Falklands 40: Headlines from The News on May 4, 1982

This is what was making the headlines in The News on May 4 40 years ago, as the Falklands conflict continued to escalate.

Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 4:55 am

Reprieved, Bulwark to go to the Falklands

Portsmouth Dockyard is standing by to provide 500 men to work around the clock to bring the old aircraft carrier, HMS Bulwark, back into service.

The idea is to sail the 28-year-old carrier to the Falklands to be used as a mobile barracks and airfield for the garrison which will protect the islands when the Argentinian forces have left.

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The News on May 4, 1982

The call-up of the QE2 to take 3,000 men of 5 Infantry Brigade indicates the likely size of the British garrison.

Bulwark could accommodate 2,000 troops and provide essential services including, for example, fresh water.

As a base for Sea Harriers and helicopters, Bulwark could also supply maintenance and repair facilities, releasing HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes for operational work.

A team of engineering experts which recently surveyed Bulwark, until now due for the breaker’s yard, estimated that it would take six months to make her fit for sea.

Officers and crew line the flight deck of the Royal Navy Centaur-class light fleet aircraft carrier HMS Bulwark as she is waved off by family and holidaymakers on the quayside for patrol in the Mediterranean on 7 July 1956. Preparations were made for her to join the Falklands effort but eventually it was discovered that she was not in good enough condition Picture: George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

But, by using 500 men on a round-the-clock shift basis, it is now thought the work can be completed in 16 weeks.

Bulwark, 27,705-tons, paid off at the end of March last year. She was de-stored and has remained in the Naval Base awaiting her last voyage.

Affectively known as the Rusty B, she was brought out of semi-retirement in 1979.

If the Bulwark project goes ahead it must delay the rundown of the Dockyard, which is due to be completed by April, 1984.

(Note: a later ship survey found that Bulwark was not in a fit condition to go to the Falklands and she was scrapped two years later)

123 survive sinking of Argentinian ship

Argentina said today that only 123 of the 1,042 crew were picked up from the cruiser General Belgrano, sunk by a Royal Navy submarine on Sunday evening.

According to claims from Buenos Aires, the survivors were rescued 36 miles outside the blockade zone thrown up around the Falklands. Seven hundred of the crew were said to have taken to life-rafts.

A large proportion of the 1,042 crew of the General Belgrano would have been aged 20 or below, defence experts said today. Some could have been 17.

Corned beef is removed

Portsea Island Co-operative stores have been instructed to clear their shelves of Argentine corned beef.

A furious shopper discovered tins of the corned beef on sale in a Southsea branch at the week-end.

Now, after a meeting, Portsea Island Co-operative Society chiefs have decided to remove all remaining tins from their shelves.

Although the society has received complaints from shoppers, the reason for the decision was ‘the intensification of hostilities over the week-end’ in the Falklands, said a spokesman.

He pointed out that the corned beef was bought and delivered to stores long before the crisis.

Project to aid disabled is launched

A £16,000 project to provide accommodation for the disabled has been launched at Portsmouth Y.M.C.A.

The scheme - a joint effort by the Y.M.C.A. and the 2nd Portsmouth Rangers - aims to provide four ground floor bedrooms, special toilets and bathrooms, access ramps, and a wider entrance to the Y.M.C.A.

Organisers expect the facilities to be used by disabled students and homeless young people, and disabled youngsters on holiday.

The bedrooms have direct access to the centre’s garden, and the building is close to the seafront and parts of Old Portsmouth.