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Join Sergeant Brown, West Highland Terrier Tinca and the Mini Marines for their first ‘Real Marines’ adventure on Dartmoor, England. Come with us and find out what happens when they lose Sergeant Brown and have to face their worst anxieties and fears. This Enid Blyton style story is already popular and waiting for your support today.Share Tweet LinkedIn Embed pszr.co/bDdzn 3043 views
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We all know Royal Marines are brave and courageous and can read a map, but did you know they love peanut butter with marmite sandwiches? Did you know they cry and write poetry? Did you know they love singing and jelly babies? This is a humorous and witty story about true friendship that teaches us what it really means to be courageous and face extreme anxiety and fears.
Josh(10yrs) and Caleb (8yrs) live in South Wales and are desperate to be real Marines just like their uncle (Ex-Royal Marine Sergeant) Percy Brown. Join them in their green Land Rover with their trusty Highland Terrier Tinca as they set off on a ‘Real Marines’ adventure on Dartmoor.
Out on the thick barren and uninhabited footpaths of Dartmoor in miserable weather, the boys suddenly realise Sergeant Brown and Tinca are missing. How will they cope when they have to survive alone, as the weather is worsening, as the night is drawing in. What fears and anxieties and challenges will they face along the way? How will they find Sergeant Brown and Tinca?
Follow them as they face their biggest fears and work as a team to earn their first, of hopefully many, green mini Marines commando t-shirts. And on the way learn about Welsh and Military history. Will they all get home in time for the rugby and Mum’s home cooking? Take a look and see!
7-9 year old children with a love of adventure.
The Adventures of Sergeant Brown and the Mini Marines has received excellent feedback from literary agents.
Lucy Irvine (PFD). 'I really enjoyed your sample and wish you the best of luck in finding a home for 'The Adventures of Sergeant Brown and The Mini Marines.'
Caroline Wakeman Literary Agents: ' It's a really strong and original subject.'
Edited initially by Nathan Munday (Author shortlisted for the New Welsh Reader University of Wales Travel Award).
Lucy Barnard (Children's author): 'You have written a very unique story and it has a great angle that is different to other stories. The potential for adventure is abundant - this will definitely appeal to kids. I like the ending!
Write Mentor Chapter Book Award Feedback 2021 from both adults and children:
'I enjoyed this...I really like the military concept it is unusual and interesting.'
'The mix of fiction and non fiction will appeal to young readers...I admire your aims with the book and hope you'll continue to develop it.'
'I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was described well and I felt like I was in the story myself.'
'This is strong idea.'
Over twenty children have read it and thoroughly enjoyed it and have asked for a sequel. They are keen to buy a copy and some already have t-shirts.
The Royal Marines are very keen for this book for be published as well.
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NORMALLY ILLUSTRATED AND MORE TINCA/MINI FACTS TO EXPLAIN WELSH/HISTORICAL FACTS.
CHAPTER 1 Real Marines Get Out of Bed on Time and Eat Porridge.
CHAPTER 2 Real Marines Train on Dartmoor and Eat Peanut Butter and Marmite Sandwiches.
CHAPTER 3 Real Marines Never Give Up and Love Jelly Babies.
CHAPTER 4 Real Marines Take Emergency Equipment and Love Singing.
CHAPTER 5 Real Marines Are Good Problem Solvers and ‘Sit on Their Hands.’
CHAPTER 6 Real Marines Are Courageous and Write Poetry.
CHAPTER 7 Real Marines Hide Undercover and Love Westies.
CHAPTER 8 Real Marines Keep Going and Love Movies.
CHAPTER 9 Real Marines Are Best Friends and Love Ice-Cream.
CHAPTER 10 Real Marines Love Adventures but Also Love Mum’s Home Cooking.
CHAPTER 1 REAL MARINES GET OUT OF BED ON TIME AND EAT PORRIDGE.
TONGWYNLAIS VILLAGE, SOUTH WALES UK.
GRID REFERENCE: ST131827
‘Get down from that tree Caleb, he’ll be here any minute!’ Mum shouted from the kitchen window.
‘But he’s always late for everything! I’ve got to climb; I’m practising to be a Marine!’ Caleb called back.
Caleb had been born with springs on his legs (not literally of course!). They used to call him Tigger. He was always up with the lark and singing at the top of his voice so that the whole village could hear. He loved to climb. Opposite their house was a beautiful oak tree, they called it the climbing tree. Caleb would have climbed all the way to the top if Mum had let him. He was naturally adventurous and they always said he was born for the military. In fact, he was even named after a loyal soldier.
‘Well, if you want to be a Marine you better check your rucksack and get Josh out of bed!’ Mum replied impatiently.
