Cotford St Luke pub garden honours Marines

This is The West Country: Pub owner Sam Groody with gardener Jordan Mein and Marines, from left, Cpl Liam Kelly, Cpl Kieron Waters, Cpl David Scott and Marine John Murray. Buy this photo » Pub owner Sam Groody with gardener Jordan Mein and Marines, from left, Cpl Liam Kelly, Cpl Kieron Waters, Cpl David Scott and Marine John Murray.

A REMEMBRANCE garden has been created at a Cotford St Luke pub to honour Royal Marines from 40 Commando.

The garden, funded by the The Chapel pub, has undergone a complete makeover with flower borders, a full re-turf and a new path leading to the pub entrance.

Owner Sam Groody said: “I'm really pleased with the way the garden has turned out and the support from the marines who came down to help.

“The garden will provide a lovely place for people to sit, especially as the weather's starting to get warmer.

“I'm delighted with the work done by Jordan Mein's Gardening Services and look forward to the opening event to be hosted in the coming weeks.”

The outdoor seating will include a remembrance bench complete with plaque which was funded by locals and Marines in a fundraiser held at the pub in November.

Dozens of Marines will parade through Taunton on Thursday, May 16, when they return from their latest tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Comments (10)

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5:35pm Fri 19 Apr 13

Mark1970 says...

More scam marketing. The chapel was dead and buried and new owners took it over.

Then a new marketing scam to make themselves look good.

Too many people riding on the backs of charties to get their names in the paper and free advertising.

Cotford only has one pub and you are it, why drag the names and memories of ex forces into things?

I am shocked that marines would turn up, unless they had a free pint for it, or was ordered to do so.

All what I see is free advertising, nothing more and nothing less.
More scam marketing. The chapel was dead and buried and new owners took it over. Then a new marketing scam to make themselves look good. Too many people riding on the backs of charties to get their names in the paper and free advertising. Cotford only has one pub and you are it, why drag the names and memories of ex forces into things? I am shocked that marines would turn up, unless they had a free pint for it, or was ordered to do so. All what I see is free advertising, nothing more and nothing less. Mark1970

6:32pm Fri 19 Apr 13

Mark1970 says...

And PPS when I was in it was during IRA trouble and the first gulf.

We was protected back then our hair cut did not have to be military standard as you see in US war films.

SSO's (Station standing orders) and SRO's (Station rountine orders)

Was so that we covered up our uniform and wore civvy jacket's over our blues.

Apart from marches through the town we was not allowed to be even involved in photo calls, or wear uniform in public.

I was not even allowed to wear my number 1's at my mum's second wedding despite asking permisson.

I know what the Government have said that soldiers should be proud to wear their uniforms in public, but this should not be for marketing scams.
And PPS when I was in it was during IRA trouble and the first gulf. We was protected back then our hair cut did not have to be military standard as you see in US war films. SSO's (Station standing orders) and SRO's (Station rountine orders) Was so that we covered up our uniform and wore civvy jacket's over our blues. Apart from marches through the town we was not allowed to be even involved in photo calls, or wear uniform in public. I was not even allowed to wear my number 1's at my mum's second wedding despite asking permisson. I know what the Government have said that soldiers should be proud to wear their uniforms in public, but this should not be for marketing scams. Mark1970

5:02pm Sat 20 Apr 13

marilyn247 says...

Thank you, Mark 1970 for writing a post to invoke a reply in support of the hard graft The Chapel has put into creating such a lovely garden as a tribute to our Royal Marines!

