Armed Forces mark 40th anniversary of Liberation of the Falkland Islands

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The Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends the Falklands 40th Anniversary Memorial a the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

The UK Armed Forces have paid tribute to veterans of the Falklands Conflict at a commemoration at the National Memorial Arboretum.

The Prime Minister and defence ministers joined veterans of the conflict to say thank you for restoring the freedom of the communities of the British Overseas Territory and to remember all those who fell.

Hosted by The Royal British Legion, service personnel paid tribute to former colleagues in readings during the ceremony, before laying wreaths on behalf of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.

Music was provided by The Band of the Welsh Guards and a flypast made up of helicopters from across the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and the Royal Air Force, all with special links to the conflict, concluded the national event. 

In Stanley, East Falkland, events were held by the Falkland Islands Government to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the conflict, during which three islanders also lost their lives.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin, who represented HM Government at commemorations in the Falkland Islands, said:

“Today marks 40 years since the liberation of the Falkland Islands and we remember all those who lost their lives in the conflict, ensuring the freedoms of the Island communities could be restored.

“I am honoured to be visiting the people of the Falkland Islands, meeting Armed Forces personnel and veterans, and taking part in these important commemorative events.”

Throughout the service of commemoration in Staffordshire a live link was established to connect it to events in the Falkland Islands.

Armed Forces personnel based at the Mount Pleasant Complex attended a service at Christ Church Cathedral to remember all those who fell in the conflict, before laying wreaths at the Liberation Monument on the island.

Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said:

“On the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands, the Armed Forces remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in honouring the freedoms of the islanders.

“The UK Armed Forces remain inspired by the determination and courage demonstrated by their predecessors who fought in the conflict and continue these qualities in all that they do today.”

Argentina invaded the Falklands on 2 April and three days later Royal Navy ships begun to set sail to defend them. A Task Force made up of 127 ships made the 8,000-mile journey, with over 4,000 British personnel landing on the islands. 

After 74 days of fighting and 255 British service personnel losing their lives, the conflict came to an end. 

Commander of British Land Forces throughout the 1982 conflict, Major General Jeremy Moore, sent the first message back to London which famously stated:

“The Falkland Islands are once more under the government desired by their inhabitants. God Save The Queen.”

Pictures by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

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