Falklands 40: Headlines from The News on June 11, 1982 as stories emerge of HMS Coventry', HMS Ardent and HMS Antelope gallantry

Here’s what was reported in The News 40 years ago during the Falklands War.

By Mollie Delahay
Saturday, 11th June 2022, 4:55 am

The pride and the sorrow

The survivors of the battle for the Falklands today told their tales of heroism and sorrow.

Officers and men described how HMS Coventry fought gallantly then sank just 15 minutes after being hit; how the captain of HMS Ardent was in tears as he gave the order to abandon ship; and how HMS Antelope gave a defiant "V" sign as she sank.

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HMS Coventry - pictured 10 minutes after being struck by Argentine forces - which was sunk during the Falklands Conflict

The stories were told as the QE2 returned to a heroes' welcome at Southampton with 700 survivors from the three ships.

As the emotional scenes of welcome were played out, Capt. David Hart-Dyke, RN, from Petersfield, relived the last moments of his ship, HMS Coventry.

Capt. Hart-Dyke, still bearing scars and a scorched face, said that because of Coventry's success against the enemy she had become a marked target.

In an air attack, Argentine planes hit the ship with three bombs. ‘Within minutes the ship was rolling right over about 50 or 60 degrees,’ he said.

By the time he had got up to the bridge from the operations centre deep in the ship, he could hardly stand up.

‘It was clearly about to roll over, but the scene of calm and discipline was remarkable,’ he said.

The men took to inflatable liferafts as help came from other ships in the task force.

His own liferaft was in danger of being trapped underneath the capsizing ship. ‘The liferaft got punctured on a part of the ship's structure and it sank underneath us,’ he said.

Tell more on losses, say M.P.s

Four Portsmouth area MPs today expressed grave concern about the distress caused to service families by the Defence Ministry's present practice of announcing Falklands losses.

This concern is also to be considered by the all-party Select Committee on Defence which is to probe the handling of news coverage in the Falklands, writes Roy Swinscoe, The News Lobby Correspondent.

Mr Peter Griffiths (Portsmouth North) is urging the Defence Secretary (Mr. John Nott) to give a better guide to the numbers of casualties without revealing the actual casualty list in the early stages.

‘This could perhaps be done by giving a percentage loss,’ he suggests.

Dockyard: No reprieve

Tory MPs fear that the closure of the Chatham Dockyard and the rundown at Portsmouth will still go ahead, despite the demands made by the Falkland Island action, writes Roy Swinscoe, The News Lobby Parliamentary Correspondent.

These fears were being expressed today as it became known that the delayed Defence White Paper will be published next month, before Parliament goes into the long recess.

Publication of the defence review was shelved because of the Falkland crisis and the dispatch of the task force.

But Defence Secretary John Nott and his ministerial team are warning M.P.s privately that that original proposal will only be amended in modified fashion.

2,000-year-old ritual at Eastney

A 2,000-year-old Christian ritual will be performed off Eastney's shores this Sunday.

Several young Christians will wade out to sea where they will be publicly baptised - as the early Christians were on the banks of the River Jordan.

The teenagers taking part in the ceremony are members of the Langstone Christian Fellowship.

As they wait for the tide to rise by the Hayling Ferry Pontoon at Eastney, they will enjoy a picnic tea together.

The Langstone Christian Fellowship has grown steadily during the past nine years.

Meetings are held in members' homes during the week and in premises hired from Portsmouth City Council on Sundays.