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Billy now on higher ground thanks to #RMfamily support


“If it hadn't been for the Royal Marines Association, The Royal Marines Charity and High Ground, I don't know where I would be right now.”

Billy Baily served in the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines for over 10 Years.

During his time spent serving with the Royal Marines Band, Billy was involved in two serious events. In 1989, Billy was at Deal Barracks when an IRA bomb exploded at the Royal Marines School of Music Building. The building collapsed, killing 11 members of the Royal Marines Band Service and seriously wounded a further 21.

The second incident Billy was involved in was in 1994, whilst on duty with the band, the coach Billy was travelling was involved in a serious road traffic collision.

After leaving the Band Service, Billy embarked on a 20 year-long career in the NHS, working as an emergency paramedic, with both previous careers impacting Billy’s mental health.

In early April, Billy began to struggle with the effects of his PTSD and found himself in a vulnerable situation.

It was at this time my PTSD reared its ugly head again and I was really struggling. One evening I couldn't bear it anymore and contacted the RMA in Exmouth in what I can only describe as in a state of emotional breakdown.”

Billy was referred to The Royal Marines Charity by one of the charity’s contacts within the band. At this time, Billy was psychologically in a fragile way and needed guidance and immediate support to assist him.

The Royal Marines Charity welfare team engaged in conversation with Billy, helping us to determine the best way we could support him. After discussions with the team, Billy decided that he would like to leave his current employment and become a gardener and work in the open air in an outdoors environment.

Thanks to these discussions, The Royal Marines Charity were able to fund and secure a place for Billy on one of HighGround’s residential courses. HighGround is a charity that helps service leavers and veterans discover a life in the outdoors industry, beyond the military. The Highground team furthermore deliver Horticultural Therapy at Headley court.


This gave Billy the opportunity to get a taste of alternative employment as he has a keen interest in pursuing a career in the outdoor industry.

He found that the course helped his PTSD immensely and felt that he was not alone with his ‘Band of Brothers’ sharing their varied experiences.

"If it hadn't been for the Royal Marines Association, The Royal Marines Charity and High Ground, I don't know where I would be right now.”

By acting quickly and working smarty, The Royal Marines Charity were able to support Billy in his time of need. Furthermore, by working proactively, this ensured Billy had future direction.

Billy’s story is a great example of how both The Royal Marines Charity and Royal Marines Association are working together to assist Royal Marines and their families in need.

If you or someone you know requires the support of The Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Marines Association, please contact the Welfare team on 023 9254 7224 or complete a Welfare Request Form here.