This bitterly cold Spring, while 40 Commando were tackling the struggles of enduring the dangers of Afghanistan, Jordan has been toiling daily in the aim to transform the overgrown, unsightly area around our village pub into the garden that we see now. Many of those who inspired this work to take place, live within our streets with their families and are friends of us all..Sam Groody was determined to have this area ready for their homecoming as a 'Thank you, Guys!' (i.e.-- out of respect of what they do for us)

The Somerset County Gazette is in the business of publishing items of public interest --- and I think that may be what got this 'story' onto it's pages-----
Thank you, Mark 1970 for writing a post to invoke a reply in support of the hard graft The Chapel has put into creating such a lovely garden as a tribute to our Royal Marines! This bitterly cold Spring, while 40 Commando were tackling the struggles of enduring the dangers of Afghanistan, Jordan has been toiling daily in the aim to transform the overgrown, unsightly area around our village pub into the garden that we see now. Many of those who inspired this work to take place, live within our streets with their families and are friends of us all..Sam Groody was determined to have this area ready for their homecoming as a 'Thank you, Guys!' (i.e.-- out of respect of what they do for us) The Somerset County Gazette is in the business of publishing items of public interest --- and I think that may be what got this 'story' onto it's pages----- marilyn247

5:38pm Mon 22 Apr 13

Mark1970 says...

40 Commando already have their garden of rememberence in Camp.

If a local pub has a scruffy back garden, then of course they are going to make it want to look better as it produces more business, so that people can sit out in the garden during Summer.

So for someone to do a garden has nothing to do with the marine's or other forces, it is just good for business, and using this as an excuse is wrong.

Stand out for the parade on May 16th, put money into collection boxes, wear wristbands that raise money not just for the marines, but also over forces.

Give a 10% discount like most other shops are doing.

There is a lot than can be done, but not for the sake of trying to get scam marketing.

Myself and a lot of other veteran's would switch places with these lads in a heart beat, not to play hero, but because we was the same age when we served during the first gulf and the Falklands.

We see these people losing legs or even worse lifes and feel useless.

The worse is yet to come for them, the guilt and remorse of when they have left the force. We have a saying you can take the man out of the forces, but you can never take the forces out of the man.

You never do really adjust to civvy life and like myself and a lot of other veteran's we hold on to the good old day's on facebook groups, go to reunion's, attend rememberance services and shed a tear when one more soldier loses a life.

We was lucky during the first gulf, it was over reasonably quickly, but we never done the full job because it would cause a holy war, to which labour and blair have caused now.

We still had our loses but we also had friendly fire kills from our good friends the yanks.

Every time that one of our troops was gunned down by an american then our heart's sank, we had an american sargent at Wattisham, he noticed that although he was not the one who pulled the trigger, that he was getting funny looks.

We had detachments from the Navy and the Green Jacket's who served in NI although different branches, but we had the same blood flowing through us, which is white red and blue to serve our Country and proud to wear that uniform.

I was working at the Perkin when they last came back, the Perkin was smashed up pretty badly that they had to close down and get all of the civvies out.

A simple thank you, a kiss a cuddle, a letter. Not being in someones face if someone is quite and drawn then they are reflecting upon things that have happened.

Even the wifes do not fully understand what is in their husbands hearts and minds.

To leave you with a saying that we had.

You either laugh or you cry, if you cry then you die.

Which is why forces humour is usually dark and different than of a civvy.
40 Commando already have their garden of rememberence in Camp. If a local pub has a scruffy back garden, then of course they are going to make it want to look better as it produces more business, so that people can sit out in the garden during Summer. So for someone to do a garden has nothing to do with the marine's or other forces, it is just good for business, and using this as an excuse is wrong. Stand out for the parade on May 16th, put money into collection boxes, wear wristbands that raise money not just for the marines, but also over forces. Give a 10% discount like most other shops are doing. There is a lot than can be done, but not for the sake of trying to get scam marketing. Myself and a lot of other veteran's would switch places with these lads in a heart beat, not to play hero, but because we was the same age when we served during the first gulf and the Falklands. We see these people losing legs or even worse lifes and feel useless. The worse is yet to come for them, the guilt and remorse of when they have left the force. We have a saying you can take the man out of the forces, but you can never take the forces out of the man. You never do really adjust to civvy life and like myself and a lot of other veteran's we hold on to the good old day's on facebook groups, go to reunion's, attend rememberance services and shed a tear when one more soldier loses a life. We was lucky during the first gulf, it was over reasonably quickly, but we never done the full job because it would cause a holy war, to which labour and blair have caused now. We still had our loses but we also had friendly fire kills from our good friends the yanks. Every time that one of our troops was gunned down by an american then our heart's sank, we had an american sargent at Wattisham, he noticed that although he was not the one who pulled the trigger, that he was getting funny looks. We had detachments from the Navy and the Green Jacket's who served in NI although different branches, but we had the same blood flowing through us, which is white red and blue to serve our Country and proud to wear that uniform. I was working at the Perkin when they last came back, the Perkin was smashed up pretty badly that they had to close down and get all of the civvies out. A simple thank you, a kiss a cuddle, a letter. Not being in someones face if someone is quite and drawn then they are reflecting upon things that have happened. Even the wifes do not fully understand what is in their husbands hearts and minds. To leave you with a saying that we had. You either laugh or you cry, if you cry then you die. Which is why forces humour is usually dark and different than of a civvy. Mark1970

