Dockyard is busy to honour Falklands fallen

DISPLAY The Royal Marines Cadets Corps field gun display team. (121588-16)
DISPLAY The Royal Marines Cadets Corps field gun display team. (121588-16)
Picture: Shutterstock

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SCORES of families turned out at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in remembrance of those who bravely fought during the Falklands War.

As part of a series of events marking the 30th anniversary of the conflict, visitors got to explore two Royal Navy destroyers on Saturday.

PERFORMANCE The Band of HM Royal Marines 'Collingwood with HMS Dragon behind (121588-5)

PERFORMANCE The Band of HM Royal Marines 'Collingwood with HMS Dragon behind (121588-5)

Staff serving on board HMS York and HMS Dragon, the fourth of the Navy’s six £1bn Type 45 destroyers, showed people around and displayed some of the ships’ weaponry.

Visitors joined with representatives from Portsmouth City Council and the Navy as both parties unveiled a plaque at the dockyard to commemorate the signing of the Armed Forces Community Covenant.

As part of the covenant, which council leader Gerald-Vernon Jackson signed in March, the council has pledged to do more to look after veterans, servicemen and women and their families.

Crowds undeterred by the gloomy weather were also treated to performances by The Band of HM Royal Marines Collingwood near HMS Victory.

Robin Davison, 45, travelled from London so he could mark the occasion with his children Matilda, five, and Barnaby, 10.

Mr Davison said: ‘I was only young when the Falklands happened but I still knew what was going on and how serious it was.

‘The children were keen to come because we found out the navy was opening up two of its ships to the public.

‘It’s not every day you get to walk around two fine destroyers.

‘It was brilliant.’

Veterans associations were also in attendance on Saturday and gave people an insight into what life was like on the front line during the Falklands conflict.

Andrew Weston, who served as a marine engineer on board HMS Bristol during the Falklands War, said it was important that people still remembered those who lost their lives.

‘This month is all about remembrance, it is not a celebratory occasion,’ he said.

‘Some 255 servicemen and five civilians died during the war so it’s important that we continue to give them the recognition they deserve.’