Portsmouth hailed the best city in the UK to mark military events after thousands join Falklands 40 commemorations

PORTSMOUTH has shown, emphatically, why it is the very best city in the UK when it comes to honouring Britain's military heroes as it staged the nation’s biggest military spectacle to mark the anniversary of the Falklands War.

By Tom Cotterill
Monday, 20th June 2022, 4:55 am

That’s the view of civic bosses and military personnel after 800 veterans marched through Old Portsmouth in a huge parade watched by hundreds of people.

The sheer volume of turnout left city leaders stunned, while veterans and current-serving personnel were left emotional at the rousing support from the crowds.

Read More

Read More
Former Royal Marines Commandos ride together once again as biker group arrive fo...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Pictured is: Crowds gather to witness the parade Picture: Keith Woodland (190621-130)

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said about £100,000 had gone into funding the Falklands event and the upcoming Armed Forces Day event later this month.

He added: ‘Yet again Portsmouth has stepped in to remember a major military occasion when the government hasn’t, delivering the biggest parade anywhere in the country of veterans.

‘In Portsmouth, we take these sorts of events really seriously. We’re a military city, we’re the home of the Royal Navy and therefore we have a particular responsibility that other places don’t have - and we take that responsibility hugely seriously.’

He added he was astounded by the number of veterans who joined the parade and added: ‘It was actually slightly worrying because we weren’t sure if there would be enough space for everybody. But it all worked out fine.’

Pictured is: Cadets march by Picture: Keith Woodland (190621-401)

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP, said the day demonstrated ‘yet again, Portsmouth’s support for our armed forces’ while Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt added it had been ‘really moving’ to see the swell of support.

It was a sentiment shared by military personnel, who were also full of praise for the city.

Retired Royal Engineer Gary Weaving, founder of Eastney-based charity Forgotten Veterans UK, said: ‘It’s been an astronomical turnout and clearly shows how this city feels about Falklands veterans.

Pictured is: Rear Admiral Jude Terry chats with the Royal Marines Picture: Keith Woodland (190621-145)

‘Yes, it opens up wounds for some but an event like this also helps to heal the heart as well. It’s just been so lovely to see the people of Portsmouth come together once again to show they care about their armed forces.’

Commodore John Voyce, the new commander of Portsmouth Naval Base, was beaming with pride at the support and added: ‘It means a lot to those that served to be recognised… and here we have a day when service during 1982 and service outside of that are recognised and applauded. This all means so, so much.’

And in a new move, Portsmouth also affirmed its commitment to the Falklands’ capital of Stanley, with city leaders and island officials signing a twinning agreement.

It’s hoped the new deal will see Portsmouth working more closely with the Falklands to provide continued economic support to the islands.

Falklands

Roger Spink, a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, travelled 8,000 miles from Stanley to mark the moment.

He said islanders would never forget the sacrifices made by the 255 British military personnel who gave their lives to free the Falklands from the Argentines in 1982.

‘These people have been taken to the hearts of everyone in the Falklands,’ he added. ‘Everybody is so grateful for the fact that they restored our right to self-determination.’

He added he hoped the new twinning deal would see the two communities ‘continue to grow closer’.

Pictured is: Dean of Portsmouth Cathedral, Dr Anthony Cane Picture: Keith Woodland (190621-441)
Pictured is: Falkland Veterans march by Picture: Keith Woodland (190621-371)
Pictured is: During the two minute silence Picture: Keith Woodland (190621-183)
Hundreds of veterans packed into Broad Street, Old Portsmouth, to join Portsmouth service commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War
Pictured is: Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Canon Dr Hugh Mason announces the twinning agreement between Portsmouth and the Falklands Islands Picture: Keith Woodland (190621-298)
Pictured is: Standards lead the veterans Picture: Keith Woodland (190621-99)
The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines pictured leading the parade in Broad Street, Old Portsmouth, to mark the 40th anniversary event commemorating the Falklands War
Hundreds of veterans packed into Broad Street, Old Portsmouth, to join Portsmouth service commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War
Pictured is: Penny Mourdant, Portsmouth North MP, pictured speaking to veterans and VIPs Picture: Keith Woodland (190621-163)
Hundreds of veterans packed into Broad Street, Old Portsmouth, to join Portsmouth service commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War