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Double celebration of Plymouth’s proud ties with the Falklands on the Hoe

22 June 2021
In weather worthy of the islands they were honouring – wind, cold, rain – sailors from HMS Raleigh joined Falklands veterans on Plymouth Hoe for a double commemoration.

The islands’ flag is flying throughout Armed Forces Week, recognition of the sailors, Royal Marines and soldiers who sailed from the city 39 years ago to liberate the South Atlantic archipelago.

And at the same time, a memorial bench to the men and women of 1982 was formally dedicated in the adjacent Belvidere memorial gardens, dedicated on behalf of the Falklands veterans’ group SAMA 82 to the people of Plymouth.

Trainees from across the water at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint along with their Commanding Officer Captain Suzi Nielson joined representatives of the South Atlantic Medal Association 1982, plus Royal Navy and Royal Marines veterans who served on Devonport-based ships and with 3 Commando Brigade for the combined ceremonies.

The Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Terri Beer and commanding officers of some of the Units that took part in the War were also in attendance, as well as Richard Hyslop, the Falkland Islands Government representative to the UK and Europe.

 
It is a real pleasure to be here, representing the Falklands Islands Government and its people, and it is an honour to be able to present the Lord Mayor of Plymouth with this Falklands Island Flag.

The Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Terri Beer

“It is a real pleasure to be here, representing the Falklands Islands Government and its people, and it is an honour to be able to present the Lord Mayor of Plymouth with this Falklands Island Flag.

“There are already very strong links between Plymouth and the Islands and today this handover of the flag to the City is the next step in that relationship.
“39 years ago, Falkland Islanders celebrated their liberation from Argentina occupation, but that liberation came at a price, with 255 members of the UK Armed Forces and three Islanders losing their lives. Amongst those killed were many who had associations with Plymouth.

“It is fitting that as we approach the 40th anniversary of the war, that a flag will now fly here in Plymouth a part of the UK that contributed so much to the liberation and  a symbol of longstanding ties between our communities.”

The nearby memorial bench was inspired by plaques at the SAMA82 memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The plaques on the bench were chosen as they are not only keeping the memory of the conflict alive but provide an overview of key moments during the short, but intense war and the distance the task force had to travel to liberate the islands. 


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