12:51pm Tue 23 Apr 13

marilyn247 says...

Yes, Mark1970, 40 Commando do have a beautiful memorial garden in Camp----

---not everyone gets to see it, though.

I was trying to explain to you that it was a personal decision of the new owners of The Chapel to dedicate the garden to the Marines as a tangible sign of our respect for them --- a bench reminding us that while we are enjoying leisure time some of our neighbours are in war torn areas in their service to our country.

Your post of last evening has touched my heart and I salute you and respect you for your own service to our country.

The way you have written of your personal experiences in active service and since, your empathy towards others still suffering the consequences of the atrocities of war, I must admit I read through teardrops!

Maybe I'll be standing beside you at the Parade on May 16th (who knows?)

but if you come to The Chapel one evening and I know you are there, I'll come and meet you and buy you a drink----
Yes, Mark1970, 40 Commando do have a beautiful memorial garden in Camp---- ---not everyone gets to see it, though. I was trying to explain to you that it was a personal decision of the new owners of The Chapel to dedicate the garden to the Marines as a tangible sign of our respect for them --- a bench reminding us that while we are enjoying leisure time some of our neighbours are in war torn areas in their service to our country. Your post of last evening has touched my heart and I salute you and respect you for your own service to our country. The way you have written of your personal experiences in active service and since, your empathy towards others still suffering the consequences of the atrocities of war, I must admit I read through teardrops! Maybe I'll be standing beside you at the Parade on May 16th (who knows?) but if you come to The Chapel one evening and I know you are there, I'll come and meet you and buy you a drink---- marilyn247

2:28pm Tue 23 Apr 13

Mark1970 says...

Marilyn I thank you for your replies, and you seem to have some knowledge, to which I do appreciate. I am not sure which knowledge you have whether being a forces wife or that for working for the chapel.

When I came out and in some respect's pretty much now my anger level's increased.

The RAF was a doodle compared to the Marines, it was only the past year that I realised that the marines done six months basic training.

Six weeks was hard enough, and I was a reisty reflight so in the end I done almost three months of basic training, having to go over the thing that I failed upon.

I personally was tired from studying, doing bullnights, and when you are doing basic training especially at the start then you are often working 12 hour days. Broken down to be made up, then you can enjoy yourself more.

I ended up after that training to become staff during Operation Granby, to which I done 6 weeks of nights and 1 week of days. I almost killed two people because of their stupid mistakes.

One pointing a loaded SLR at a CPL and one who decided to drive at a check point while I had a civvy standing behind me. He was parked up and turned his lights out, started driving with his light's off, and then as he was approaching went full beam.

I had to load my rifle and issue the command that I was going to open fire. It was his fault and his was on military ground rather than civvy, but if I had of opened fire then I would have killed and had that on my mind for ever. I do still have that on my mind, but at least he is still living and maybe kids and hopefully more grown up.

Despite being told that the station commander would give me a weeks leave, I was told to report to my trade training base, I never had a weeks leave, instead I was working straight away and doing a 5 year training course in 6 months, often doing 3 exams a week.

Between bullnights, kit, courses, revising, then we did have some play time. We had what is called politely the Valley Girls come to a dance one night a week. I could give it it's proper name but you would end up going to the doctor's for itches.

