the 30-Miler as safety adviser on South Dartmoor. Colonel Chapman, the Commandant of the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, said that Colour Sergeant White actually runs with the recruits and young officers as they endure the challenge. “To see someone like Knocker in the middle of nowhere, giving you encouragement, gives you such a boost.”