Falklands 40: Veterans and Portsmouth North MP attend 'proud' event in the House of Lords to commemorate conflict

VETERANS of the Falklands War from Havant have been guests of honour at a House of Lords event, with Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt speaking on the importance of the conflict’s 40th anniversary.

Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 9:40 pm

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity commemorated the anniversary with the event, attended by two Falklands veterans, Phil Bunday, and Mike Kelly, who are volunteers for the charity’s Havant Division.

The event was hosted by Lord West of Spithead, former First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, who was Captain of HMS Ardent which was sunk during the efforts to reclaim the Falkland Islands from the invading Argentine military in 1982.

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Royal Navy Veterans from Hampshire attend SSAFA event at House of Lords.

Portsmouth South Penny Mordaunt MP, former secretary of state for defence spoke about the importance of the anniversary and how important it is to work with organisations like SSAFA that have the expertise to support the Armed Forces community.

Reflecting on his time in the South Atlantic, ex-Royal Navy Chief and Falklands War hero Admiral Lord West said: ‘I sadly lost 22 of my boys who were killed. That's always very sad indeed… And that always sits with you really. It was very intense. In seven weeks, 255 men were killed. It took 5 years before 240 had been killed in Afghanistan, so actually it was more intense than Afghanistan or Iraq, and I think that's something else we all forget.

Addressing veterans who may be struggling with their mental health following a conflict, he said: ‘Don't lock things away, go to talk to someone. Talk to loved ones, and indeed, talk to experts who can help you if necessary. These things leave scars on your mind.’

The evening featured personal reflections from SSAFA’s Durham Chair and Falklands veteran Paul Moore, as well as war artist Linda Kitson.

Royal Navy Veterans from Hampshire attend SSAFA event at the House of Lords.

Lt General Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO of SSAFA, added : ‘This event was a commemoration of the commitment and sacrifice made by members of the British Armed Forces and civilians to protect the democratic freedoms of those living in the Falkland Islands.

‘Forty years on, SSAFA is proud still to support those who need assistance from that conflict and subsequent military campaigns.’