EASTERBROOK, Antony Laurence
"Antony Laurence Easterbrook was born in Torquay on 20th March 1929 and was educated at Marlborough College where he was captain of both the athletics and rugby teams.
After leaving school in 1947, he completed National Service in the Royal Sussex Regiment where he qualified as a parachutist and won the Western Command Cross Country Championships. On leaving the Army in 1949, he joined the 11th Parachute Regiment (Middlesex) Territorial Army as a 2nd Lieutenant, whilst also studying French and Russian at Cambridge University. On 10th of August 1952 he was commissioned into the Royal Marines.
Whilst in the Corps he qualified as a Swimmer Canoeist in 1953 and served with the Special Boat Squadron until 1956 when he qualified as a Physical Training Officer. Between 1956-1957 he was the Physical Training Officer at Royal Marines Barracks, Plymouth. At the same time, he became one of the Corps’ and Navy’s leading athletes competing in track and field, cross-country and pentathlon, and he was placed fourth in the Combined Services National Pentathlon Championships. In addition to this, he was also a prominent Corps rugby player and boxer.
From 1957-1958 he served with 45 Commando in Malta, North Africa and Cyprus. He was the Unit’s Physical Training Officer and Sports Officer and he proved to be an outstanding Troop Officer on active service in Cyprus.
In September 1958, he joined Infantry Training Centre Royal Marines as the Physical Training Officer and Sports Officer at a time when the facilities there were limited. However, his enthusiasm and resourcefulness were such that he made an outstanding success in the physical training of both young officers and recruits. By this time, his own personal achievements, physical prowess and experience made him a superlative coach and natural leader, always instilling into trainees the value of supreme fitness for Commando service. In June 1960, unsurprisingly, he was the first choice to command the Royal Marines Commando Display Team that played an important part in the Military Tattoo associated with the British Exhibition in New York. He selected and trained the men as well as designing the spectacular assault course. The display included several courageous descents down an 85 feet high Commando Slide.
Leading from the front as always, Captain Easterbrook volunteered himself for the most daring and spectacular deed. Dressed in city attire, complete with bowler hat and umbrella, he would descend down the Commando Slide in dramatic fashion. Whilst hurtling down the slide, he would wave his umbrella to the astonishment of spectators below. At the bottom of the slide, a waiter would walk over to Captain Easterbrook and serve him a Gin and Tonic, which he would swiftly drink, before proceeding to waltz off as though he had just walked calmly down a flight of stairs. "
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