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£15k fundraising drive for memorial to HMS Sheffield in time for 40th anniversary of her loss

13 January 2022
Veterans of HMS Sheffield are looking to raise £15,000 in just a couple of months – in time to install a memorial on the 40th anniversary of the loss of the destroyer.

Four decades after the Shiny Sheff was fatally hit by an Argentine missile, the men who served in three Royal Navy ships to bear the steel city’s names intend to create a focal point in the UK to meet and pay their respects.

The HMS Sheffield Association – formed nearly 50 years ago to represent sailors of the WW2 cruiser, then the Type 42 and most recently the Type 22 frigate, built to replace the Falklands loss – has already had a scale model of the monument designed.

Artist Peter Naylor has designed a stainless-steel bow of a warship, suitably engraved and set in a cast stainless steel dark, rough sea.

If the association hits its target in time, Mr Noble’s maquette will be turned into a full-sized monument to anyone who served in the three ships, which will be erected at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

A cross and memorial cairn already stand to the Shiny Sheff in the Falklands, rising above Sea Lion Island – the closest land to the spot where the destroyer was hit. It’s remote, even by Falklands standards, but is regularly maintained by RN personnel based in the South Atlantic.

A monument in the UK would serve as a focal point for reunions, acts of thanksgiving and a chance to respect all those who’ve served in three generations of Sheffields to date (and a fourth when the Type 26 frigate joins the fleet in the next decade).

Members hope the bow monument will be dedicated on May 4, 40 years to the day that an Exocet missile fired by an Argentine Super Etendard jet struck the destroyer when she was part of a defensive screen around the ships of the task force sent to liberate the Falklands.

The blast and subsequent fires killed 20 men and fatally damaged the ship. She was abandoned after a five-hour effort by firefighters and damage control teams and eventually sank six days later.

Penny Salt, the widow of Captain Sam Salt, Sheffield’s Commanding Officer on the fateful day, has been asked to unveil the monument at the National Memorial Arboretum, anointing it with sea water brought from the South Atlantic.

Any funds left over after the memorial has been installed will be divided equally between the arboretum and The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Donations can be made at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hmssheffieldnationalarboretummemorial

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