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Glamorgan crew dedicate new memorial to Falklands destroyer in Portsmouth

14 July 2023
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Forty-one years to the day the only ship to survive an Exocet missile strike returned home to Portsmouth, a new memorial was dedicated to HMS Glamorgan.

A plaque was unveiled and tree planted in the Royal Naval Association’s Memorial Garden, remembering the 14 members of her ship’s company lost in the Falklands.

The ship was struck by an Exocet – possibly the most feared weapon in Argentina’s arsenal, having already knocked out HMS Sheffield and the support ship Atlantic Conveyor – after bombarding enemy positions around Port Stanley on June 12 1982… just two days before the war ended.

The response of the crew during and after the attack ensured Glamorgan did not suffer their fate, but the missile still inflicted widespread damage; the hangar was smashed, the fully-fuelled and armed Wessex helicopter exploded and fires raged in the galley below. Thirteen men were killed, a 14th succumbed to his injuries a couple of months later.

All 14 are commemorated with a memorial window in Portsmouth Cathedral, a bench at the National Memorial Arboretum and a slab of Glamorgan granite near the spot in the Falklands from where the missile was launched.

To have the opportunity to have something in the naval base in the Royal Naval Association’s memorial garden, which already includes benches for two of the ships lost; HMS Coventry and HMS Sheffield, seemed extremely fitting.

Commander Alan Watt

Now there’s a fourth in Portsmouth Naval Base. The dedication was attended by many members of the ship’s company and family, wreaths were laid by Admiral Sir Ian Forbes who was operations officer on Glamorgan and Vice Admiral John McAnally on behalf of the RNA.

Remembrance Crosses were laid in memory of the 14 who lost their lives with one in memory of those who have died since the conflict.

“We felt that there was still one link missing in the chain and Portsmouth Dockyard was our home port,” Commander Alan Watt, Chairman of the HMS Glamorgan Falklands Association, said of the decision to dedicate a new memorial which is attached to a catalpa bignonioides nana tree.

“To have the opportunity to have something in the naval base in the Royal Naval Association’s memorial garden, which already includes benches for two of the ships lost; HMS Coventry and HMS Sheffield, seemed extremely fitting.”

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