Pope makes Falklands plea
After weeks of speculation and intense religious shuttle diplomacy Pope John Paul II arrived at Gatwick this morning and immediately made a plea for peace in the South Atlantic.
After condemning the tragic loss of life in the Falkland Islands war the first ever Pontiff to set foot on British soil said: ‘I make a heartfelt appeal for a peaceful settlement of the dispute.’
In faltering English he added: ‘My visit is taking place at a time of tension and anxiety; at a time when the pressures of the world have been focused on the delicate situation in the South Atlantic.
‘During the past weeks there have been attempts at settling the dispute through diplomatic negotiations, but despite the sincere efforts of many the situation has developed into one of harmful confrontation.’
And in an emotional final plea he said: ‘At this moment in history we stand in urgent need of reconciliation between nations and peoples of different races and cultures.’
At exactly 8am the Pope’s Boeing 727 touched down in West Sussex for the first visit to this country by a reigning Pope.
Before the assembled ranks of the world’s Press and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain, the 62-year-old Pope stepped into the bright sunlight and so began his first official pastoral tour of a nation at war.
Looking fit and happy he acknowledged the cheers of the 2,500 schoolchildren before falling to his knees and kissing the tarmac and blessing the ground on which he was kneeling.
Aircraft attack troops
Argentinian aircraft have attacked British forces in the San Carlos area of East Falkland. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Defence today.
The attack came as 3,000 Royal Marines and Paratroops pushed out from the San Carlos beachhead in a two-pronged drive to the south and east.
The major offensive began at dawn yesterday when helicopters began ferrying out assault troops after a six-day build-up of supplies and equipment.
Defence Ministry officials have so far received no reports on the action.
That’s my Dad… and that’s my baby
For some men the emotional homecoming gave them their first glimpses of recently born children. For Chief Petty Officer Graham Baker, of Brewster Close, Cowplain, the occasion proved just too much.
Clutching his five-month-old son James to his chest he fought back tears of joy and said: ‘He’s absolutely beautiful. I’ve only seen photographs of hum until now. This is a wonderful moment.’
C.P.O Baker (29) had only minutes earlier swept his wife Marion (26) off her feet as she ran across the tarmac to greet him. ‘I never thought today could come. It’s just such a relief to have him here,’ she said.
Mary Rose heave-ho
It was a case of the big heave-ho when Mary Rose Trust staff moved six cannon retrieved from the Tudor Warship into another temporary home today.
The treasures, some restored and others still to be repaired, include the magnificent iron and bronze cannon that features in most Mary Rose literature.
The move follows a lease expiry on the Central Electricity Generating Board site in Old Portsmouth. With its development looming, site owners C.E.G.B. must clear the valuable acres, so the cannon have had to get rolling.