‘Oh alright, alright’ he shouted running into the house.
Caleb had been up since 5 am, packing and repacking his rucksack meticulously and putting war paint on his face.
‘Wake up Josh!’ he ordered ‘He will be here any minute! If you want to be a Marine you better learn how to get out of bed on time!’
Josh groaned and rolled back under his warm duvet. He had never been a morning person.
‘Caleb why are you so bouncy all the time?’
Caleb started packing Josh’s rucksack.
‘Did you know Josh? When I’m older I’m going to be a soldier, a Royal Marine just like Uncle Percy. He was a Sergeant Major, you know? Sergeant Percy (Buster) Brown. Do you know what a Sergeant Major is? Do you know what the Marines do?’
‘Yes of course I know what a Sergeant Major is; you will make a fine one, one day if you keep ordering people around with that loud voice at unearthly hours of the morning!’ replied a disgruntled Josh.
Caleb had a Royal Marines annual on his bookshelf. He loved an old photo on his grandparent's piano of Percy in full uniform commanding the troops.
‘You will need your headtorch, your sleeping bag, your compass, some food and don’t forget Funny Bun!’
Josh was ten years old and really too old for soft toys, but Funny Bun was also 10 years old and he still liked to have her around whenever he was scared. He finally climbed down from his bunk with his hair all over the place and a few grunts. The truth was he was just as excited. He had hardly slept. Uncle Percy had played rugby for the Royal Marines.
‘I’ll be that good one day if I keep practising’ he thought. ‘One day I might even play for Wales!’
Josh had also always loved camping; he had been camping since he was three years old. He would have happily lived in a tent except for the fact that there was no TV!
He ran downstairs and wolfed down a large bowl of porridge. Mumbling with a mouthful he said,
‘Did you know Caleb? Porridge is the breakfast of champions!’
As he gulped down the last spoonful the doorbell rang. Josh rushed to put on his favorite ‘Iron Man Avengers’ t-shirt and cargo trousers. He liked these as they had pockets for his penknife and pack of Top Trumps.
‘He’s here’ Caleb shouted’ bouncing around like Tigger. ‘Come on Josh, it’s time to go!’
‘Morning Campers, rise and shine!’ Sergeant Brown barked and Tinca his West Highland Terrier ran around his feet ‘We are off to Dartmoor!’
The boys grabbed their rucksacks and saluted to attention like they always did.
Tinca was the bravest dog we knew, named after the Tinca trail in Peru. She was a beautiful white Terrier with short hair and pointed ears like most Westies. She was fit and strong and could walk for miles and miles despite her tiny legs. She adored Sergeant Brown and would follow him on all his adventures. She had even been awarded a badge for completing the Ten Tors walking challenge on Dartmoor.
Percy always said that he was built like a Welsh pit pony. Not your typical build for a Marine!
‘Slow and steady wins the race’ he would say.
He wore a bright red Gore Tex jacket and Tinca had one to match. He had sandy blonde hair and a weather-beaten face with a vague Welsh accent and a booming military voice.
‘Have I told you I was in the Royal Marines?’ he would ask. ‘Now boys, let me tell you, I’ve climbed more mountains than you’ve had cooked dinners!’
‘We know we know!’ the boys would reply.
‘Right then, let’s have a look in these rucksacks, are you ready for an adventure?’ ordered Sergeant Brown ‘poor preparation equals poor performance!’
He rifled through each bag pulling out non-essential items as he went.
‘Hair gel Josh…you won’t be needing that!’
‘Nintendo…you won’t be needing that either!’
‘Toilet paper…guess even Marines need that! I hope you’ve got your shovel as well.’
‘Right, now we are ready!’
Josh sneaked in Funny Bun whilst Percy wasn’t looking and his favorite Narnia book which was also looking beaten up around the edges.
‘Have we got enough food for Caleb?’ Josh asked. ‘He’s always hungry and I don’t want to have to listen to him complaining that he hasn’t had enough to eat!’ He threw in some of Mum’s Bara Brith from the cupboard just in case.
‘Mum, Dad, are you coming with us?’ Josh asked.
‘Not this time guys, we’ve had enough adventures with Uncle Percy to keep us going; now it’s your turn for an adventure.’
Dad had been like Caleb when he was younger; his teachers said he was rocket-fuelled. He had even jumped out of a plane once! But Caleb had worn him out and he now described himself more like Mr. Brown in the Paddington Bear movies; that is, a bit like a Volvo, safe and reliable.
