Service to mark 40th anniversary of liberation of the Falkland Islands

The Royal British Legion is inviting veterans and civilians and bereaved family members to attend a service in Staffordshire.

14 June 2022

Veterans of the Falklands War are to attend a service marking the 40th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

The Royal British Legion is inviting veterans, civilians and bereaved family members to a service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to remember the end of the conflict in 1982, after weeks of fighting.

A taskforce set sail from the UK three days after the Argentinian invasion, eventually involving almost 26,000 troops and 3,000 civilian crew.

A total of 255 British troops and three Falkland Islanders died, as well as 649 Argentinian military personnel.

On this day in 1982, British forces advanced on the capital of Stanley and enemy troops fled in disarray, with prime minister Margaret Thatcher informing the House of Commons the Argentinians had surrendered by 1015 BST.

A number of remembrance services have been held across the country to commemorate those involved.

On Sunday, members of the Tumbledown Veterans & Families Association, many of whom served in the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards, marched to the cenotaph on Blackpool promenade.

Nine men died at the Battle of Mount Tumbledown, overlooking Stanley, on June 13 and 14.

Crosses featuring pictures of the nine men were laid, some by relatives, at a memorial plaque close to the cenotaph.

A collection of portraits of seven veterans in Scotland was also revealed on Tuesday.

The Shadow Of The Brave, a 5ft steel sundial, modelled on the silhouette of veteran Bill McDowall, 61, kneeling and paying his respects to his fallen comrades, was also recently unveiled by Erskine, Scotland’s largest veterans’ charity.

Labour MP Dan Jarvis told the Commons that what followed the invasion was “74 days of extreme hardship, intense violence and unspeakable bravery”.

“It is right that we remember that collective sacrifice made 40 years on,” he said.

“Thirty thousand sailors, royal marines, soldiers, airmen and merchant mariners took the long voyage south. Tragically, 255 of them would not make the return journey home.

“Many thousands more still live with the mental and physical effects of that bloody struggle.”

Dan Jarvis
Dan Jarvis (Danny Lawson/PA)

Last week Boris Johnson paid tribute to British forces, saying they had achieved what “many thought was impossible”.

He went on: “We were fighting for the essential principle that the Falkland Islanders, like people everywhere, have a sovereign right to decide their own destiny and choose their own loyalty.

“As we look at the world today, we can see all too obviously how that principle is still in peril and still needs defending.

“There is always some dictator testing whether this country and our friends are really willing to stand up for that principle, which is the essential basis of a peaceful world.

“Forty years ago in the Falklands, our armed forces showed that we would stand up for what was right.”

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.