Royal Marines and sailors scarred by battle are healing in rehabilitation centre

Someone using gym equipment
PIC CREDIT: Royal Navy

Hasler Naval Service Recovery Centre is helping men and women from the armed forces with long-term recovery.

Set up in September 2009 with the aim to help commandos permanently scarred by the effects of battle to recover from their wounds, Hasler Naval Service Recovery Centre now helps men and women from all the armed forces with long-term conditions, injuries and illnesses.

To date, almost 350 Royal Marines and sailors have been helped by the unique rehabilitation centre during its first ten years.

Most injured or naval personnel are nursed and supported back to health while still serving with their units, but more serious cases require long term treatment and care away from their units so they can concentrate solely on rehabilitation.


Originally established as Hasler Company – named after Cockleshell Hero and disability rights campaigner Major ‘Blondie’ Hasler – the recovery centre has moved on from mostly treating marines to supporting many Royal Navy sailors and the occasional soldier or airman. Those at the centre receive expert medical help, physiotherapy, moral support as well as the guidance to either resume the service or look towards a future in the civilian world.

“Each day starts in the gym, most of the marines have physical injuries which require rehab and individual therapy,” said Captain Mark Woosey, the Royal Marine in charge of the centre.

“We have an amazing team of physiotherapists and exercise/rehabilitation instructors who lead a programme including therapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, yoga and tai chi.

“Getting back to fitness after a major injury or illness can be a long, hard and sometimes dull process,” Captain Woosey added.

“They can be of direct help in an individual’s transition or recovery – they can even help show exactly what they are capable of, reminding them they can still be the person they may fear has been lost through the injury or illness.

“You only need to see the face of a chronically-ill service person competing in a triathlon, playing sitting volleyball or surfing to realise the great value they have to morale and rehabilitation.”

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