In my case it's a major interest which has lasted 25 years - I have a huge reference collection and I guess I'm a bit of a Falklands Obsessive (my wife's words, not mine).
I also have a huge respect for those who fought 25 years ago, those who died and those who have suffered so much since April-June 1982.
Give this a go, read it for yourselves.
Last edited by DeltaWhisky58; 06-26-2007 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Revised opinions.
Audio slideshow: Island defenders
The Falkland Islands Defence Force is a volunteer civilian army, which was mobilised on the night of the Argentine invasion in 1982. Many of the 32 who reported for duty did not expect to survive until morning, but none were killed and they surrendered with the British Royal Marines on 2 April.
FIDF still trains weekly and maintains "Company strength". In peacetime it assists with search and rescue operations, and armed fisheries protection. This year the first official ceremony was held to mark its effort in the conflict, involving current volunteers and 1982 veterans.
BBC News Online - Audio Slideshow
Photographs by Phil Coomes; audio by Paula Dear. Slideshow produced by Dominic Bailey.
[DW58] Before anyone asks/comments - yes, they are armed with the Steyr AUG which has been discussed here time and time again.
Cap-badges gather to remember "blackest day" of Falklands campaign
11 Jun 07
Falkland Islanders and military personnel have remembered the bombing of Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram on 8 June 1982 - the blackest day in Britain's campaign to re-take the islands.
Fresh wreaths were laid during the Tristram Memorial services on East Falkland
[Picture: Senior Aircraftswoman Ellie Insley]
8 June 1982 saw the worst number of casualties (47) sustained in a single day by the British during the Falklands campaign.
Military personnel onboard the two Fleet support ships, Royal Fleet Auxiliaries Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram, were en-route to Bluff Cove when the fatal attack took place near the settlement of Fitzroy on East Falkland.
The ships came under attack from two Argentinian jets, which dropped a series of bombs. The few that connected caused untold damage below decks and the ships immediately started to burn. The men caught on board quickly made their way to shore in life-rafts but 47 were killed, mostly Welsh Guards. Many more suffered severe burns.
Twenty five years later, on 8 June 2007, the sacrifice of these men was honoured in a four-part memorial service which took place on East Falkland.
The different parts of the service commemorated each of the different cap-badges representing the personnel who lost their lives. Wreaths were laid to remember those lost from the Welsh Guards, the Royal Fleet Auxilary and the Royal Army medical Corps. Finally the assembled moved to a generic 5 Brigade memorial in the settlement of Fitzroy itself.
Brigadier Nick Davies, Commander of British Forces South Atlantic Islands, laid three wreaths. He said:
Former Welsh Guardsman Simon Weston OBE, who survived the Sir Galahad attack, pays his respects to fallen comrades.
[Picture: Senior Aircraftswoman Ellie Insley]
"This was biggest single loss in terms of men to the campaign effort; the fact that they were unable to do anything about what was going on as they were on a ship is heart-wrenching. The casualties sustained were horrific and it is through these memorials that our recognition of the sacrifices and sympathy with the lives that were irrevocably changed can be demonstrated. It is vitally important that we remember those that lost their lives in a fitting and sombre fashion."Equally, it is testament to the resolve of the nation and the military at the time, as it is now, to continue to fight those that oppose democracy. The determination gleaned from the setback at Bluff Cove stood the remainder of the Task Force in very good stead as they resumed the push on Stanley."
Lieutenant Colonel Guy Levene, currently serving in the Falklands, also laid a wreath at the service. He said:"I’m privileged to be able to demonstrate my respect and recognition for what these very brave men achieved in these islands. The incident at Bluff Cove was horrendous for those involved and we must remember also remember their continued suffering even today.
Military personnel pay their respects at the Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram Memorial services
[Picture: Cpl Jon Ryder]
"The main commemorative period starts next week, and we have number of important visitors coming to pay their respects.
"Indeed, on Horseguards in London a large parade with the veterans of the conflict is taking place in synchronisation with a large event at San Carlos next Sunday week.
