D-Day honour for Wirral soldier

Wirral Globe: Lt Col Tom Marsden chats to William and Kate in Arromanches Lt Col Tom Marsden chats to William and Kate in Arromanches

A HIGH-ranking soldier from Wirral escorted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge through the streets of Normandy during the D-Day 70th anniversary celebrations.

Lieutenant Colonel Tom Marsden now commands 39 Engineer Regiment, based in Kinloss, Scotland. The regiment provides engineering support to the Royal Air Force and UK Land Forces.

During their walk through the town of Arromanches-les-Bains, which was screened live on BBC, Lt Col Marsden, was asked to explain to the young Royals the Army’s part in the engineering triumph that made the Allied D-Day landings possible in June 1944.

Lt Col Marsden, now 41 and a former student of St Mary’s Catholic College in Wallasey, chatted at length to William and Kate as they walked towards the seafront at Arromanches, where remains of the Mulberry Harbour can still be seen.

The rugby-loving soldier was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1997 after graduating from Sheffield University.

He served in Operation Telic in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and has also been posted to Cyprus, Belize, Germany, Italy and India. He took command of 39 Engineer Regiment last September.

The Liverpool FC fan is married to Merla with three sons, William, Luke and Barney. According to an Army website, he loves all team sports, having managed to play football at Wembley and Rugby League in New Zealand. He is an enthusiastic gardener and enjoys a glass of single malt whisky.

His younger brother is a Catholic priest in Ireland. Fr David Marsden is Vocational Growth Counsellor at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, near Dublin.

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