Royal Navy sailors who survived sinking of HMS Sheffield pay tribute to fallen comrades in online lockdown services

SURVIVORS of a warship sunk during the Falklands War have rallied to honour their fallen shipmates by staging virtual memorial events.

By Tom Cotterill
Monday, 4th May 2020, 5:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 12:37 pm

Twenty people died and 26 were injured when an Exocet missile struck HMS Sheffield in 1982.

It is a tragedy that has remained etched in the memories of all those who served on the Type 42 destroyer.

Every year, without fail, Sheffield’s remaining ship’s company unites with other naval veterans to honour their fallen comrades on the first weekend of May and on the anniversary of the attack, on May 4.

HMS Sheffield ablaze after being hit by an Argentine Exocet missile during the Falklands War

And despite the lockdown measures in place, this year was no different, with tributes broadcast online to hundreds of sailors nationwide instead.

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Retired Petty Officer Guy ‘Tug’ Wilson, who served in Sheffield, live-streamed a tribute today from outside his home in Kingsland Close, Paulsgrove, where a roll of honour was read.

And on Sunday a traditional ceremony was held at the Falklands memorial stone in Old Portsmouth.

HMS Sheffield burns shortly after being hit by an Argentine Exocet missile, on 4/5/1982, whilst on radar picket duties off the coast of the Falkland Islands.

Armed with just his phone, Bishop Paul Miles-Knight, chaplain of the Type 42 Association, paid tribute to the men of Sheffield in a live broadcast over Facebook.

By coincidence Antony Glasbey, son of the late Dave Glasbey who served in Sheffield as a 19-year-old lad, was at the memorial to lay a wreath at the time and joined the service.

Paul, who lives in Southsea, added: ‘I was determined to do something. We couldn’t just say “oh dear” and shrug our shoulders.

‘These men have been through absolute hell. Yet they still turn out and honour their fallen comrades every year – I didn’t want to let them down. I hold them in absolute awe. They are heroes.’

Ex Royal Navy Guy Wilson from Paulsgrove, held a live stream of a service to commemorate the anniversary of the sinking of HMS Sheffield, on Monday, May 4, outside his home in Paulsgrove. Picture: Sarah Standing (040520-1311)

HMS Sheffield was attacked on May 4, 1982, with the missile hitting close to the warship’s galley.

The crew spent five hours trying to battle the flames but were eventually given the order to abandon ship.

Sheffield did not sink until being towed away from the Falklands almost a week later.

It was the first British ship to be lost in enemy action since the Second World War and the first of four British ships to be sunk by the Argentine air force in the Falklands conflict.

Ex Royal Navy Petty Officer Guy "Tug" Wilson from Paulsgrove, held a live stream of a service to commemorate the anniversary of the sinking of HMS Sheffield, on Monday, May 4, outside his home in Paulsgrove. Picture: Sarah Standing (040520-8242)

Bob Mullen, chairman of the Type 42 Association, survived the attack and said it would be something he would never forget.

Speaking of Sunday’s service, the 61-year-old, of Malta Road, North End, added: ‘It brought it all back home. This is about paying our respects for all the lads who can’t be here.

‘These guys gave their lives and they will never be forgotten.’

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Ex Royal Navy Petty Officer Guy "Tug" Wilson from Paulsgrove, held a live stream of a service to commemorate the anniversary of the sinking of HMS Sheffield, on Monday, May 4, outside his home in Paulsgrove. Picture: Sarah Standing (040520-1303)

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