Royal Marines

New Rehabilitation Gym Opens At RMB Chivenor

The Rick Jolly Primary Care Rehabilitation Facility features gym equipment to help injured and wounded service personnel.

A new rehabilitation gym has opened at Royal Marines Barracks (RMB) Chivenor in Devon.

The facility features state-of-the-art equipment aimed at helping injured and wounded service personnel recover from their injuries.

The Rick Jolly Primary Care Rehabilitation Facility is named after Surgeon Captain Rick Jolly - the only serviceman in the Falklands War to be honoured by both the British and Argentinian sides in recognition of the hundreds of wounded casualties he helped during the conflict.

Commandant General Royal Marines, Major General Matt Holmes, officially opened the gym on Wednesday.

Captain (Ret'd) Erich Bootland, Royal Navy, told Forces News: "During the Falklands crisis, I was a troop commander in the medical squadron and under Rick Jolly's command.

"We dealt with a huge number of casualties and none of us, I think, thought we'd still be in a situation where we stood in front of a camera talking about what we'd done 30 or 40 years ago."

Capt Bootland said they "learnt lessons" at the time of the Falklands War and that they are "still being put into practice today".

Commandant General Royal Marines, Major General Matt Holmes opens rehabilitation gym at chivenor 300920 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
Major General Matt Holmes, Commandant General Royal Marines, officially opened the gym.

"This facility here is one of those things that resulted from Iraq and Afghanistan but has its roots in the time that we spent in the Falklands and the things that we learned in the way of dealing with our injured servicemen," he added.

He also said places like the Rick Jolly Primary Care Rehabilitation Facility are "immensely important".

"We need to put people back together and we also need to look after them after they leave the service," he said.

In just under a year, the gym has secured funding of £60,000 from the Defence Primary Healthcare.

RMB Chivenor is home to the Commando Logistics Regiment, part of 3 Commando Brigade.

One of their most important deployments is to Norway, where the harsh environment can take its toll on personnel.

"When they're skiing, quite often there's a risk of falling over and when you fall over you're at risk of putting a hand down and dislocating a shoulder, or potentially twisting your knee and the anterior cruciate ligament," said Captain Dave Ferraby, the facility's Commanding Officer.

Picture on wall in Chivenor rehabilitation gym of Surgeon Captain Rick Jolly from Falklands War 300920 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
The gym is named after Surgeon Captain Rick Jolly who ran the field hospital during the Falklands War.

Among the equipment at the rehabilitation gym are machines that replicate skiing motions and others used to help marines build back strength.

Lance Corporal Adam Robinson, who injured his back in 2019, has been undergoing rehabilitation for more than a year. 

"The new facility has just progressed the whole rehabilitation process and really accelerated it," he said.

"Being injured can put a massive low on your mood and getting into the gym and rehabilitating, especially successfully - it boosts your mood as well as, obviously, you're physically getting stronger and rehabilitating that injury.

"I expect to come out of this fitter than I came in."