Tinca jumped up and down and pulled on her lead towards the 1960’s military green Land Rover. It always made their adventures more authentic to be able to climb up into the back over the big knobbly tyres and bump along, sat on the backbench seats. It was quite noisy and very slow on the motorway. Everything inside was basic and utilitarian, not a single luxury. The windscreen wipers looked even more basic and there wasn’t even a CD player! Both the inside and the outside were covered in mud and loaded with the kit as if it had come straight off the Moor or the Battle Field. Tinca would sit in the middle seat at the front, on an old tattered cushion, perched on her back legs as if she was second in command.
‘Right, off we go then. ‘ATTENTION! QUICK MARCH!’ Sergeant Brown bellowed.
They stood to attention and saluted again. Caleb, who had always been small for his age, dragged his oversized rucksack to the car.
‘BYE Mum, BYE Dad,’ they shouted.
A tear welled up in Mum’s eye, she would be worrying until they were safely back home. ‘Roots and wings, roots and wings’ she whispered to herself, as they drove off down the road. ‘Treat them like carrier pigeons’ she thought, ‘let them fly the nest safely and they will always come home eventually!’
CHAPTER 2 REAL MARINES TRAIN ON DARTMOOR AND EAT PEANUT BUTTER AND MARMITE SANDWICHES
Dartmoor National Park, Devon, South West England.
Grid Reference: SX5878393018
After what seemed like a very long journey, they arrived at Okehampton Military Base, Dartmoor. As was typical for Dartmoor the weather was miserable; the cloud cover was low and the air was cold with a fine drizzle. The moor looked as barren and uninhibited as ever.
‘That’s where real Marines train!’ shouted Caleb, who was overwhelmed with excitement. ‘We are going to be like real Marines!’
The buildings didn’t look particularly inviting through the mist and rain. They were pale green with grey slate roofs and there was a very official sign outside marked Okehampton Training Camp only.
‘Welcome to Dartmoor boys! Only the fittest survive the harsh conditions of this place. Soldiers have trained here for the past 200 years, you know. Even William the Conqueror set foot on this land and declared it a Royal Hunting Ground’ boasted Sergeant Brown.
The boys raised their eyes at each other and smirked as they had heard this many times before.
The boys and Tinca jumped down from the Land Rover onto thick squelchy mud. It had rained a lot recently so it was very wet.
‘Right!’ commanded Sergeant Brown ‘rucksacks on, maps and compasses out!’
‘Yes sir!’ they saluted and dragged the cumbersome rucksacks onto their backs.
‘Heads down and no complaining please!’ he ordered.
They rushed to tie up their bootlaces and fought with their map as it folded and rustled in the breeze.
‘Are we ready then?’
They saluted again and ran to follow Sergeant Brown, feeling both nervous and excited all at the same time. Josh had butterflies and Caleb still bounced around like Tigger despite the weight of his rucksack! They found the footpath and walked along in the thick oozing mud. Sergeant Brown would always march ahead (approximately 20 meters) with Tinca following close behind on his heels; close enough for their red jackets to be just visible. He wore a Tilley hat to keep the rain off and walked with a military air about him.
‘Come on boys! Keep up!’ he bellowed.
Tinca ran back yelping and rounding them up like a sheepdog. The boys were enjoying their adventure so far. Josh had always been fighting fit and Caleb was as energetic as a puppy (his name means ‘loyal dog’ so that fits!). He had always had bounds of energy, just like Tinca, and would literally climb the walls if you tried to keep him inside.
So, they walked and squelched, squelched, and walked in the drizzling wet rain. Happily, at first but then the novelty quickly wore off.
‘Why did we think this was a good idea?’ they both thought simultaneously but were too proud to say in case Sergeant Brown could hear them.
‘Maybe I should have stayed in bed’ Josh thought ‘Ah well there’s no point complaining, we are here now and besides, a true Marine would never complain. A real Marine would never give up and I want to be a Marine. I guess I’ll just put one foot in front of the other and keep going.’
So, they walked and squelched and squelched and walked again. Neither said a word for another half hour.
I’m starving’ said Caleb. ‘You’re always starving’ replied Josh ‘though it is nearly lunchtime.’
‘Right boys’ commanded Sergeant Brown we’ll shelter behind this wall. I hope you packed some supplies in those rucksacks!’
‘Yes sir’ they saluted and Caleb took out his Captain America lunch box.
‘Lunchbox? You call that a lunchbox? He exclaimed as he pulled out a large green military-looking lunch box and a matching flask of coffee.
The wind was picking up and the icy rain stung their faces as they tucked into their peanut butter sandwiches.
‘You need some Marmite with that Peanut Butter boys; all the best Marines eat peanut butter and marmite sandwiches!’
“Ych-a-Fi! Yuk!’’ They replied with disgust.
