As the nation marks 40 years since the end of the Falklands War, Kent County Council’s Chair has paid tribute to Kent’s military personnel who fought in the brief but bitter conflict.
Ceremonies are taking place across the country throughout this week to remember the events of four decades ago which culminated in Argentine forces surrendering to British troops as they re-took the Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic.
Portsmouth and Southampton, where rapidly convened Task Force ships were dispatched to reclaim the islands, were among those commemorating the 40th anniversary of the end of hostilities on Tuesday (21 June), including with church services and a fly-past by a Chinook helicopter from RAF Odiham.
Veterans also gathered at Maidstone’s Invicta Barracks to honour those who died in the campaign.
On Monday (20 June), Lesley Game will also remember Falkland Veterans at a flag-raising ceremony at County Hall to mark the start of Armed Forces Week 2022.
Supported by KCC’s Armed Forces Champion, Oliver Richardson, Councillor Game will also host a Reserves Day reception next Tuesday (21 June) at Invicta House in Maidstone. Kent Reservists and Veterans are welcome to come along in uniform.
Former Welsh Guardsman Mr Richardson served from 1982 to 1993, including in the Falklands, as well as Northern Ireland and the Gulf War.
Kent County Council Chair Lesley Game, who is also Chair of the Kent & Medway Civilian-Military Partnership Board, said: “The Falklands conflict claimed several hundred lives and left many of our brave service personnel with injuries, both physical and mental, which they continue to endure to this day.
“Today we remember their huge personal sacrifice, and that of their loved ones. I also recognise the significant toll war can take on every aspect of life and am very aware that all too often the scars of military conflict are not visible.
“As a strong supporter of mental health awareness, I urge any serving personnel, Veterans and their families needing help to contact one of the various support networks in Kent.”
For organisations who offer a wide range of practical assistance to the military community in our county visit: www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/supporting-armed-forces/support-for-armed-forces-families
Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands on 2 April 1982 claiming it had inherited the islands from Spain in the 1800s and wanted to regain sovereignty of them after 150 years of UK rule.
The resulting conflict lasted just 74 days, but 655 Argentine and 255 British servicemen lost their lives, as did three Falkland Islanders.
Medway’s renown Historic Dockyard at Chatham has been remembering the Falklands War through a photography exhibition.
‘Everything Changed’ showcases 40 images of occupied Port Stanley taken by photographer and journalist Graham Bound. You can read more about the exhibition here: thedockyard.co.uk/whats-on/falklands-40-everything-changed
Armed Forces charity Royal British Legion Industries also staged the Falklands Forty Challenge in May and runs its Annual Cycle Ride fundraiser from Aylesford to Ypres in July. If you would like to get involved visit: rbli.co.uk/fundraising-upcoming-events
You can also read more about the Falklands War on the National Army Museum website here: www.nam.ac.uk/explore/british-army-and-falklands-war