Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Final plea for cash to restore Falklands landing craft for new museum

Final plea for cash to restore Falklands landing craft for new museum
8 November 2017
Have you got a bit of money to spare to help restore a veteran landing craft which helped Royal Marines liberate the Falklands 35 years ago?

Museum bosses are just £1,500 short of their public fundraising target to restore Foxtrot 7, possibly the last landing craft left from the 1982 conflict and now earmarked to be a centrepiece exhibit of the new Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth.

The boat has been on display at the museum’s current home in Eastney since 1986, but needs first moving, then conserving to take her place in the boathouse in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard which will be the home of the Corps’ historical collections from 2020.

Museum bosses reckon it’ll cost £25,000 to transfer and fix-up F7; they’re stumping up £15k, with crowdfunding being used to plug the gap.

Foxtrot 7 wasn’t just used to carry men and material ashore from HMS Fearless during the San Carlos landings, she also played a key role in evacuating sailors from frigate HMS Antelope when she was bombed.

Coxswain Corporapl Alan White earned a commendation for his bravery in getting 41 men safely off the crippled Type 21 before she exploded.

F7 is one of two million objects museum bosses hope to display as part of the biggest shake-up of the RM and National RN Museums’ collections in decades.

Hand-in-hand with giving those artefacts a public airing comes telling the stories behind them.

Researchers have been gathering accounts from veterans up and down the land, such as the memories of former Chief Petty Officer Robert Shadbolt, in charge of maintaining Antelope’s Lynx, who vividly remembers the actions of landing craft crews after the order to abandon ship was given.

“It was pitch-dark and very cold as the crew jumped overboard,” he said. “The landing craft, including F7, arrived almost immediately. The Royal Marines operated a convoy system, shuttling back and forth between HMS Antelope and the rescue ships, including HMS Fearless, which is the ship the landing craft brought me to.

“I can’t praise the work of F7 and the other landing craft enough. The Royal Marines battled through flames and smoke and risked their lives to come up close to the ships to rescue us, bringing the landing crafts into highly dangerous areas. They were truly fearless.”

If you want to help the museum hit its £10k target, donate via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nmrn-f7

And although the RM Museum and its collections are moving, the famous yomper statue will remain in Eastney by popular demand.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.