‘Do you remember why you wanted to be a Marine, Sergeant Brown? Josh asked.
‘Well,’ he said ‘I was 17 and a half when I signed up. I had always dreamed of being a soldier and wanted to be able to provide for my family at home. Besides, I wasn’t very good at school so it was that or head down the coalmines with the rest of my friends. Which would you choose?’
Coal Industry: The coal industry in Wales played an important part in the industrial revolution. The South Wales Coalfield was the largest in the world. The last deep mine closed in 2008 as the supply of coal dwindled. In the 1970s Boys with less than a Grammar School education were destined for a career underground in the mines.
‘Being a Marine gave me the chance to travel all over the world. You don’t see much of the world down a coal mine boys!’
‘Do you think we will make good Marines Sergeant Brown?’ asked Caleb.
‘Well, we will have to see about that won’t we!’ he replied ‘Not just anyone can be a Marine you know? I had to work hard for years to earn my green beret. I even won the Commando Medal you know. Now it’s your turn to pass the Commando Course! Come on, eat up, it’s time to get going, we’ve got a long hike ahead and we need to set up camp before it gets dark.’
Green Beret: British commandos wore the green beret in the Second World War. Royal Marines have to pass the Commando Course before they are handed one. To get one it takes more than people have to give. A green beret is associated with great pride and respect.
Commando Medal: Is awarded to the best recruit judged by the recruits themselves.
Tinca was barking as if she understood every word that they were saying and was raring to go, enjoying the wind in her fur. She was such a strong and brave little dog.
As they set off again the sky was a shade of dull pencil grey. It was March and the only colour you could see was the yellow of a lone daffodil reminding Caleb that the sun was there somewhere, hiding.
CHAPTER 3 REAL MARINES NEVER GIVE UP AND LOVE JELLY BABIES.
‘I’m tired’ said Caleb.
‘My legs are hurting’ moaned Josh.
‘Mine too, and I’m starving and my rucksack is so heavy!’ Caleb replied.
They trudged and squelched and squelched and trudged along the horse trodden bridle path. Their pace was getting slower and slower as they stooped under the weight of their packs and blisters started to form on their heels. Everywhere looked the same, dull and grey, dull and grey, grey and dull. Their fingers and toes and the ends of their noses were freezing. Sergeant Brown was still plowing on ahead and Tinca was proud and fresh legged at his heels as if they had only just started out.
‘Do you think we are nearly there yet Josh?’ asked Caleb.
‘I hope so’ said Josh but I don’t dare ask Sergeant Brown. ‘A true Marine would never ask that question. True Marines never give up you know. Here, have a jelly baby that always helps on a long walk with Mum and Dad.’
‘I don’t think true Marines eat jelly babies either’ replied Caleb. ‘That’s a shame' he thought, as he really liked jelly babies!
‘How about we play a game to take our mind off things?’ said Josh. ‘How about Avengers Guess Who? I’ll go first.’
‘He’s blue and has a big shield....’
‘That’s easy’ said Caleb ‘Captain America!’
‘My go… he’s big and green and grumpy.’
‘Hulk, Hulk, Hulk’ Josh chanted ‘Your go Caleb.’
‘He wears a cape and um...umm.’
‘Come on Caleb, I’m waiting.’
‘Hang on...umm...ummm...have you seen Tinca? Where’s Sergeant Brown?’
They had been so engrossed in their game that they had failed to notice the weather. They were now surrounded by a thick fog and could barely see their hands in front of them.
‘I can’t hear Tinca’ Caleb said with a worried expression on his face.
‘I can’t see Sergeant Brown’s red jacket’ said Josh, equally worried.
‘SERGEANT BROWN!’ They shouted. ‘SERGEANT BROWN!’ ‘TINCA!’ ‘TINCA!’ ‘HERE GIRL!’ as Josh wolf-whistled.
No answer, there was no sight nor sound of them. They looked around and looked as far into the distance as the fog would let them hoping Tinca would appear in her lovely red coat.
‘SERGEANT BROWN!’ ‘TINCA!’ they shouted louder and with more panic this time. No answer, just the sound of the wind starting to pick up around them.
‘It’s your fault Josh!’ argued Caleb. ‘We should have been paying attention, not playing your silly game! I bet Marines don’t play silly games or watch Avengers or lose their Sergeant!’
The campaign has now ended and thanks to you all we managed to raise over $4000! We are so thankful for your support ...
Well we are 5 days away from the end of our campaign. If you haven’t yet preordered or donated please don’t delay any further ...
Well we are 5 days away from the end of our campaign. If you haven’t yet preordered or donated please don’t delay any ...