"However, it is vitally important that all the various anniversaries are remembered correctly on the day that they occurred. It is the least that we can do to remember those that gave their lives.”As well as veterans of the conflict, the event was attended by His Excellency, Governor Alan Huckle. They were joined in paying their respects by a large contingent of serving military personnel and civilians.
Defence Internet News - Falklands 25
Twenty five years ago tonight, my battalion paid the price
Third Battalion The Parachute Regiment 11th / 12th June
Killed in Action.
Sgt Ian McKay
Cpl Stevie Hope
Cpl Kieth McCarthy
Clp Stewart McLaughlin
Clp Scotty Wilson RE attached
L/Cpl Pete Higgs
L/Cpl Chris Lovett
L/Cpl James(Doc) Murdock
L/Cpl Dave Scott
Pte Gerald Bull
Pte Jason Burt
Pte John Crow
Pte Mark Dodsworth
Pte Anthony Greenwood
Pte Neil Grose
Pte Pete He****er
Pte Tim Jenkins
Pte Stewart Laing
Pte Ian Scrivens
Pte Philip West
Pte Richard Absolon
Pte Craig Jones
Cfn Alex Shaw REME attached
Wounded in Action
Lt A Bickerdike
Cfn Sinclair REME attached
25 YEARS TONIGHT SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY
My thoughts are with you Jimmy and those who didn't return - Brave Men all.
Traces of conflict
The landscape of the Falkland Islands is peppered with reminders of the 1982 conflict with Argentina. The detritus left behind includes crashed aircraft, rusting field kitchens and thousands of land mines, but there are also many moving memorials to the dead.
An estimated 20,000 mines remain. Two officers were injured after the war but no one has been killed by mines since 1982. The UK is obliged under the Ottowa Convention to clear the mines by 2009, but locals have called for the money to be spent on developing countries.
On 21 May 1982 Argentine pilot Major Carlos Tomba’s Pucara was shot down by a British Sea Harrier flown by Nigel ’Sharkey’ Ward of 801 Squadron. Major Tomba ejected from the aircraft at about 40ft above the ground, and survived.
Lt Colonel Herbert “H” Jones, of the Parachute Regiment, was killed on 28 May in fighting around Darwin and Goose Green. A memorial marks where he fell, although he was buried in San Carlos cemetery. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery.
The British cemetery at San Carlos, the site of the British landings on the west of East Falkland, has just 14 headstones. Most of the 255 who died remained with their sunken ships or were returned to the UK.
Helicopters provided vital transport throughout the Falklands campaign, and their landing pads can still be found on the islands’ grassy slopes.
The Argentine cemetery near Darwin, East Falkland, has 234 graves, but more than half of those buried there are unidentified conscripts. Many crosses bear the simple message “Soldado Argentino. Solo conocido por dios” – Argentine soldier, known only to God.
Sheep sheds on the government-run farm at Goose Green were used to house Argentine prisoners after their surrender. Locals have repeatedly tried to paint over the signs but the letters P.O.W continue to shine through.
Near Goose Green lies 32-year-old Lt Nick Taylor, who died on 4 May 1982. His gravestone reads: “In proud memory of a dearly loved husband, son and brother, shot down while flying for the country he loved.” Farm workers from the settlement tend the grave.
Pieces of a Harrier jet, hit on 27 May, lie where they fell. British pilot Squadron Leader Bob Iveson ejected before it impacted and survived. He was picked up by helicopter three days later, having evaded capture.
A rusting Argentine marine field kitchen is still perched in a sheltered spot on Mount Tumbledown. In the cave behind it, old blankets lie crumpled in a heap.
On 13/14 June 1982 British troops mounted their final assault on heavily-defended high ground around Stanley. The seizure of Mount Tumbledown by the Scots Guards saw the loss of nine from the battalion.
Photos by Phil Coomes with words by Paula Dear
The argentine enigineers only placed 2400 mines, 1500 antipersonel and 900 antitank, some were already removed by the british so...hardly 20000 explosives in the islands.An estimated 20,000 mines remain. Two officers were injured after the war but no one has been killed by mines since 1982