I could go on when we was officially declared at war and working another 12 hour days.

We only found out because of the media, I had to announce that the station commander wanted a word with us, but we all knew what he was going to say and sure enough came his WInston Churchill style speech. As most of you know, we are now at war with Iraq, maybe there are a few of you that may never come back etc etc.

The first week that I came out, it was just like being on leave. It was great fantastic. The second week was hell, I did not know what to do with myself, my anger was getting more and more. I was having dreams about being back in, just wearing a uniform and having somewhere that I belonged.

Civvy life was not all that it was cracked up to be not ever again.

Although we never went through what these 20 year old men such they do today have gone through.

We had friendly fire, Gulf War Syndrome.

We are forgotten about, cast into the shadows that is the legacy that labour and blair and bush left us with.

A veteran should be a veteran for life and not just it benefit's the Government for being a smoke screen.

Millions of people marched against the second gulf war the UN urged us and america not to goto war.

People of the UK were still up in arms about Iraq 2, until help for hero's which changed the whole perspective of sending these people to their deaths.

It was deemed to be cooler to congratulate these guys, rather than condem the Government for taking us to war once more.

A garden that is in a pub is not help for hero's it is more so a help for the pub itself.

I will sadly never agree with your statement's regarding a pub garden up because it was an eye sore, and then saying hey look what we have done for the marines.
Marilyn I thank you for your replies, and you seem to have some knowledge, to which I do appreciate. I am not sure which knowledge you have whether being a forces wife or that for working for the chapel. When I came out and in some respect's pretty much now my anger level's increased. The RAF was a doodle compared to the Marines, it was only the past year that I realised that the marines done six months basic training. Six weeks was hard enough, and I was a reisty reflight so in the end I done almost three months of basic training, having to go over the thing that I failed upon. I personally was tired from studying, doing bullnights, and when you are doing basic training especially at the start then you are often working 12 hour days. Broken down to be made up, then you can enjoy yourself more. I ended up after that training to become staff during Operation Granby, to which I done 6 weeks of nights and 1 week of days. I almost killed two people because of their stupid mistakes. One pointing a loaded SLR at a CPL and one who decided to drive at a check point while I had a civvy standing behind me. He was parked up and turned his lights out, started driving with his light's off, and then as he was approaching went full beam. I had to load my rifle and issue the command that I was going to open fire. It was his fault and his was on military ground rather than civvy, but if I had of opened fire then I would have killed and had that on my mind for ever. I do still have that on my mind, but at least he is still living and maybe kids and hopefully more grown up. Despite being told that the station commander would give me a weeks leave, I was told to report to my trade training base, I never had a weeks leave, instead I was working straight away and doing a 5 year training course in 6 months, often doing 3 exams a week. Between bullnights, kit, courses, revising, then we did have some play time. We had what is called politely the Valley Girls come to a dance one night a week. I could give it it's proper name but you would end up going to the doctor's for itches. I could go on when we was officially declared at war and working another 12 hour days. We only found out because of the media, I had to announce that the station commander wanted a word with us, but we all knew what he was going to say and sure enough came his WInston Churchill style speech. As most of you know, we are now at war with Iraq, maybe there are a few of you that may never come back etc etc. The first week that I came out, it was just like being on leave. It was great fantastic. The second week was hell, I did not know what to do with myself, my anger was getting more and more. I was having dreams about being back in, just wearing a uniform and having somewhere that I belonged. Civvy life was not all that it was cracked up to be not ever again. Although we never went through what these 20 year old men such they do today have gone through. We had friendly fire, Gulf War Syndrome. We are forgotten about, cast into the shadows that is the legacy that labour and blair and bush left us with. A veteran should be a veteran for life and not just it benefit's the Government for being a smoke screen. Millions of people marched against the second gulf war the UN urged us and america not to goto war. People of the UK were still up in arms about Iraq 2, until help for hero's which changed the whole perspective of sending these people to their deaths. It was deemed to be cooler to congratulate these guys, rather than condem the Government for taking us to war once more. A garden that is in a pub is not help for hero's it is more so a help for the pub itself. I will sadly never agree with your statement's regarding a pub garden up because it was an eye sore, and then saying hey look what we have done for the marines. Mark1970

3:20pm Tue 23 Apr 13

marilyn247 says...

