TWO Royal Navy warships are set to open to the public as part of a weekend of events to mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War.
Thousands of people are expected to visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the naval base on May 5 and 6 for a rare look around the new £1bn Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon and the Type 42 destroyer HMS York.
The ships will be open from 10am to 3.30pm both days.
The Historic Dockyard will host a number of attractions, including living history group Forces 80 who will be wearing naval and Argentinian uniforms while they display kit and deactivated weapons from the war.
The Band of HM Royal Marines from HMS Collingwood in Fareham are due to perform in Victory Arena near HMS Victory at 11am and 3pm both days.
Falklands veteran Nicci Pugh, who served on the hospital ship Uganda, will be giving talks at the event.
‘It’s very important that we commemorate what happened 30 years ago in the Falklands,’ said Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, the former First Sea Lord who is now chairman of the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Sir Jonathon, who served as Flag Lieutenant to Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse, during the 1982 conflict, added: ‘Once again it’s great to see Portsmouth Historic Dockyard opening its doors with today’s modern, powerful navy.’
The ‘Remember The Falklands’ event will commemorate the navy’s involvement in the war, which saw 18,000 naval staff sail in a Task Force of more than 100 ships.
Of the 258 British lives lost in the 74-day conflict, 130 were from the navy.
At 11am on Sunday, May 6, a service of remembrance will be held at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral in Old Portsmouth. This will be followed by a veterans’ parade to the Falklands memorial plaque near Square Tower, Broad Street, Old Portsmouth.