TWIN brothers from Wargrave have both received a prestigious military award
TWIN brothers from Wargrave have both received a prestigious military award.
James and Edward Mann, 20, received the King’s Badge after completing their Royal Marines commando training in Devon.
The badge is given only to those who meet exceptionally high standards in their training for the King’s Squad, the senior recruit troop in training. It has never before been awarded to siblings.
The twins grew up in Ferry Lane with their mother Victoria Hermon and siblings Charles, 23, and Caroline, 18. They attended Robert Piggott infant and junior schools before studying at Blundell’s School in Tiverton.
James, who passed for duty with the 199 Troop in September, was the first of the two to be awarded the King’s Badge. Edward passed in December. They were both honoured at a ceremony at a training headquarters in Lympstone, near Exeter.
The duo will now serve with 40 Commando Royal Marines based in Taunton, Somerset, providing ships protection teams to the Royal Navy.
Ms Hermon, who runs a bed and breakfast, said: “Being in the Marines is something they have always wanted to do since they were small.
“In 351 years of the Royal Marines no brothers have ever won this award, let alone twins. It’s not an obligatory award and isn’t given out every year so it’s really quite special. I am a very proud mother. I went to the ceremony and haven’t stopped smiling since.”
James and Edward still visit Wargrave, where generations of the family have lived for 150 years, when they are not on duty. They are regular competitors in the Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta and last year won the men’s double sculling race with their sister as cox.
They are also keen rugby players and James plays for the Marines.
Ms Hermon said: “They come back here as much as possible as they still have lots of friends in the village.
“They went to nursery and school in Wargrave and used to play for Henley Rugby Club as children. The rugby actually led to them being awarded a bursary to the school in Devon.
“There’s not really any sibling rivalry. They’re never in competition with each other. They love to compete together and the house is full of medals they’ve won together.
“They’re very close, in fact all four of them are very close, which is so nice.”
The King’s Badge, which was founded in 1918 by George V, is a circular badge worn on the left shoulder by any rank of Marine.
James and Edward follow in the footsteps of their second cousin in being presented with a military award. Lt Col Peter Cameron won the Military Cross for his actions during the Falklands War in 1982.