Written by Mary Sinclair Powell
35 YEARS ON
From April 2nd to June 14th 1982, British troops were engaged in counteracting the amphibious invasion of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands by Argentine forces, who misguidedly thought they were their territories. British Governor, Sir Rex Hunt, organised an initial defence, eventually handing over to Major Mike Morgan RM, before being exiled by Argentina to Uruguay.
Following invasion on the 2nd, a British Task Force – including naval and civilian ships, RAF aircraft and British Regiments – began to set sail to the South Atlantic to meet up with other British Ships already in the area, ready to regain the territories that had been in British hands since 1841. Falkland Islanders are descended from original British settlers at that time, and were not going to give up their sovereignty easily.
Both governments declared the Islands a war zone and officially recognised a state of war existed between them. Hostilities were limited to the territories under dispute within the 200 mile exclusion zone declared by PM Margaret Thatcher.
The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender that returned the islands to British control. In total, 255 British military personnel and 3 Falkland Islanders died during hostilities. Argentine fatalities numbered 649.
Many British people still remember this war, when ships such as Sir Galahad or Coventry, and areas such as Port Stanley or Goose Green are mentioned – particularly in Ross-on-Wye when one of our own, Private Tim Jenkins of 3 Para, was KIA at Mount Longdon, 2 days before the surrender.
To this end, Ross RBL have organised a full day of Commemoration Events on Sunday June 4th to which everyone is invited.
From 11.00 there will be a Parade, Service of Commemoration and Wreath Laying at Tudorville Cemetery to honour Tim and his comrades.
From 12.00 there will be an exhibition and entertainment at the Market House.
At 14.30 a Parade of Standards, Regiments, Veterans, etc will step-off from Cantilupe Road to the Market House – where Major Patrick Darling DL will take the salute on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant.
This will be followed by a Service of Commemoration and Wreath Laying.
All are very welcome to attend either or both events.
The RBL do not wish this to become a forgotten war and hope it will be the start of many more local Commemorations to come.
Further details/to take part please contact: RossOnWye.Secretary@rbl.community
We Will Remember Them All