Hants families await news of casualties.
The devastating air attack on the two landing ships, Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram, looks likely to delay the final assault on Port Stanley, the Falklands capital, informed Whitehall sources said today.
More than 40 hours after the bombing and cannon raid, the Ministry of Defence in London still had no information on the number of casualties on board the two vessels.
But these are now believed to be substantial, particularly among the 300 men who were on board Sir Galahad.
The Ministry's problem is that two companies from one Army unit were on board the landing ship with small groups from other supporting services.
This, coupled with the number of missing, has complicated roll calls and made it difficult to complete a full list of casualties. Next-of-kin were being informed today.
A large amount of equipment is understood to have been lost in the attack, which took place off Bluff Cove, just 15 miles from Stanley.
Both landing ships are believed to be still afloat, but it was understood today that both have been abandoned.
Damage was said to be ‘grievous’ from the fierce fires that raged after the surprise air attack.
An MoD spokesman said that early reports indicated a number of killed and injured, but stressed it might be some considerable time before a final list of casualties could be completed.
Families of casualties from the attacks on the Marchwood-based Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram are waiting anxiously for news.
‘Captain Death’ to head home
Chichester was expected to lose its infamous guest, Lt-Cmdr Alfredo Astiz, today.
The Foreign Office announced that Astiz, the captured commandant of the Argentine garrison on South Georgia, would be ‘repatriated as soon as possible.’
Astiz has been imprisoned in The Keep, at the Royal Military Police training centre, Chichester, since Saturday, having been brought to Britain at the request of the French and Swedish governments.
They want to question Astiz about the disappearance of an 18-year-old Swedish girl and two French nuns in Argentina, where he was alleged to have led a kidnap and torture squad.
Queen Mum to greet QE2
The homecoming liner, Queen Elizabeth 2, will have a Royal welcome when she reaches the Needles tomorrow morning.
For the Queen Mother, aboard the Royal Yacht, Britannia, will be alongside to wave the heroes home.
The Royal Yacht is currently on duty off the Kent coast, where the Queen Mother is carrying out engagements in her role as Warden of the Cinque Ports.
But tonight, Britannia will set a course that should bring her alongside the Queen Elizabeth 2 off the Needles tomorrow.
The Queen Mother will be on deck to greet the liner's 700 crew and the 700 survivors of the sunken warships, HMS Coventry, Ardent, and Antelope.
Adventure ahead for lucky children
A task force of dads from a Paulsgrove school has installed adventure playground equipment, of which Portsmouth's leisure services would be proud.
The fathers, led by Mr Robin Hollis, spent the week-end constructing the ‘Golden Gate’ and ‘Mini Matterhorn’ at Paulsgrove East first school.
At the opening ceremony yesterday the Physical Education Adviser for Portsmouth and South-East Hampshire (Mr Bill Parkinson) said: ‘It's the kind of equipment you would expect to find on trails in a forest in Scandinavia or Germany. Certainly no other school in the area has anything like it, and I'm certain that the leisure services would be pleased to own it.’