Mark, taking your last sentence first, you don't need to agree with me about the pub garden---- I can only put over my perspective from living in this village and my knowing why it has been dedicated to the Marines.

No, I am neither a forces wife neither do I work for The Chapel ----- I just go there occassionally to meet up with friends and have a drink. (They don't even know in there that I am writing on this thread!)

I am interested in people and their life-stories, I suppose, and I have a great respect for our country and those who serve it which includes our civil forces and armed service personnel.

That you have shared so much on here gives people like me who have never experienced being in a hostile environment (let alone facing the front line of armed conflict!) a better understanding of the effects so many veterans and those currently serving in Her Majesty's Forces suffer.

Thank you-------

(and if ever you find yourself in our pub a "---please could someone contact Marilyn----?" would get my husband and I there and I'll buy you that drink!)
Mark, taking your last sentence first, you don't need to agree with me about the pub garden---- I can only put over my perspective from living in this village and my knowing why it has been dedicated to the Marines. No, I am neither a forces wife neither do I work for The Chapel ----- I just go there occassionally to meet up with friends and have a drink. (They don't even know in there that I am writing on this thread!) I am interested in people and their life-stories, I suppose, and I have a great respect for our country and those who serve it which includes our civil forces and armed service personnel. That you have shared so much on here gives people like me who have never experienced being in a hostile environment (let alone facing the front line of armed conflict!) a better understanding of the effects so many veterans and those currently serving in Her Majesty's Forces suffer. Thank you------- (and if ever you find yourself in our pub a "---please could someone contact Marilyn----?" would get my husband and I there and I'll buy you that drink!) marilyn247

3:56pm Tue 23 Apr 13

Mark1970 says...

Marilyn, thank you but I might be ex forces and have a kinky side, but can you leave your husband at home and maybe we can go in the garden for some outdoors drinking of course ;)
Marilyn, thank you but I might be ex forces and have a kinky side, but can you leave your husband at home and maybe we can go in the garden for some outdoors drinking of course ;) Mark1970

4:16pm Tue 23 Apr 13

marilyn247 says...

Smiling out loud! Mark, my husband carries the drinks-money so he has to come along ---- he was in the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment before we were married----(that may give an indication of my age as the Regiment was disbanded years ago-----!) so he will also be interested in your military experiences. However, I'm sure he will allow us to sneak into the garden ---- :)

-----and I've now had to phone The Chapel to tell them to keep my phone number behind the bar ready for your visit-----
Smiling out loud! Mark, my husband carries the drinks-money so he has to come along ---- he was in the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment before we were married----(that may give an indication of my age as the Regiment was disbanded years ago-----!) so he will also be interested in your military experiences. However, I'm sure he will allow us to sneak into the garden ---- :) -----and I've now had to phone The Chapel to tell them to keep my phone number behind the bar ready for your visit----- marilyn247

4:40pm Tue 23 Apr 13

Mark1970 says...

Someone has to slum it in the army I suppose. My Grandad was the only disgrace in our family.

Somerset Light Infantry.

Even back then it was a case of their were real poppies growing in the fields of Somerset, which you do not see that often now if at all.

Would lay them on the cenotaph and also at the gates,

Was always a good day out, and always came back with a flagon of cider and some cheese.

Which I think he wanted to be back in WW2 again compared to him coming home to my nan smelling of scrumpy lol
Someone has to slum it in the army I suppose. My Grandad was the only disgrace in our family. Somerset Light Infantry. Even back then it was a case of their were real poppies growing in the fields of Somerset, which you do not see that often now if at all. Would lay them on the cenotaph and also at the gates, Was always a good day out, and always came back with a flagon of cider and some cheese. Which I think he wanted to be back in WW2 again compared to him coming home to my nan smelling of scrumpy lol Mark1970

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