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PM pays tribute to Armed Forces

David Cameron said the country would benefit from a greater sense of loyalty and selflessness as he paid tribute to the "extraordinary values" of the Armed Forces.

The Prime Minister met members of the Commando 999 charity today, featuring former Royal Marines who were taking part in their annual speed march through central London on Remembrance Weekend.

Addressing the crowd on The Mall at the start of the 13-mile trek, Mr Cameron said: "This is a great way to start this Remembrance weekend - a weekend, I think, which will be particularly poignant this year as we remember all those we lost in Afghanistan, particularly many Royal Marines who served with such bravery and courage in Helmand Province, but also across the whole time of that 14-year operation.

"I think it will be a poignant remembrance service as we also think of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

"As we remember those who served, those who gave their lives so we could live in freedom, I think it's also a weekend to celebrate the extraordinary values of our armed services - values of teamwork, of loyalty, of service above self, a deep belief in our country and its way of life.

"Those are values that frankly we need more of in our country, so it is right that we celebrate at the same time we commemorate them."

The march coincided with the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines.

Commando 999 charity founder Mark Scoular, 48, from Burton-upon-Trent, said the event helped raise funds to support former Marines and their families.

He said: "Speed marching is quite unique. Running in step with other people in unison is unique because if you have a long step you have to shorten it and vice versa.

"There is a real sense of community and belonging. We are part of the Royal Marines family so to come together infrequently and do something like this rekindles something really important.

"It also brings together a younger audience to give something back to the Royal Marines."

Around 100 former Marines took part in the march.

The Prime Minister joked: " I can see that you've outgrown Downing Street, where we normally meet. If this gets much bigger, we'll have to start on the M6."

The group were also welcomed by members of the Military Wives Choir, who travelled from RMB Chivenor in north Devon to sing.

Choir member Chloe Livingstone, 19, from Plymouth, said: "The guys are doing their march through London so we're here to sing them off. It's really important for us because we want to keep morale up."

Military wife Alana Hollister, 28, from Bodmin in Cornwall, said: "We've been really lucky, we have done lots of wonderful events so we are lucky to be here."

:: For more information on the charity, visit commando999.com

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