Peter White Royal Marine legend poses with royal marines
Royal Marines

91-Year-Old Royal Marines Veteran Completes Final Dartmoor Challenge

Peter White has taken part in the 30-mile Commando test since 1978.

Peter White Royal Marine legend poses with royal marines

A retired Royal Marine has completed his final Dartmoor Commando Yomp.

Former Colour Sergeant Peter 'Knocker' White has taken part in the 30-Miler in Dartmoor for the past 40 years.

After retirement, Colour Sergeant White has supported the ultimate Commando challenge every three weeks.

It is estimated that he has seen over 7,000 coveted Green Berets presented to Royal Marines recruits and young officers as well as All Arms Commando Courses.

Royal Marines legend Peter White laughs at Dartmoor Challenge
Peter 'Knocker' White has taken part in the 30-Miler in Dartmoor since 1978 (Picture: Royal Navy).

The 30-Miler is regarded as the toughest test of every Royal Marine's career.

"It’s physically hard and takes guts to do it," said Colour Sergeant White.

"It’s something you never forget."

During the test, Royal Marines need to carry 40lbs of equipment and rifle and cover a stretch of 30 miles from Okehampton, in the North, to Shaugh Prior, in the South.

Rain or sunshine, the test needs to go on and the distance covered in under eight hours for recruits and under seven for young officers.

Peter White claps Royal Marines during Dartmoor Challenge
The Dartmoor Challenge is the hardest test for Royal Marines (Picture: Royal Navy).

Colour Sergeant White joined the Royal Marines when he was just 17, in 1945.

He served during the Second World War with the Home Guard in Gloucester.

He completed his Commando training in North Wales and then served in 44, 45 and 40 Commandos during his career, seeing active service in numerous countries, including Korea, Palestine and Borneo.

After serving around the world, he started working on Dartmoor at Merrivale Range and then in Headquarters South West Training Areas.

Former Royal Marine Peter White with medals
Peter 'Knocker' White joined the Royal Marines in 1945 (Picture: Royal Navy).

"I started with the 30-Miler when I was working as safety advisor on South Dartmoor, after I retired," he said.

"I’d clear their routes across the moor and felt it important to see them when they were out.

"It’s important for me to keep on going and for the young marines to see an older man like me, out there with them, and they can all possibly do it when they are 91.

"I like seeing the standards kept up, I like seeing young marines working hard and I like to see them all finish, so when they meet any other Royal Marines, they all know they’ve completed something together."

Peter White former royal marine shakes hands after 309 dartmoor challenge
(Picture: Royal Navy).

Commandant of the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, Colonel Simon Chapman made a special presentation to Colour Sergeant White on completion of his final 30 Miler.

"He’s been coming out here almost non-stop for the past 40 years, it’s a wonderful achievement," Colonel Chapman said.

"For much of that time he was actually running with the recruits and young officers.

"To see someone like Knocker in the middle of nowhere, giving you encouragement, gives you such a boost.

"He is part of the Royal Marines’ family and a true Corps legend."

Cover Picture: Colour Sergeant White posing with Royal Marines after the Dartmoor Challenge (Picture: MOD).